The recurrence of wildfires is predicted to increase due to global climate change. Budde et al. examine the population genetic effects of frequent fires in natural stands of the fire-adapted Mediterranean tree Pinus halepensis (Pinaceae) and find that genetic diversity was preserved despite frequent fires.
However, nearby trees were more closely related than in control stands, a likely consequence of clumped recruitment after fire. Some genetic markers displayed evidence of selection between or within stands. More frequent wildfires can act as selective drivers, altering recruitment in P. halepensis and plants with similar life history traits.
Budde, K. B., González-Martínez, S. C., Navascués, M., Burgarella, C., Mosca, E., Lorenzo, Z., … Heuertz, M. (2017). Increased fire frequency promotes stronger spatial genetic structure and natural selection at regional and local scales in Pinus halepensis Mill. Annals of Botany, 119(6), 1061–1072. https://doi.org/10.1093/aob/mcw286