In this project, we will use an integrative approach combining well-designed experiments, i.e. experimental studies of ecological performance (manipulating the abiotic environment to mimic predicted future climate) and environmental and behavioral strategies characterization in the field, with state-of-the-art population genome and transcriptome-wide techniques. More, with the main goal of assessing genomic changes and responses associated with the extreme climatic adaptations, we will use the multidisciplinary data gathered from three freshwater mussel species along a latitudinal and temperature gradient, from the Mediterranean to Scandinavia.
We expect to obtain novel insights into the processes by which freshwater species with broad geographical ranges can adapt to local environmental conditions and gain a clearer understanding of the evolutionary history of these imperiled organisms with eventual pay-offs in future management actions devoted to the conservation of these extraordinary organisms.
This project is implemented by a multidisciplinary team – UMinho, U.Porto, UTAD, IPB and CIIMAR (coordinator).