In a study with implications for how North American trees might respond to a changing climate, molecular information collected by Duke University researchers refutes a widely accepted theory that many of the continents tree species migrated rapidly from the deep South as glaciers retreated at the end of the last Ice Age.
"When you put the molecular data together with other lines of evidence, it suggests that maybe they didnt move as fast as we previously thought," said James Clark, H.L. Blomquist Professor of Biology at Dukes Nicholas School of the Environment and Earth Sciences.
"Maybe the species that are growing far to the north today werent far to the south during the last glacial," Clark said in an interview. "Maybe, in fact, they were further north near the edge of the ice and therefore didnt have to migrate as fast."
Monte Basgall | EurekAlert!
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