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University of Md. mapping tree DNA in climate-change study

FROSTBURG — The University of Maryland is seeking volunteers for a coast-to-coast study of trees and climate change.

The university’s Center for Environmental Science said Wednesday that the volunteers will monitor seasonal changes in poplar and aspen trees across the northern United States.

The National Science Foundation has given the center’s Appalachian Laboratory in Frostburg a $1.5 million grant to study climate adaptation in forest trees.

The scientists say they hope to identify areas where trees are most likely to survive earlier springs and warmer summers.

Part of the project involves DNA sequencing of hundreds of balsam poplar trees. The researchers aim to identify genes responsible for traits that could ensure survival.