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Cortes, Andrés J
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Publications (10 of 19) Show all publications
Sedlacek, J., Cortés, A., Wheeler, J., Bossdorf, O., Hoch, G., Klapste, J., . . . van Kleunen, M. (2016). Evolutionary potential in the Alpine: trait heritabilities and performance variation of the dwarf willow Salix herbacea from different elevations and microhabitats. Ecology and Evolution, 6(12), 3940-3952
Open this publication in new window or tab >>Evolutionary potential in the Alpine: trait heritabilities and performance variation of the dwarf willow Salix herbacea from different elevations and microhabitats
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2016 (English)In: Ecology and Evolution, ISSN 2045-7758, E-ISSN 2045-7758, Vol. 6, no 12, p. 3940-3952Article in journal (Refereed) Published
Abstract [en]

Alpine ecosystems are seriously threatened by climate change. One of the key mechanisms by which plants can adapt to changing environmental conditions is through evolutionary change. However, we still know little about the evolutionary potential in wild populations of long-lived alpine plants. Here, we investigated heritabilities of phenological traits, leaf size, and performance traits in natural populations of the long-lived alpine dwarf shrub Salix herbacea using relatedness estimates inferred from SSR (Simple Sequence Repeat) markers. Salix herbacea occurs in early-and late-snowmelt microhabitats (ridges and snowbeds), and we assessed how performance consequences of phenological traits and leaf size differ between these microhabitats in order to infer potential for evolutionary responses. Salix herbacea showed low, but significant, heritabilities of leaf size, clonal and sexual reproduction, and moderate heritabilities of phenological traits. In both microhabitats, we found that larger leaves, longer intervals between snowmelt and leaf expansion, and longer GDD (growing-degree days) until leaf expansion resulted in a stronger increase in the number of stems (clonal reproduction). In snowbeds, clonal reproduction increased with a shorter GDD until flowering, while the opposite was found on ridges. Furthermore, the proportion of flowering stems increased with GDD until flowering in both microhabitats. Our results suggest that the presence of significant heritable variation in morphology and phenology might help S. herbacea to adapt to changing environmental conditions. However, it remains to be seen if the rate of such an evolutionary response can keep pace with the rapid rate of climate change.

Keyword
Adaptive evolution; alpine ecosystem; animal model; long-lived plants; snowmelt microhabitats; SSR markers
National Category
Botany
Identifiers
urn:nbn:se:uu:diva-262237 (URN)10.1002/ece3.2171 (DOI)000379342900008 ()
Available from: 2015-09-10 Created: 2015-09-10 Last updated: 2017-12-05Bibliographically approved
Blair, M. W., Cortés, A. J. & This, D. (2016). Identification of an ERECTA gene and drought adaptation associations in wild and cultivated common bean. Plant Science, 242, 250-259
Open this publication in new window or tab >>Identification of an ERECTA gene and drought adaptation associations in wild and cultivated common bean
2016 (English)In: Plant Science, ISSN 0168-9452, E-ISSN 1873-2259, Vol. 242, p. 250-259Article in journal (Refereed) Published
Abstract [en]

In this research, we cloned and accessed nucleotide diversity in the common beanERECTA gene which has been implicated in drought tolerance and stomatal patterning.The homologous gene segment was isolated with degenerate primer and was found to be located on Chromosome 1. The gene had at least one paralog on Chromosome 9 and duplicate copies in soybean for each homolog. ERECTA-like genes were also discovered but the function of these was of less interest due to low similarity with the ERECTA gene from Arabidopsis. The diversity of the 5’ end of the large Chr. 1 PvERECTA gene was evaluated in a collection of 145 wild and cultivated common beans that were also characterized by geographic source and drought tolerance, respectively. Our wild population sampled a range of wet to dry habitats, while our cultivated samples were representative of landrace diversity and the patterns of nucleotide variation differed between groups. The 5’ region exhibited lower levels of diversity in the cultivated collection, which was indicative of population bottlenecks associated with the domestication process, compared to the wild collection where diversity was associated with ecological differences. We discuss associations of nucleotide diversity at PvERECTA with drought tolerance prediction for the genotypes.

Keyword
5 ' end gene diversity; LRR receptor-like serine/threonine-protein kinase; Local geographical adaptation; Single nucleotide polymorphisms; Phaseolus vulgaris population structure and expansion
National Category
Ecology
Identifiers
urn:nbn:se:uu:diva-260711 (URN)10.1016/j.plantsci.2015.08.004 (DOI)000367106100024 ()26566842 (PubMedID)
Available from: 2015-08-24 Created: 2015-08-24 Last updated: 2017-12-04Bibliographically approved
Little, C., Wheeler, J., Sedlacek, J., Cortés, A. J. & Rixen, C. (2016). Small-scale drivers: the importance of nutrient availability and snowmelt timing on performance of the alpine shrub Salix herbacea. Oecologia, 180(4), 1015-1024
Open this publication in new window or tab >>Small-scale drivers: the importance of nutrient availability and snowmelt timing on performance of the alpine shrub Salix herbacea
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2016 (English)In: Oecologia, ISSN 0029-8549, E-ISSN 1432-1939, Vol. 180, no 4, p. 1015-1024Article in journal (Refereed) Published
Abstract [en]

Alpine plant communities are predicted to face range shifts and possibly extinctions with climate change. Fine-scale environmental variation such as nutrient availability or snowmelt timing may contribute to the ability of plant species to persist locally; however, variation in nutrient availability in alpine landscapes is largely unmeasured. On three mountains around Davos, Switzerland, we deployed Plant Root Simulator probes around 58 Salix herbacea plants along an elevational and microhabitat gradient to measure nutrient availability during the first 5 weeks of the summer growing season, and used in situ temperature loggers and observational data to determine date of spring snowmelt. We also visited the plants weekly to assess performance, as measured by stem number, fruiting, and herbivory damage. We found a wide snowmelt gradient which determined growing season length, as well as variations of an order of magnitude or more in the accumulation of 12 nutrients between different microhabitats. Higher nutrient availability had negative effects on most shrub performance metrics, for instance decreasing stem number and the proportion of stems producing fruits. High nutrient availability was associated with increased herbivory damage in early-melting microhabitats, but among late-emerging plants this pattern was reversed. We demonstrate that nutrient availability is highly variable in alpine settings, and that it strongly influences performance in an alpine dwarf shrub, sometimes modifying the response of shrubs to snowmelt timing. As the climate warms and human-induced nitrogen deposition continues in the Alps, these factors may contribute to patterns of local plants persistence.

National Category
Ecology
Identifiers
urn:nbn:se:uu:diva-260712 (URN)10.1007/s00442-015-3394-3 (DOI)000373186100010 ()26235963 (PubMedID)
Available from: 2015-08-24 Created: 2015-08-24 Last updated: 2017-12-04Bibliographically approved
Cortés, A. J. (2015). On The Big Challenges of a Small Shrub: Ecological Genetics of Salix herbacea L. (Doctoral dissertation). Uppsala: Acta Universitatis Upsaliensis
Open this publication in new window or tab >>On The Big Challenges of a Small Shrub: Ecological Genetics of Salix herbacea L
2015 (English)Doctoral thesis, comprehensive summary (Other academic)
Abstract [en]

The response of plants to climate change is among the main questions in ecology and evolution. Faced with changing conditions, populations may respond by adapting, going extinct or migrating. Fine-scale environmental variation offers a unique mosaic to explore these alternatives. In this thesis, I used ecological surveys, field experiments and molecular methods to study the range of possible responses at a very local scale in the alpine dwarf willow Salix herbacea L. Since gene flow may impact the potential for adaptation and migration, I first explored whether phenological divergence driven by snowmelt patterns impacts gene flow. I found that sites with late snowmelt work as sinks of the genetic diversity, as compared to sites with early snowmelt. I also used a combined approach that looked at the selection, heritability and genomic architecture of ecologically-relevant traits, as well as genomic divergence across the snowmelt mosaic. In this way, I was able to understand which genomic regions may relate to phenological, growth and fitness traits, and which regions in the genome harbor genetic variation associated with late- and early- snowmelt sites. I found that most of the genomic divergence driven by snowmelt is novel and is localized in few regions. Also, Salix herbacea has a strong female bias. Sex bias may matter for adaptation to climate change because different sexes of many dioecious species differ in several functions that may fluctuate with changing conditions. I found that the bias is uniform across environments and is already present at seeds and seedlings. A polygenic sex determination system together with transmission distortion may be maintaining the bias. Overall, fast-evolving microhabitat-driven genomic divergence and, at the same time, genetically-based trait variation at a larger scale may play a role for the ability of S. herbacea to persist in diverse and variable conditions.

Place, publisher, year, edition, pages
Uppsala: Acta Universitatis Upsaliensis, 2015. p. 37
Series
Digital Comprehensive Summaries of Uppsala Dissertations from the Faculty of Science and Technology, ISSN 1651-6214 ; 1288
Keyword
Fine-scale environmental variation, migration, adaptation, snowmelt timing
National Category
Botany
Research subject
Biology
Identifiers
urn:nbn:se:uu:diva-262239 (URN)978-91-554-9337-0 (ISBN)
Public defence
2015-10-28, Zootissalen, Evolutionsbiologiskt centrum (EBC), Norbyvägen 18, Uppsala, 13:00 (English)
Opponent
Supervisors
Projects
SNSF Sinergia Salix
Available from: 2015-10-07 Created: 2015-09-10 Last updated: 2015-11-23Bibliographically approved
Sedlacek, J., Wheeler, J. A., Cortes, A. J., Bossdorf, O., Hoch, G., Lexer, C., . . . Rixen, C. (2015). The Response of the Alpine Dwarf Shrub Salix herbacea to Altered Snowmelt Timing: Lessons from a Multi-Site Transplant Experiment. PLoS ONE, 10(4), Article ID e0122395.
Open this publication in new window or tab >>The Response of the Alpine Dwarf Shrub Salix herbacea to Altered Snowmelt Timing: Lessons from a Multi-Site Transplant Experiment
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2015 (English)In: PLoS ONE, ISSN 1932-6203, E-ISSN 1932-6203, Vol. 10, no 4, article id e0122395Article in journal (Refereed) Published
Abstract [en]

Climate change is altering spring snowmelt patterns in alpine and arctic ecosystems, and these changes may alter plant phenology, growth and reproduction. To predict how alpine plants respond to shifts in snowmelt timing, we need to understand trait plasticity, its effects on growth and reproduction, and the degree to which plants experience a home-site advantage. We tested how the common, long-lived dwarf shrub Salix herbacea responded to changing spring snowmelt time by reciprocally transplanting turfs of S. herbacea between early-exposure ridge and late-exposure snowbed microhabitats. After the transplant, we monitored phenological, morphological and fitness traits, as well as leaf damage, during two growing seasons. Salix herbacea leafed out earlier, but had a longer development time and produced smaller leaves on ridges relative to snowbeds. Longer phenological development times and smaller leaves were associated with reduced sexual reproduction on ridges. On snowbeds, larger leaves and intermediate development times were associated with increased clonal reproduction. Clonal and sexual reproduction showed no response to altered snowmelt time. We found no home-site advantage in terms of sexual and clonal reproduction. Leaf damage probability depended on snowmelt and thus exposure period, but had no short-term effect on fitness traits. We conclude that the studied populations of S. herbacea can respond to shifts in snowmelt by plastic changes in phenology and leaf size, while maintaining levels of clonal and sexual reproduction. The lack of a home-site advantage suggests that S. herbacea may not be adapted to different microhabitats. The studied populations are thus unlikely to react to climate change by rapid adaptation, but their responses will also not be constrained by small-scale local adaptation. In the short term, snowbed plants may persist due to high stem densities. However, in the long term, reduction in leaf size and flowering, a longer phenological development time and increased exposure to damage may decrease overall performance of S. herbacea under earlier snowmelt.

National Category
Biological Sciences
Identifiers
urn:nbn:se:uu:diva-253053 (URN)10.1371/journal.pone.0122395 (DOI)000353211700014 ()25893438 (PubMedID)
Available from: 2015-06-12 Created: 2015-05-20 Last updated: 2017-12-04Bibliographically approved
Wheeler, J. A., Schnider, F., Sedlacek, J., Cortés, A. J., Wipf, S., Hoch, G. & Rixen, C. (2015). With a little help from my friends: community facilitation increases performance in the dwarf shrub Salix herbacea. Basic and Applied Ecology, 16(3), 202-209
Open this publication in new window or tab >>With a little help from my friends: community facilitation increases performance in the dwarf shrub Salix herbacea
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2015 (English)In: Basic and Applied Ecology, ISSN 1439-1791, E-ISSN 1618-0089, Vol. 16, no 3, p. 202-209Article in journal (Refereed) Published
Abstract [en]

Shifts between positive and negative plant interactions along environmental stress gradients can affect alpine plant performance. We removed neighbours around Salix herbacea, a common arctic and alpine dwarf shrub, along elevational and snowmelt gradients on three mountains in Switzerland. The objectives of our study were to determine the effect of neighbours on phenological, morphological, and fitness traits ofS. herbacea, and to determine whether neighbour interactions shift from competition to facilitation along environmental stress gradients.

Target plants without neighbours required less time for fruit production; however, they also were more likely to be damaged by caterpillar herbivory. Effects of neighbour removal changed along the environmental gradients: plants without neighbours had smaller leaves on earlier snowmelt sites, and increased fungal damage with increasing elevation. Without neighbour removal, damage generally led to reduced female flowering under later snowmelt conditions in the following summer.

Our results indicate that the majority of neighbour interactions influencing S. herbacea are facilitative, particularly at stressful early snowmelt and high elevation sites. We suggest that neighbours moderate environmental conditions by protecting plants from temperature extremes, and reduce plant apparency to caterpillars. Neighbours also indirectly increase fitness by reducing damage. Facilitation by neighbours may become more important under climate change, as early snowmelt may increase stress.

National Category
Ecology
Identifiers
urn:nbn:se:uu:diva-251641 (URN)10.1016/j.baae.2015.02.004 (DOI)000352453000002 ()
Available from: 2015-04-22 Created: 2015-04-22 Last updated: 2017-12-04Bibliographically approved
Wheeler, J. A., Hoch, G., Cortes, A. J., Sedlacek, J., Wipf, S. & Rixen, C. (2014). Increased spring freezing vulnerability for alpine shrubs under early snowmelt. Oecologia, 175(1), 219-229
Open this publication in new window or tab >>Increased spring freezing vulnerability for alpine shrubs under early snowmelt
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2014 (English)In: Oecologia, ISSN 0029-8549, E-ISSN 1432-1939, Vol. 175, no 1, p. 219-229Article in journal (Refereed) Published
Abstract [en]

Alpine dwarf shrub communities are phenologically linked with snowmelt timing, so early spring exposure may increase risk of freezing damage during early development, and consequently reduce seasonal growth. We examined whether environmental factors (duration of snow cover, elevation) influenced size and the vulnerability of shrubs to spring freezing along elevational gradients and snow microhabitats by modelling the past frequency of spring freezing events. We sampled biomass and measured the size of Salix herbacea, Vaccinium myrtillus, Vaccinium uliginosum and Loiseleuria procumbens in late spring. Leaves were exposed to freezing temperatures to determine the temperature at which 50 % of specimens are killed for each species and sampling site. By linking site snowmelt and temperatures to long-term climate measurements, we extrapolated the frequency of spring freezing events at each elevation, snow microhabitat and per species over 37 years. Snowmelt timing was significantly driven by microhabitat effects, but was independent of elevation. Shrub growth was neither enhanced nor reduced by earlier snowmelt, but decreased with elevation. Freezing resistance was strongly species dependent, and did not differ along the elevation or snowmelt gradient. Microclimate extrapolation suggested that potentially lethal freezing events (in May and June) occurred for three of the four species examined. Freezing events never occurred on late snow beds, and increased in frequency with earlier snowmelt and higher elevation. Extrapolated freezing events showed a slight, non-significant increase over the 37-year record. We suggest that earlier snowmelt does not enhance growth in four dominant alpine shrubs, but increases the risk of lethal spring freezing exposure for less freezing-resistant species.

Keyword
Climate change, Advanced snowmelt, Growth, Spring freezing resistance, Alpine dwarf shrubs
National Category
Ecology
Identifiers
urn:nbn:se:uu:diva-225008 (URN)10.1007/s00442-013-2872-8 (DOI)000334691600020 ()
Available from: 2014-05-26 Created: 2014-05-26 Last updated: 2017-12-05Bibliographically approved
Cortes, A. J., Waeber, S., Lexer, C., Sedlacek, J., Wheeler, J. A., van Kleunen, M., . . . Karrenberg, S. (2014). Small-scale patterns in snowmelt timing affect gene flow and the distribution of genetic diversity in the alpine dwarf shrub Salix herbacea. Heredity, 113(3), 233-239
Open this publication in new window or tab >>Small-scale patterns in snowmelt timing affect gene flow and the distribution of genetic diversity in the alpine dwarf shrub Salix herbacea
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2014 (English)In: Heredity, ISSN 0018-067X, E-ISSN 1365-2540, Vol. 113, no 3, p. 233-239Article in journal (Refereed) Published
Abstract [en]

Current threats to biodiversity, such as climate change, are thought to alter the within-species genetic diversity among microhabitats in highly heterogeneous alpine environments. Assessing the spatial organization and dynamics of genetic diversity within species can help to predict the responses of organisms to environmental change. In this study, we evaluated whether small-scale heterogeneity in snowmelt timing restricts gene flow between microhabitats in the common long-lived dwarf shrub Salix herbacea L. We surveyed 273 genets across 12 early-and late-snowmelt sites (that is, ridges and snowbeds) in the Swiss Alps for phenological variation over 2 years and for genetic variation using seven SSR markers. Phenological differentiation triggered by differences in snowmelt timing did not correlate with genetic differentiation between microhabitats. On the contrary, extensive gene flow appeared to occur between microhabitats and slightly less extensively among adjacent mountains. However, ridges exhibited significantly lower levels of genetic diversity than snowbeds, and patterns of effective population size (Ne) and migration (Nem) between microhabitats were strongly asymmetric, with ridges acting as sources and snowbeds as sinks. As no recent genetic bottlenecks were detected in the studied sites, this asymmetry is likely to reflect current metapopulation dynamics of the species dominated by gene flow via seeds rather than ancient re-colonization after the last glacial period. Overall, our results suggest that seed dispersal prevents snowmelt-driven genetic isolation, and snowbeds act as sinks of genetic diversity. We discuss the consequences of such small-scale variation in gene flow and diversity levels for population responses to climate change.

National Category
Genetics Ecology
Identifiers
urn:nbn:se:uu:diva-232992 (URN)10.1038/hdy.2014.19 (DOI)000341087900006 ()
Available from: 2014-10-13 Created: 2014-09-29 Last updated: 2017-12-05Bibliographically approved
Sedlacek, J. F., Bossdorf, O., Cortes, A. J., Wheeler, J. A. & van Kleunen, M. (2014). What role do plant-soil interactions play in the habitat suitability and potential range expansion of the alpine dwarf shrub Salix herbacea?. Basic and Applied Ecology, 15(4), 305-315
Open this publication in new window or tab >>What role do plant-soil interactions play in the habitat suitability and potential range expansion of the alpine dwarf shrub Salix herbacea?
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2014 (English)In: Basic and Applied Ecology, ISSN 1439-1791, E-ISSN 1618-0089, Vol. 15, no 4, p. 305-315Article in journal (Refereed) Published
Abstract [en]

Mountain plants may respond to warming climates by migrating along altitudinal gradients or, because climatic conditions on mountain slopes can be locally very heterogeneous, by migrating to different microhabitats at the same altitude. However, in new environments, plants may also encounter novel soil microbial communities, which might affect their establishment success. Thus, biotic interactions could be a key factor in plant responses to climate change. Here, we investigated the role of plant soil feedback for the establishment success of the alpine dwarf shrub Salix herbacea L. across altitudes and late- and early snowmelt microhabitats. We collected S. herbacea seeds and soil from nine plots on three mountain-slope transects near Davos, Switzerland, and we transplanted seeds and seedlings to substrate inoculated with soil from the same plot or with soils from different microhabitats, altitudes and mountains under greenhouse conditions. We found that, on average, seeds from higher altitudes (2400-2700 m) and late-exposed snowbeds germinated better than seeds from lower altitudes (2200-2300 m) and early-exposed ridges. However, despite these differences in germination, growth was generally higher for plants from low altitudes, and there were no indications for a an home-soil advantage within the current range of S. herbacea. Interestingly, seedlings growing on soil from above the current altitudinal distribution of S. herbacea grew on average less well than on their own soil. Thus, although the lack of a home-soil advantage in the current habitat might be beneficial for S. herbacea in a changing environment, migration to habitats beyond the current altitudinal range might be limited, probably due to missing positive soil-feedback.

Keyword
Biotic interaction, Range limit, Elevation, Genetic differentiation, Microhabitat, Microtopography, Migration, Snowmelt gradient, Soil feedback
National Category
Ecology Botany
Identifiers
urn:nbn:se:uu:diva-231451 (URN)10.1016/j.baae.2014.05.006 (DOI)000340140900004 ()
Available from: 2014-09-09 Created: 2014-09-08 Last updated: 2017-12-05Bibliographically approved
Blair, M. W., Cortés, A. J., Penmetsa, R., Farmer, A., Carrasquilla-Garcia, N. & Cook, D. R. (2013). A high-throughput SNP marker system for parental polymorphism screening, and diversity analysis in common bean (Phaseolus vulgaris L.). Theoretical and Applied Genetics, 126(2), 535-548
Open this publication in new window or tab >>A high-throughput SNP marker system for parental polymorphism screening, and diversity analysis in common bean (Phaseolus vulgaris L.)
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2013 (English)In: Theoretical and Applied Genetics, ISSN 0040-5752, E-ISSN 1432-2242, Vol. 126, no 2, p. 535-548Article in journal (Refereed) Published
Abstract [en]

Single nucleotide polymorphism (SNP) detection has become a marker system of choice, because of the high abundance of source polymorphisms and the ease with which allele calls are automated. Various technologies exist for the evaluation of SNP loci and previously we validated two medium throughput technologies. In this study, our goal was to utilize a 768 feature, Illumina GoldenGate assay for common bean (Phaseolus vulgaris L.) developed from conserved legume gene sequences and to use the new technology for (1) the evaluation of parental polymorphisms in a mini-core set of common bean accessions and (2) the analysis of genetic diversity in the crop. A total of 736 SNPs were scored on 236 diverse common bean genotypes with the GoldenGate array. Missing data and heterozygosity levels were low and 94 % of the SNPs were scorable. With the evaluation of the parental polymorphism genotypes, we estimated the utility of the SNP markers in mapping for inter-genepool and intra-genepool populations, the latter being of lower polymorphism than the former. When we performed the diversity analysis with the diverse genotypes, we found Illumina GoldenGate SNPs to provide equivalent evaluations as previous gene-based SNP markers, but less fine-distinctions than with previous microsatellite marker analysis. We did find, however, that the gene-based SNPs in the GoldenGate array had some utility in race structure analysis despite the low polymorphism. Furthermore the SNPs detected high heterozygosity in wild accessions which was probably a reflection of ascertainment bias. The Illumina SNPs were shown to be effective in distinguishing between the genepools, and therefore were most useful in saturation of inter-genepool genetic maps. The implications of these results for breeding in common bean are discussed as well as the advantages and disadvantages of the GoldenGate system for SNP detection.

National Category
Evolutionary Biology
Identifiers
urn:nbn:se:uu:diva-190109 (URN)10.1007/s00122-012-1999-z (DOI)000314055100021 ()
Available from: 2013-01-07 Created: 2013-01-07 Last updated: 2017-12-06Bibliographically approved
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