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A demographic assessment of local adaptation in a grassland perennial herb
Stockholm University, Department of Ecology, Environment and Plant Sciences.
Uppsala University, Disciplinary Domain of Science and Technology, Biology, Department of Ecology and Genetics, Plant Ecology and Evolution.
Uppsala University, Disciplinary Domain of Science and Technology, Biology, Department of Ecology and Genetics, Plant Ecology and Evolution.
Stockholm University, Department of Ecology, Environment and Plant Sciences.
(English)Manuscript (preprint) (Other academic)
Abstract [en]

Habitat heterogeneity in abiotic and biotic factors drives the evolution of adaptive population differentiation. Assessments of local adaptation among populations of perennial plants are commonly based on estimates of one or a few fitness components in reciprocal transplant experiments. However, natural selection does not act on fitness components but on life-time fitness, and local adaptation should therefore ideally be assessed based on integrated measures of the performance during the entire life cycle. We transplanted seedlings and adult plants reciprocally among four populations of the perennial herb Primula farinosa differing in abiotic and biotic conditions on the island of Öland, SE Sweden. We recorded survival, growth, flowering and fruit production during three consecutive years (2010-2012) and used integral projection models to quantify variation in total fitness, estimated as population growth rate. Transplant site had large effects on most aspects of plant performance, and the effects of population of origin on survival, growth, flowering propensity and fruit production varied among sites for several year × cohort combinations. However, no evidence of local adaptation, expressed through single fitness components or total fitness, was found. The results suggest that populations of P. farinosa differ genetically in traits influencing fitness, but these differences do not match current selection regimes. This study provides a template for how reciprocal transplant experiments can be combined with long-term demographic studies and population models to assess local adaptation in long-lived species based on estimates of total fitness.

Keyword [en]
Demography, Integral Projection Models, Life-time fitness, Primula farinosa, Reciprocal transplant
National Category
Ecology Evolutionary Biology
URN: urn:nbn:se:uu:diva-215434OAI: oai:DiVA.org:uu-215434DiVA: diva2:687216
Available from: 2014-01-13 Created: 2014-01-13 Last updated: 2014-02-10
In thesis
1. Genetic Variation and Evolution of Floral Display in Primula farinosa
Open this publication in new window or tab >>Genetic Variation and Evolution of Floral Display in Primula farinosa
2014 (English)Doctoral thesis, comprehensive summary (Other academic)
Abstract [en]

In this thesis, I combine molecular analyses, common-garden and field experiments to examine how evolutionary and ecological processes influence patterns of genetic variation among and within populations of the declining, insect-pollinated, self-incompatible, perennial herb Primula farinosa. More specifically I examined 1) whether genetic diversity at neutral marker loci was related to habitat fragmentation and habitat stability, 2) whether floral display and flowering time were more strongly differentiated among populations than were putatively neutral marker loci, 3) whether adaptive population differentiation could be detected on a local spatial scale, and 4) whether floral display differentially affected male and female reproductive success.

Genetic diversity at neutral marker loci was lower within fragmented populations on the Swedish mainland than within the more densely occurring populations on the island Öland, SE Sweden. On Öland, fluctuations in population size were more pronounced on thin than on deep soils, but genetic diversity was not related to soil depth. Among-population genetic differentiation in scape length and flowering time was stronger than that of neutral marker loci, which is consistent with divergent selection acting on these traits. Water availability should influence the length of the growing season and thus the time available for fruit maturation, but flowering time in a common-garden experiment was not related to estimates of water availability at sites of origin. In a reciprocal transplant experiment conducted among four populations separated by up to a few kilometres and growing in environment differing in water availability and grazing intensity, no evidence of local adaption was observed. Finally, in a field experiment, interactions with pollinators and antagonists differentially affected selection on floral display through male and female function.

Taken together, the results indicate that habitat connectivity and environmental heterogeneity contribute to high neutral and adaptive genetic variation in Primula farinosa on the island Öland, SE Sweden, and illustrate that effects on both male and female reproductive success need to be considered to understand fully the evolution of floral display.

Place, publisher, year, edition, pages
Uppsala: Acta Universitatis Upsaliensis, 2014. 40 p.
Digital Comprehensive Summaries of Uppsala Dissertations from the Faculty of Science and Technology, ISSN 1651-6214 ; 1112
natural selection, flowering time, population differentiation, local adaptation, male reproductive success
National Category
Ecology Evolutionary Biology Genetics
urn:nbn:se:uu:diva-215508 (URN)978-91-554-8850-5 (ISBN)
Public defence
2014-02-28, Zootissalen, Villavägen 9, Uppsala, 10:00 (English)
Available from: 2014-02-06 Created: 2014-01-14 Last updated: 2014-02-10

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