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Genetic diversity and structure of the declining herb Primula farinosa across different spatial scales
Uppsala University, Disciplinary Domain of Science and Technology, Biology, Department of Ecology and Genetics, Plant Ecology and Evolution.
Linköping University, Department of Physics, Chemistry and Biology.
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.
(English)Manuscript (preprint) (Other academic)
Abstract [en]

Habitat fragmentation and reduced population sizes are important threats to biodiversity. These changes increase the influence of genetic drift and are therefore expected to lead to reduced genetic diversity and increased population differentiation. We analysed patterns of genetic variation in the declining herb Primula farinosa in Sweden. On the mainland, P. farinosa has scattered, isolated occurrences due to habitat fragmentation, whereas on the island of Öland, southeast Sweden, the species remains common. On Öland, populations were sampled on both shallow soils, where fluctuations in population size are substantial, and on deep soils, where populations are more stable. Genetic diversity was investigated at 12 putatively neutral microsatellite loci and at a floral display locus influencing plant fitness. Genetic diversity was found to be lower and more strongly structured on the mainland than on Öland, which is consistent with lower gene flow and increased influence of genetic drift in mainland than in Öland populations. On Öland, genetic diversity was not related to soil depth, suggesting that differences in the magnitude of fluctuations in population size are less important for the structuring of genetic variation in P. farinosa. Moreover, population differentiation was stronger at the floral display locus compared to microsatellite loci, consistent with divergent selection acting on floral display on Öland. Taken together, our findings indicate that to maintain genetic diversity in P. farinosa, management should promote gene flow among populations and variation in the direction of selection on floral display.

Keyword [en]
Conservation, Population connectivity, Divergent selection, Population size fluctuation, Environmental heterogeneity, Perennial herb
National Category
Ecology Genetics
Identifiers
URN: urn:nbn:se:uu:diva-215505OAI: oai:DiVA.org:uu-215505DiVA: diva2:687445
Available from: 2014-01-14 Created: 2014-01-14 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.
Series
Digital Comprehensive Summaries of Uppsala Dissertations from the Faculty of Science and Technology, ISSN 1651-6214 ; 1112
Keyword
natural selection, flowering time, population differentiation, local adaptation, male reproductive success
National Category
Ecology Evolutionary Biology Genetics
Identifiers
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)
Opponent
Supervisors
Available from: 2014-02-06 Created: 2014-01-14 Last updated: 2014-02-10

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