Local adaptation at the range peripheries of Sitka spruce.
ABSTRACT High-dispersal rates in heterogeneous environments and historical rapid range expansion can hamper local adaptation; however, we often see clinal variation in high-dispersal tree species. To understand the mechanisms of the species' distribution, we investigated local adaptation and adaptive plasticity in a range-wide context in Sitka spruce, a wind-pollinated tree species that has recently expanded its range after glaciations. Phenotypic traits were observed using growth chamber experiments that mimicked temperature and photoperiodic regimes from the limits of the species realized niche. Bud phenology exhibited parallel reaction norms among populations; however, putatively adaptive plasticity and strong divergent selection were seen in bud burst and bud set timing respectively. Natural selection appears to have favoured genotypes that maximize growth rate during available frost-free periods in each environment. We conclude that Sitka spruce has developed local adaptation and adaptive plasticity throughout its range in response to current climatic conditions despite generally high pollen flow and recent range expansion.
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ABSTRACT: It has been shown previously that height growth and bud phenology are influenced by the temperature during zygotic embryogenesis in Picea abies. To test whether this phenomenon operates within individual plants, clones produced through somatic embryogenesis were used. Seeds were from a full-sib family produced in both a cold (outdoor) and a warm (inside a glasshouse) environment. Embryogenic clones derived from mature zygotic embryos from both crossing environments were cultured at 18, 23 and 28 degrees C during the proliferation and embryo maturation steps. After the second growing season in a glasshouse, plants from the warm seed production environment were taller and had significantly later bud set. For the first time, it is also shown that plants are influenced by the in vitro temperature during somatic embryo development. The warmer the temperature, the later the plants formed terminal buds. The differences were similar to those produced by a provenance separation of 4-6 degrees of latitude. The results indicate that there exists a mechanism in P. abies that operates during embryo development and adjusts the timing of bud set in accordance with the temperature conditions in which the mother tree lives. This in turn counteracts negative effects of gene flow among populations located along altitudinal and latitudinal gradients.New Phytologist 02/2008; 177(1):49-59. · 6.74 Impact Factor
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ABSTRACT: Darwin viewed species range limits as chiefly determined by an interplay between the abiotic environment and interspecific interactions. Haldane argued that species' ranges could be set intraspecifically when gene flow from a species' populous center overwhelms local adaptation at the periphery. Recently, Kirkpatrick and Barton have modeled Haldane's process with a quantitative genetic model that combines density-dependent local population growth with dispersal and gene flow across a linear environmental gradient in optimum phenotype. To address Darwin's ideas, we have extended the Kirkpatrick and Barton model to include interspecific competition and the frequency-dependent selection that it generates, as well as stabilizing selection on a quantitative character. Our model includes local population growth, movements over space, natural selection, and gene flow. It simultaneously addresses the evolution of character displacement and species borders. It reproduces the Kirkpatrick and Barton single-species result that limited ranges can be produced with sufficiently steep environmental gradients and strong dispersal. Further, in the absence of environmental gradients or barriers to dispersal, interspecific competition will not limit species ranges at evolutionary equilibrium. However, interspecific competition can interact with environmental gradients and gene flow to generate limited ranges with much less extreme gradient and dispersal parameters than in the single-species case. Species display character displacement in sympatry, yet the reduction in competition that results from this displacement does not necessarily allow the two species to become sympatric everywhere. When species meet, competition reduces population densities in the region of overlap, which, in turn, intensifies the asymmetry in gene flow from center to margin. This reduces the ability of each species to adapt to local physical conditions at their range limits. If environmental gradients are monotonic but not linear, the transition zone between species at coevolutionary equilibrium occurs where the environmental gradient is steepest. If productivity gradients are also introduced into the model, then patterns similar to Rapoport's rule emerge. Interacting species respond to climate change, as it affects the optimal phenotype over space, by a combination of range shifts and local evolution in mean phenotype, while solitary species respond solely by range shifts. Finally, we compare empirical estimates for intrinsic growth rates and diffusion coefficients for several species to those needed by the single-species model to produce a stable limited range. These empirical values are generally insufficient to produce limited ranges in the model suggesting a role for interspecific interactions.The American Naturalist 06/2000; 155(5):583-605. · 4.55 Impact Factor
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ABSTRACT: Every species occupies a limited geographic area, but how spatiotemporal environmental variation affects individual and population fitness to create range limits is not well understood. Because range boundaries arise where, on average, populations are more likely to go extinct than to persist, range limits are an inherently population-level problem for which a demographic framework is useful. In this study, I compare demographic parameters and population dynamics between central and marginal populations of monkeyflowers, Mimulus cardinalis and M. lewisii, along an elevation gradient spanning both species' ranges. Central and marginal populations of both species differed in survival and fecundity. For M. lewisii, these components of fitness were higher in central than in marginal populations, but for M. cardinalis the converse was true. To assess spatiotemporal variation in population dynamics, I used transition matrix models to estimate asymptotic population growth rates (lambda) and found that population growth rates of M. lewisii were highest at the range center and reduced at the range margin. Population growth rates of M. cardinalis were highest at the range margin and greatly reduced at the range center. Life table response analysis decomposed spatiotemporal variation in lambda into contributions from each transition between life stages, finding that transitions from large nonreproductive and reproductive plants to the seed class and stasis in the reproductive class made the largest contributions to spatial differences in lambda. These transitions had only low to moderate sensitivities, indicating that differences in projected population growth rates resulted mainly from observed differences in transition matrix parameters and their underlying vital rates.Ecology 09/2006; 87(8):2014-25. · 5.18 Impact Factor