Despite admixing two closely related Carex species differ in their regional morphological differentiation

Schmidt, Lisanna; Fischer, Markus; Schmid, Bernhard; Oja, Tatjana (2017). Despite admixing two closely related Carex species differ in their regional morphological differentiation. Plant systematics and evolution, 303(7), pp. 901-914. Springer 10.1007/s00606-017-1420-0

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Rarer species are expected to show stronger geographic differentiation than more common species. However, if rare species hybridize with common species, differentiation may be quite similar between the two due to genetic admixing via backcrossing. We studied morphological differentiation of plants of 21 natural populations of the more common Carex flava, 16 of the less common Carex viridula and 6 of their hybrids from 27 sites in three climatically different regions, Estonia, Lowland Switzerland and Highland Switzerland. Univariate ANOVA and multivariate principal component analysis of 14 morphological characters, describing both vegetative and reproductive characters, allowed to clearly distinguish C. flava from C. viridula. Carex viridula populations showed stronger regional variation than C. flava. Hybrids had both intermediate and transgressive characters in Switzerland and Estonia. On average, hybrids from Lowland Switzerland were more similar to Swiss C. flava than to C. viridula, while hybrids from Estonia were morphologically intermediate between plants of Estonian populations of the parental species. The results suggest that within-region genetic admixing between species has limited potential to lead to region-specific similarity between species, at least in our model system of the C. flava complex. We conclude that C. flava and C. viridula are clearly distinct species and that, despite hybridization, geographic differentiation is more pronounced in the less common C. viridula than in C. flava.

Item Type:

Journal Article (Original Article)

Division/Institute:

10 Strategic Research Centers > Oeschger Centre for Climate Change Research (OCCR)
08 Faculty of Science > Department of Biology > Institute of Plant Sciences (IPS) > Plant Ecology
08 Faculty of Science > Department of Biology > Institute of Plant Sciences (IPS)

UniBE Contributor:

Schmidt, Lisanna and Fischer, Markus

Subjects:

500 Science > 580 Plants (Botany)

ISSN:

0378-2697

Publisher:

Springer

Language:

English

Submitter:

Peter Alfred von Ballmoos-Haas

Date Deposited:

06 Jun 2017 12:09

Last Modified:

23 Apr 2018 10:42

Publisher DOI:

10.1007/s00606-017-1420-0

Uncontrolled Keywords:

admixing; Carex flava complex; geographic differentiation; hybridization; morphology

BORIS DOI:

10.7892/boris.100043

URI:

https://boris.unibe.ch/id/eprint/100043

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