Genetic differentiation, phenotypic plasticity and adaptation in a hybridizing pair of a more common and a less common Carex species

Schmidt, Lisanna; Schmid, Bernhard; Oja, Tatjana; Fischer, Markus (2018). Genetic differentiation, phenotypic plasticity and adaptation in a hybridizing pair of a more common and a less common Carex species. Alpine Botany, 128(2), pp. 149-167. Springer 10.1007/s00035-018-0211-8

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Phenotypic variation may be genetically determined or reflect phenotypic plasticity. More common plants are expected to be less differentiated between and within regions and more adapted than less common ones. However, such differences might not develop in hybridizing species which cannot evolve completely independently. We collected 311 genets of Carex flava, 215 of C. viridula and 46 of their hybrid C. × subviridula from 42 natural populations in cold temperate Estonia, mild temperate Lowland Switzerland and alpine Highland Switzerland. Three plantlets from each genet were planted to three experimental gardens, one in each region. We measured survival, growth, reproduction and morphological traits. The experimental transplants showed strong plasticity and grew smallest in the alpine garden. The less common C. viridula was slightly more differentiated between regions of origin than the more common C. flava and the hybrid. However, this depended on the experimental garden. Significant origin-by-garden-by-taxon and taxon-by-garden interactions suggest differential adaptation among populations and taxa. Regional differed from non-regional plants in several traits indicating both adaptations and, especially for C. viridula, maladaptations to the home regions. For C. flava, plant seed production was higher when mean annual temperature and precipitation were more similar between population of origin and garden, suggesting local adaptation to climate. Hybrids were intermediate between parental taxa or more similar to one of them, which was retained across gardens. We conclude that plasticity, genetic variation and genotype–environment interactions all contributed to regional differentiation of the closely related species. Hybridization did not completely align evolutionary patterns, and the less common species showed slightly more genetic differentiation between populations and more maladapted traits than the more common one.

Item Type:

Journal Article (Original Article)

Division/Institute:

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:

1664-2201

Publisher:

Springer

Language:

English

Submitter:

Peter Alfred von Ballmoos-Haas

Date Deposited:

12 Oct 2018 12:26

Last Modified:

23 Oct 2019 04:42

Publisher DOI:

10.1007/s00035-018-0211-8

Related URLs:

Uncontrolled Keywords:

Carex flava group; genotype-by-environment interaction; performance; regional adaptation; transplant experiment; variability

BORIS DOI:

10.7892/boris.120413

URI:

https://boris.unibe.ch/id/eprint/120413

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