Genetic composition, genetic diversity, and small-scale environmental variation matter for the experimental reintroduction of a rare plant

Prati, Daniel; Peintinger, Markus; Fischer, Markus (2016). Genetic composition, genetic diversity, and small-scale environmental variation matter for the experimental reintroduction of a rare plant. Journal of Plant Ecology, 9(6), pp. 805-813. Oxford University Press 10.1093/jpe/rtv067

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Aims Reintroduction has become an important tool for the management of endangered plant species. We tested the little-explored effects of small-scale environmental variation, genotypic composition (i.e. identity of genotypes), and genotypic diversity on the population survival of the regionally rare clonal plant Ranunculus reptans. For this species of periodically inundated lakeshores genetic differentiation had been reported between populations and between short-flooded and long-flooded microsites within populations.Methods We established 306 experimental test populations at a previously unoccupied lake shore, comprising either monocultures of 32 genotypes, mixtures of genotypes within populations or mixtures of genotypes between populations. In 2000, three years after planting out at the experimental site, a long-lasting flood caused the death of half of the experimental populations. In 2003, an extreme drought resulted in the lowest summer water levels ever measured.Important findings Despite these climatic extremes, 27 of the established populations survived until the end of the experiment in December 2003. The success of experimental populations largely differed between microsites. Moreover, the success of genotype monocultures depended on genotype and source population. Genetic differentiation between microsites played a minor role for the success of reintroduction. After the flood, populations planted with genotypes from different source populations increased in abundance, whereas populations with genotypes from single source populations and genotype monocultures decreased. We conclude that sources for reintroductions need to be selected carefully. Moreover, mixtures of plants from different populations appear to be the best choice for successful reintroduction, at least in unpredictably varying environments.

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:

Prati, Daniel and Fischer, Markus

Subjects:

500 Science > 580 Plants (Botany)

ISSN:

1752-9921

Publisher:

Oxford University Press

Language:

English

Submitter:

Peter Alfred von Ballmoos-Haas

Date Deposited:

04 Apr 2016 14:26

Last Modified:

08 Mar 2017 15:57

Publisher DOI:

10.1093/jpe/rtv067

Uncontrolled Keywords:

conservation management, global change, lakeshore, Ranunculus reptans

BORIS DOI:

10.7892/boris.77859

URI:

https://boris.unibe.ch/id/eprint/77859

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