A demographic assessment of local adaptation in a grassland perennial herb
(English)Manuscript (preprint) (Other academic)
The importance of local adaptation to the distribution and performance of plants is well recognized. Several studies have documented local adaptation among populations of perennial plant species based on assessments of one or a few fitness components. However, natural selection does not act on fitness components but on life-time fitness. Assessments of local adaptation should therefore ideally be based on integrated measures of the performance during the entire life cycle. We transplanted seedlings and adult plants reciprocally among four populations of the perennial herb Primula farinosa separated by up to 6.2 km in alvar grasslands in SE Sweden, and recorded survival, growth, flowering and fruit production during two-three consecutive years (2009-2011). We used integral projection models to quantify variation in total fitness, estimated as population growth rate. Transplant site had large effects on most aspects of plant performance, and there were also significant effects of population of origin on survival, growth, flowering propensity and fruit production. However, no evidence of local adaptation expressed through single fitness components or total fitness was detected. The results suggest that at the spatial scale examined genetic differentiation among alvar populations of P. farinosa is not related to current selection regimes. Furthermore, this study illustrates how total fitness can be estimated to assess local adaptation in long-lived species.
Research subject Plant Ecology
IdentifiersURN: urn:nbn:se:su:diva-79484OAI: oai:DiVA.org:su-79484DiVA: diva2:549461