Evol Ecol Res 17: 637-650 (2016)     Full PDF if your library subscribes.

Genetically based population divergence of Silene latifolia from two climate regions

Amanda N. Brothers, Laura A. Weingartner and Lynda F. Delph

Department of Biology, Indiana University, Bloomington, Indiana, USA

Correspondence: L.F. Delph, Department of Biology, Indiana University, 1001 East Third Street, Bloomington, IN 47405, USA. email: ldelph@indiana.edu


Background: Plants in hot and dry climates often flower earlier, make thicker leaves, and produce fewer flowers than conspecifics from relatively wet, cool climates. Silene latifolia, a dioecious, short-lived, flowering perennial, grows in both of these climates in Europe.

Question: Is variation in traits seen among populations with divergent climates a result of genetic changes in response to local environmental conditions, differences in the degree of sexual dimorphism, or phenotypic plasticity?

Hypothesis: Traits will differ between populations in a common garden as a result of genetic divergence, and exhibit a pattern of variation that is congruent with adaptation to climate.

Methods: Morphological and phenological measurements were taken during two flowering seasons on plants growing in Croatia (relatively wet and cool) and Spain (hot and dry). Seeds from both regions were grown to flowering in the greenhouse and several traits were measured.

Results: Significant divergence in traits existed between Croatia and Spain that persisted in the common garden (greenhouse), indicating that populations in these two regions likely represent different ecotypes. Plants from Spain flowered earlier in the field, made thicker leaves, and produced fewer flowers than plants from Croatia. Plants from Spain also showed greater sexual dimorphism than those from Croatia.

Keywords: climate, ecological divergence, ecotypes, phenotypic plasticity, sexual dimorphism.

IF you are connected using the IP of a subscribing institution (library, laboratory, etc.)
or through its VPN.


        © 2016 Lynda F. Delph. All EER articles are copyrighted by their authors. All authors endorse, permit and license Evolutionary Ecology Ltd. to grant its subscribing institutions/libraries the copying privileges specified below without additional consideration or payment to them or to Evolutionary Ecology, Ltd. These endorsements, in writing, are on file in the office of Evolutionary Ecology, Ltd. Consult authors for permission to use any portion of their work in derivative works, compilations or to distribute their work in any commercial manner.

       Subscribing institutions/libraries may grant individuals the privilege of making a single copy of an EER article for non-commercial educational or non-commercial research purposes. Subscribing institutions/libraries may also use articles for non-commercial educational purposes by making any number of copies for course packs or course reserve collections. Subscribing institutions/libraries may also loan single copies of articles to non-commercial libraries for educational purposes.

       All copies of abstracts and articles must preserve their copyright notice without modification.