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Local adaptation in moss life histories: population-level variation and a reciprocal transplant experiment

Hedderson, T. A. and Longton, R. E. (2008) Local adaptation in moss life histories: population-level variation and a reciprocal transplant experiment. Journal of Bryology, 30 (1). pp. 1-11. ISSN 0373-6687

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To link to this item DOI: 10.1179/174328208x282175


We examine the extent of population-level differentiation in life history traits of Pogonatum aloides, Polytrichum commune and Polytrichum juniperinum (Polytrichaceae) between upland and lowland localities within Britain. Reciprocal transplant studies are used to estimate the relative importance of genetic versus environmental effects on observed differences. We demonstrate significant life history differentiation between moss populations, and show that at least some of these are genetically determined, although environment and phenotypic plasticity are also significant components of the observed variation. The transplant experiments indicate divergence among populations in plasticity of male reproductive effort and of investment in vegetative shoots by females. Two tradeoffs are identified; one between the number and the size of spores, and the second between reproduction by spores versus vegetative reproduction. The patterns of life history variation observed between populations of Polytrichum juniperinum are consistent with selection along these implied tradeoff curves, and we propose that they reflect selective pressures arising from the spatial and demographic distribution of mortality at upland versus lowland sites. The results underscore the need for more studies of intra-specific life history variation in mosses.

Item Type:Article
Divisions:Life Sciences > School of Biological Sciences
ID Code:9806
Uncontrolled Keywords:life history evolution, reciprocal transplant, phenotypic plasticity, trade-off, Genotype Environment Interactions, adaptive divergence, PHENOTYPIC PLASTICITY, GENETIC-BASIS, POLYTRICHUM-ALPESTRE, POGONATUM-DENTATUM, GROWTH-RATES, EVOLUTION, REPRODUCTION, SELECTION, PATTERNS, PLANT

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