|Understanding the wide geographic range of a clonal perennial grass: plasticity versus local adaptation|
|Liu, YJ; Zhang, LR; Xu, XL; Niu, HS
|Source Publication||AOB PLANTS
|Abstract||Both phenotypic plasticity and local adaptation may allow widely distributed plant species to either acclimate or adapt to environmental heterogeneity. Given the typically low genetic variation of clonal plants across their habitats, phenotypic plasticity may be the primary adaptive strategy allowing them to thrive across a wide range of habitats. In this study, the mechanism supporting the widespread distribution of the clonal plant Leymus chinensis was determined, i.e. phenotypic plasticity or local specialization in water use efficiency (WUE; reflected by foliar delta C-13). To test whether plasticity is required for the species to thrive in different habitats, samples were collected across its distribution in the Mongolian steppe, and a controlled watering experiment was conducted with two populations at two different sites. Five populations were also transplanted from different sites into a control environment, and the foliar delta C-13 was compared between the control and original habitats, to test for local specialization in WUE. Results demonstrated decreased foliar delta C-13 with increasing precipitation during controlled watering experiments, with divergent responses between the two populations assessed. Change in foliar delta C-13 (-3.69 parts per thousand) due to water addition was comparable to fluctuations of foliar delta C-13 observed in situ (-4.83 parts per thousand). Foliar delta C-13 differed by -0.91 parts per thousand between two transplanted populations; however, this difference was not apparent between the two populations when growing in their original habitats. Findings provide evidence that local adaptation affects foliar delta C-13 much less than phenotypic plasticity. Thus, plasticity in WUE is more important than local adaptation in allowing the clonal plant L. chinensis to occupy a wide range of habitats in the Mongolian steppe.|
water use efficiency
|Subject Area||Plant Sciences
; Environmental Sciences & Ecology
|WOS Subject Extended||Plant Sciences
|WOS Keyword||CARBON-ISOTOPE DISCRIMINATION
; LEYMUS-CHINENSIS POACEAE
; CHINA TRANSECT NECT
; PHENOTYPIC PLASTICITY
; FOLIAR DELTA-C-13
; USE EFFICIENCY
|Publisher||OXFORD UNIV PRESS
Liu, YJ,Zhang, LR,Xu, XL,et al. Understanding the wide geographic range of a clonal perennial grass: plasticity versus local adaptation[J]. AOB PLANTS,2016,8:-.
Liu, YJ,Zhang, LR,Xu, XL,&Niu, HS.(2016).Understanding the wide geographic range of a clonal perennial grass: plasticity versus local adaptation.AOB PLANTS,8,-.
Liu, YJ,et al."Understanding the wide geographic range of a clonal perennial grass: plasticity versus local adaptation".AOB PLANTS 8(2016):-.
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