Reciprocal sowing experiment shows local adaptation and phenotypic plasticity

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Reciprocal sowing experiments along environmental gradients allow evaluating local adaptation and phenotypic plasticity as in situ mechanisms to cope with climate change. Sánchez et al. used this approach to infer the adaptive potential of five gypsum specialist shrubs to increasing aridity in central Spain.

Gypsum tolerant plant
Gypsum tolerant plant

As no evidence of local adaptation was detected, the stress-tolerant and plastic response exhibited by seed and seedlings may be the only features that will allow gypsophytes to cope with climate change in their island-like habitats.

Reference

Sánchez, A. M., Alonso-Valiente, P., Albert, M. J., & Escudero, A. (2017). How might edaphic specialists in gypsum islands respond to climate change? Reciprocal sowing experiment to infer local adaptation and phenotypic plasticity. Annals of Botany, 120(1), 135–146. https://doi.org/10.1093/aob/mcx046


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