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  • Gypsum tolerant plant
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    Reciprocal sowing experiment shows local adaptation and phenotypic plasticity

    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. As no evidence of local adaptation was detected, the stress-tolerant and […] More

  • Flower of Iris atropurpurea in NET population and distribution map of I. atropurpurea.
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    Intra-species ecological divergence in irises

    Speciation is often described as a continuum, from minor divergence of populations to complete reproductive isolation between species. Within-species population divergence can shed light on the first steps of speciation and the mechanisms underlying it. Yardeni et al. show that ecological divergence of Iris atropurpurea populations is associated with partial reproductive isolation. They find no […] More

  • Arabidopsis
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    Seed dormancy cycling and mortality in Arabidopsis thaliana

    The contribution of variation in seed bank dynamics to local adaptation is not well studied. Postma et al. investigated the extent to which genetic and environmental factors affect dormancy cycling and mortality of Arabidopsis thaliana seeds in the soil by conducting a reciprocal seed burial experiment with two locally adapted populations from Italy and Sweden. […] More

  • Seed source sites of Protea repens
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    Aridity-related stomatal differences in a South African shrub

    Plants in arid environments often have predictably different phenotypes than those in moist environments. Within species, such trait–environment associations could indicate local adaptation, yet supporting evidence is rare. A new study looks at Protea repens a shrub found in the Cape Floristic Region. Carlson et al. show both broad-scale stomatal variation and its evolutionary mechanism […] More

  • Gymnadenia odoratissima
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    Floral adaptation to pollinator guilds in Switzerland

    Pollinator-driven speciation week continues, with Floral adaptation to local pollinator guilds in a terrestrial orchid, a paper by Sun, Gross and Schiestl. The star is the orchid Gymnadenia odoratissima, and orchid found in lowland temperate Europe and up in the mountains. It flowers between June and mid-August. Unlike the orchids yesterday, these flowers offer a […] More

  • Flowering and morphology responses to high latitudes
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    Flowering and morphology responses to high latitudes

    Timing of flowering is an adaptive trait regulated by environmental cues and has been intensively studied in annual plants, but in perennials it is currently not well characterized. Quilot-Turion et al. apply cold treatments to two locally adapted populations of the perennial Arabidopsis lyrata from central Europe and Scandinavia and study responses to vernalization. They find […] More

  • Sun/shade conditions and seedling recruitment in a cactus
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    Sun/shade conditions and seedling recruitment in a cactus

    Early life-history stages of cacti can benefit from the facilitative effects of nurse plants that reduce solar radiation and water stress. Miranda-Jácome et al. conduct a reciprocal transplant experiment, coupled with the artificial manipulation of sun/shade conditions, to test for the effects of local adaptation on germination, seedling survival and growth of the columnar cactus Pilosocereus […] More

  • Gene flow in mountain environments
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    Gene flow in mountain environments

    Responses of high-mountain plant species to global change are highly influenced by the genetic background of the species, including genetic diversity or gene flow between populations. García-Fernández et al. study the genetic patterns of Silene ciliata (Caryophyllaceae), a high-mountain cushion plant that shows local adaptation to altitude, by examining populations along two altitudinal gradients on separate […] More

  • Temperature, latitude and forest plant regeneration
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    Temperature, latitude and forest plant regeneration

    Early life history stages are among the most critical phases in the life cycle of plants. De Frenne et al. assess the response of plant regeneration from seed of two forest understorey plants (Anemone nemorosa and Milium effusum) to variations in temperature along a latitudinal gradient. They find decreasing seedling emergence and fitness towards the northern […] More

  • Adaptive phenotypic plasticity in Acacia
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    Adaptive phenotypic plasticity in Acacia

    Population differentiation in a variable environment is related to the selection pressures that plants experience. Ward et al. compare differences in growth- and defence-related traits in two isolated populations of Acacia raddiana trees from sites at either end of an extreme environmental gradient in the Negev desert. They find no evidence of trade-offs between physical and […] More

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