Browsing by Subject "LOCAL ADAPTATION"

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  • Zueva, Ksenia J.; Lumme, Jaakko; Veselov, Alexey E.; Primmer, Craig R.; Pritchard, Victoria L. (2021)
    Our ability to examine genetic variation across entire genomes has enabled many studies searching for the genetic basis of local adaptation. These studies have identified numerous loci as candidates for differential local selection; however, relatively few have examined the overlap among candidate loci identified from independent studies of the same species in different geographic areas or evolutionary lineages. We used an allelotyping approach with a 220K SNP array to characterize the population genetic structure of Atlantic salmon in north-eastern Europe and ask whether the same genomic segments emerged as outliers among populations in different geographic regions. Genome-wide data recapitulated the phylogeographic structure previously inferred from mtDNA and microsatellite markers. Independent analyses of three genetically and geographically distinct groups of populations repeatedly inferred the same 17 haploblocks to contain loci under differential local selection. The most strongly supported of these replicated haploblocks had known strong associations with life-history variation or immune response in Atlantic salmon. Our results are consistent with these genomic segments harbouring large-effect loci which have a major role in Atlantic salmon diversification and are ideal targets for validation studies.
  • Fang, Bohao; Kemppainen, Petri; Momigliano, Paolo; Merila, Juha (2021)
    Population genetic theory predicts that small effective population sizes (N-e) and restricted gene flow limit the potential for local adaptation. In particular, the probability of evolving similar phenotypes based on shared genetic mechanisms (i.e., parallel evolution), is expected to be reduced. We tested these predictions in a comparative genomic study of two ecologically similar and geographically codistributed stickleback species (viz. Gasterosteus aculeatus and Pungitius pungitius). We found that P. pungitius harbors less genetic diversity and exhibits higher levels of genetic differentiation and isolation-by-distance than G. aculeatus. Conversely, G. aculeatus exhibits a stronger degree of genetic parallelism across freshwater populations than P. pungitius: 2,996 versus 379 single nucleotide polymorphisms located within 26 versus 9 genomic regions show evidence of selection in multiple freshwater populations of G. aculeatus and P. pungitius, respectively. Most regions involved in parallel evolution in G. aculeatus showed increased levels of divergence, suggestive of selection on ancient haplotypes. In contrast, haplotypes involved in freshwater adaptation in P. pungitius were younger. In accordance with theory, the results suggest that connectivity and genetic drift play crucial roles in determining the levels and geographic distribution of standing genetic variation, providing evidence that population subdivision limits local adaptation and therefore also the likelihood of parallel evolution.
  • Fountain, Toby Edward Soames; Nieminen, Marko Juhani; Siren, Jukka Pekka; Wong, Swee Chong; Lehtonen, Rainer Juhani; Hanski, Ilkka Aulis (2016)
    Describing the evolutionary dynamics of now extinct populations is challenging, as their genetic composition before extinction is generally unknown. The Glanville fritillary butterfly has a large extant metapopulation in the Åland Islands in Finland, but declined to extinction in the nearby fragmented southwestern (SW) Finnish archipelago in the 20th century. We genotyped museum samples for 222 SNPs across the genome, including SNPs from candidate genes and neutral regions. SW Finnish populations had significantly reduced genetic diversity before extinction, and their allele frequencies gradually diverged from those in contemporary Åland populations over 80 y. We identified 15 outlier loci among candidate SNPs, mostly related to flight, in which allele frequencies have changed more than the neutral expectation. At outlier loci, allele frequencies in SW Finland shifted in the same direction as newly established populations deviated from old local populations in contemporary Åland. Moreover, outlier allele frequencies in SW Finland resemble those in fragmented landscapes as opposed to continuous landscapes in the Baltic region. These results indicate selection for genotypes associated with good colonization capacity in the highly fragmented landscape before the extinction of the populations. Evolutionary response to habitat fragmentation may have enhanced the viability of the populations, but it did not save the species from regional extinction in the face of severe habitat loss and fragmentation. These results highlight a potentially common situation in changing environments: evolutionary changes are not strong enough to fully compensate for the direct adverse effects of environmental change and thereby rescue populations from extinction.
  • Wang, Fang; Israel, David; Ramírez-Valiente, José-Alberto; Sanchez-Gomez, David; Aranda, Ismael; Aphalo, Pedro J.; Robson, T Matthew (2021)
    Warming temperatures and altered precipitation patterns threaten plant populations worldwide. European beech (Fagus sylvatica) is a species that expresses both high phenotypic plasticity and local adaptation among populations. Beech seedlings’ susceptibility to prolonged drought may be dictated by their immediate light environment. We tested whether seedlings of four beech provenances, from contrasting edaphoclimatic environments, expressed differences in trait responses to imposed water stress under sun and shade treatments. Populations from the southern range margin were expected to display greater water-stress tolerance and core populations’ faster growth rates in the absence of abiotic limitations. Both high light and water stress induced differences in trait responses among provenances, but traits that failed to respond to our experimental treatments likewise did not segregate at the provenance level. Hence, those traits responding to light, e.g., increasing leaf flavonol index and leaf mass area, also tended to differ among rovenances. Similarly, there was evidence of local adaptation among provenances in traits, like midday leaf water potential, responding to water stress. Exceptionally, there was a three way interaction water- × -light- × -provenance for stomatal conductance which converged among provenances under water stress. Leaf chlorophyll content also varied both with light and water in a provenance-specific manner. We found core provenances’ growth traits to outperform others under favourable onditions, whereas southern and high-elevation populations displayed traits adapted to tolerate high irradiance. Only stomatal conductance produced a complementary interactive response between light- × -water across provenances, whereas other traits responded less to combined water stress and high irradiance than to either treatment alone.
  • Ramirez-Valiente, Jose Alberto; Sole-Medina, Aida; Pyhäjärvi, Tanja; Cervantes, Sandra; Kesalahti, Robert; Kujala, Sonja T.; Kumpula, Timo; Heer, Katrin; Opgenoorth, Lars; Siebertz, Jan; Danusevicius, Darius; Notivol, Eduardo; Benavides, Raquel; Robledo-Arnuncio, Juan Jose (2021)
    Understanding the dynamics of selection is key to predicting the response of tree species to new environmental conditions in the current context of climate change. However, selection patterns acting on early recruitment stages and their climatic drivers remain largely unknown in most tree species, despite being a critical period of their life cycle. We measured phenotypic selection on Pinus sylvestris seed mass, emergence time and early growth rate over 2 yr in four common garden experiments established along the latitudinal gradient of the species in Europe. Significant phenotypic plasticity and among-population genetic variation were found for all measured phenotypic traits. Heat and drought negatively affected fitness in the southern sites, but heavy rainfalls also decreased early survival in middle latitudes. Climate-driven directional selection was found for higher seed mass and earlier emergence time, while the form of selection on seedling growth rates differed among sites and populations. Evidence of adaptive and maladaptive phenotypic plasticity was found for emergence time and early growth rate, respectively. Seed mass, emergence time and early growth rate have an adaptive role in the early stages of P. sylvestris and climate strongly influences the patterns of selection on these fitness-related traits.
  • Konijnendijk, Nellie; Shikano, Takahito; Daneels, Dorien; Volckaert, Filip A. M.; Raeymaekers, Joost A. M. (2015)
    Local adaptation is often obvious when gene flow is impeded, such as observed at large spatial scales and across strong ecological contrasts. However, it becomes less certain at small scales such as between adjacent populations or across weak ecological contrasts, when gene flow is strong. While studies on genomic adaptation tend to focus on the former, less is known about the genomic targets of natural selection in the latter situation. In this study, we investigate genomic adaptation in populations of the three-spined stickleback Gasterosteus aculeatus L. across a small-scale ecological transition with salinities ranging from brackish to fresh. Adaptation to salinity has been repeatedly demonstrated in this species. A genome scan based on 87 microsatellite markers revealed only few signatures of selection, likely owing to the constraints that homogenizing gene flow puts on adaptive divergence. However, the detected loci appear repeatedly as targets of selection in similar studies of genomic adaptation in the three-spined stickleback. We conclude that the signature of genomic selection in the face of strong gene flow is weak, yet detectable. We argue that the range of studies of genomic divergence should be extended to include more systems characterized by limited geographical and ecological isolation, which is often a realistic setting in nature.
  • Rousi, Matti; Possen, Boy; Ruotsalainen, Seppo; Silfver, Tarja Hannele; Mikola, Juha Tapio (2018)
    The acclimation capacity of leading edge tree populations is crucially important in a warming climate. Theoretical considerations suggest that adaptation through genetic change is needed, but this may be a slow process. Both positive and catastrophic outcomes have been predicted, while empirical studies have lagged behind theory development. Here we present results of a 30-year study of 55,000 Scots pine (Pinus sylvestris) trees, planted in 15 common gardens in three consecutive years near and beyond the present Scots pine tree line. Our results show that, contrary to earlier predictions, even long-distance transfers to the North can be successful when soil fertility is high. This suggests that present northern populations have a very high acclimation capacity. We also found that while temperature largely controls Scots pine growth, soil nutrient availability plays an important role-in concert with interpopulation genetic variation-in Scots pine survival and fitness in tree line conditions. These results suggest that rapid range expansions and substantial growth enhancements of Scots pine are possible in fertile sites as seed production and soil nutrient mineralization are both known to increase under a warming climate. Finally, as the ontogenetic pattern of tree mortality was highly site specific and unpredictable, our results emphasize the need for long-term field trials when searching for the factors that control fitness of trees in the variable edaphic and climatic conditions of the far North.
  • Strelkov, Petr; Katolikova, Marina; Vainola, Risto (2017)
    In a temporal comparison over 18 years, we documented changes in the position and structure of the North European blue mussel hybrid zone in the resund strait, between Mytilus edulis of the marine Kattegat and Mytilus trossulus of the brackish Baltic Sea. In 1987 the midpoint of the 140-km wide multilocus allozyme cline in shallow-water populations was estimated to be located halfway along the strait. In 2005, it was shifted 25 km towards the Baltic end of the Oresund, and was located near the fixed link (bridge) that was built across the strait meanwhile in the 1990s. The cline also appeared to have become narrower and the extent of hybridity among individuals decreased. Factors that theoretically can control the position and shape of a clinal hybrid zone involve environmental gradients between habitats that differentially favor the two hybridizing taxa, or barriers to geographical dispersal of the organism. We consider two alternative hypotheses to explain the movement of the mussel hybrid zone. (1) Environmental change related to climate warming: the more stenothermal M. trossulus was pushed out from the resund towards the cool Baltic by elevated temperatures. (2) Change of dispersal dynamics: the construction of the fixed link locally affected mussel dispersion which attracted the zone. We raise the question whether similar changes have taken place also in the other euryhaline taxa where genetic clines between Baltic vs. Kattegat populations occur.
  • Kisdi, Eva; Weigang, Helene C.; Gyllenberg, Mats (2020)
    Local adaptation and habitat choice are two key factors that control the distribution and diversification of species. Here we model habitat choice mechanistically as the outcome of dispersal with nonrandom immigration. We consider a structured metapopulation with a continuous distribution of patch types and determine the evolutionarily stable immigration strategy as the function linking patch type to the probability of settling in the patch on encounter. We uncover a novel mechanism whereby coexisting strains that only slightly differ in their local adaptation trait can evolve substantially different immigration strategies. In turn, different habitat use selects for divergent adaptations in the two strains. We propose that the joint evolution of immigration and local adaptation can facilitate diversification and discuss our results in the light of niche conservatism versus niche expansion.
  • Hällfors, Maria; Lehvävirta, Susanna; Aandahl, Tone; Lehtimäki, Iida-Maria; Nilsson, Lars Ola; Ruotsalainen, Anna; Schulman, Leif E.; Hyvärinen, Marko T. (2020)
    Ongoing anthropogenic climate change alters the local climatic conditions to which species may be adapted. Information on species' climatic requirements and their intraspecific variation is necessary for predicting the effects of climate change on biodiversity. We used a climatic gradient to test whether populations of two allopatric varieties of an arctic seashore herb (Primula nutans ssp.finmarchica) show adaptation to their local climates and how a future warmer climate may affect them. Our experimental set-up combined a reciprocal translocation within the distribution range of the species with an experiment testing the performance of the sampled populations in warmer climatic conditions south of their range. We monitored survival, size, and flowering over four growing seasons as measures of performance and, thus, proxies of fitness. We found that both varieties performed better in experimental gardens towards the north. Interestingly, highest up in the north, the southern variety outperformed the northern one. Supported by weather data, this suggests that the climatic optima of both varieties have moved at least partly outside their current range. Further warming would make the current environments of both varieties even less suitable. We conclude that Primula nutans ssp. finmarchica is already suffering from adaptational lag due to climate change, and that further warming may increase this maladaptation, especially for the northern variety. The study also highlights that it is not sufficient to run only reciprocal translocation experiments. Climate change is already shifting the optimum conditions for many species and adaptation needs also to be tested outside the current range of the focal taxon in order to include both historic conditions and future conditions.
  • Penczykowski, Rachel M.; Laine, Anna-Liisa; Koskella, Britt (2016)
    Predicting the emergence, spread and evolution of parasites within and among host populations requires insight to both the spatial and temporal scales of adaptation, including an understanding of within-host up through community-level dynamics. Although there are very few pathosystems for which such extensive data exist, there has been a recent push to integrate studies performed over multiple scales or to simultaneously test for dynamics occurring across scales. Drawing on examples from the literature, with primary emphasis on three diverse host-parasite case studies, we first examine current understanding of the spatial structure of host and parasite populations, including patterns of local adaptation and spatial variation in host resistance and parasite infectivity. We then explore the ways to measure temporal variation and dynamics in host-parasite interactions and discuss the need to examine change over both ecological and evolutionary timescales. Finally, we highlight new approaches and syntheses that allow for simultaneous analysis of dynamics across scales. We argue that there is great value in examining interplay among scales in studies of host-parasite interactions.
  • Rousi, Matti; Possen, Boy J. M. H.; Pulkkinen, Pertti; Mikola, Juha (2019)
    Silver (Betula pendula) and pubescent birch (B. pubescens) are the two main broad-leaved tree species in boreal forests and Subarctic areas, with great significance for both northern societies and ecosystems. Silver birch has more economical importance as it grows taller, but pubescent birch reaches much further North. The adaptability and genetic diversity of Subarctic birch populations are assumed to derive from inter- and intraspecific hybridization. Southern pollen clouds could in turn increase the adaptability of northern populations to warming climate. In the boreal forest zone of warmer climate, incompatibility reactions may prevent interspecific hybridization and much depends on the synchrony of flowering. Direct in situ observations are, however, mostly lacking and earlier results concerning the spatial and temporal match of flowering phenology between the species are contradictory. Conclusions based on pollen catches may also be biased as the pollen of silver and pubescent birch are notoriously difficult to sort out and the geographical origin of pollen is virtually impossible to determine. Here we employ direct flowering observations and reanalyze old pollen and seed production data, collected along a South-North gradient in Finland, to shed more light on these issues. Our results suggest that interspecific hybridization is an unlikely mechanism of adaptation in silver and pubescent birch as there is no significant overlap in flowering either near Subarctic or in more southern boreal areas (covering latitudes 60-68 degrees N). Long-distance southern gene flow also unlikely has importance in the adaptation of northern populations to a warming climate as heat sum requirements for flowering in northern and southern populations are equal and northern birches are therefore not receptive at the time of southern flowering. Long-term data of pollen and seed production in turn suggest that pubescent birch is more effective in seed production through the whole South North gradient, but increasingly so towards the North. However, it appears that this difference is not due to silver birch flowering and regeneration being more sensitive to interannual variation as earlier suggested. Although there are more factors than reproduction alone that can affect species distributions, these two findings indicate that climate warming may not significantly alter the relative abundances of silver and pubescent birch in Subarctic Fennoscandia.