Translocation of an arctic seashore plant reveals signs of maladaptation to altered climatic conditions

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Hällfors , M , Lehvävirta , S , Aandahl , T , Lehtimäki , I-M , Nilsson , L O , Ruotsalainen , A , Schulman , L E & Hyvärinen , M T 2020 , ' Translocation of an arctic seashore plant reveals signs of maladaptation to altered climatic conditions ' , PeerJ , vol. 8 , 10357 .

Title: Translocation of an arctic seashore plant reveals signs of maladaptation to altered climatic conditions
Author: Hällfors, Maria; Lehvävirta, Susanna; Aandahl, Tone; Lehtimäki, Iida-Maria; Nilsson, Lars Ola; Ruotsalainen, Anna; Schulman, Leif E.; Hyvärinen, Marko T.
Contributor organization: Organismal and Evolutionary Biology Research Programme
Research Centre for Ecological Change
Life-history Evolution Research Group
Helsinki Institute of Sustainability Science (HELSUS)
Finnish Museum of Natural History
Ecosystems and Environment Research Programme
Fifth Dimension - Vegetated roofs and walls in urban areas
University Management
Unit of Biodiversity Informatics
Plant Adaptation and Conservation
Date: 2020-11-20
Language: eng
Number of pages: 27
Belongs to series: PeerJ
ISSN: 2167-8359
Abstract: 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.
Subject: Botanic garden
Global change
Local adaptation
Siberian primrose
Threatened species
Transplant experiment
1181 Ecology, evolutionary biology
Peer reviewed: Yes
Rights: cc_by_nc
Usage restriction: openAccess
Self-archived version: publishedVersion

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