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Adaptation and extinction in experimentally fragmented landscapes


Fakheran, S; Paul-Victor, C; Heichinger, C; Schmid, B; Grossniklaus, U; Turnbull, L A (2010). Adaptation and extinction in experimentally fragmented landscapes. Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences of the United States of America (PNAS), 107(44):19120-19125.

Abstract

Competition and disturbance are potent ecological forces that shape evolutionary trajectories. These forces typically work in opposition: when disturbance is infrequent, densities are high and competition is intense. In contrast, frequent disturbance creates a low-density environment in which competition is weak and good dispersal essential. We exploited recent advances in genomic research to quantify the response to selection by these powerful
ecological forces at the phenotypic and molecular genetic level in experimental landscapes. We grew the annual plant Arabidopsis thaliana in discrete patches embedded in a hostile matrix and varied the number and size of patches and the intensity of disturbance, by creating both static and dynamic landscapes. In static landscapes all patches were undisturbed, whereas in dynamic landscapes all patches were destroyed in each generation, forcing seeds to disperse to new locations. We measured the resulting
changes in phenotypic, genetic, and genotypic diversity after five generations of selection. Simulations revealed that the observed loss of genetic diversity dwarfed that expected under drift, with dramatic diversity loss, particularly from dynamic landscapes. In line with ecological theory, static landscapes favored good competitors; however, competitive ability was linked to growth rate and not, as expected, to seed mass. In dynamic landscapes, there was strong selection for increased dispersal ability in the form of increased inflorescence height and reduced seed mass. The most competitive genotypes were almost eliminated from highly disturbed
landscapes, raising concern over the impact of increased
levels of human-induced disturbance in natural landscapes.

Abstract

Competition and disturbance are potent ecological forces that shape evolutionary trajectories. These forces typically work in opposition: when disturbance is infrequent, densities are high and competition is intense. In contrast, frequent disturbance creates a low-density environment in which competition is weak and good dispersal essential. We exploited recent advances in genomic research to quantify the response to selection by these powerful
ecological forces at the phenotypic and molecular genetic level in experimental landscapes. We grew the annual plant Arabidopsis thaliana in discrete patches embedded in a hostile matrix and varied the number and size of patches and the intensity of disturbance, by creating both static and dynamic landscapes. In static landscapes all patches were undisturbed, whereas in dynamic landscapes all patches were destroyed in each generation, forcing seeds to disperse to new locations. We measured the resulting
changes in phenotypic, genetic, and genotypic diversity after five generations of selection. Simulations revealed that the observed loss of genetic diversity dwarfed that expected under drift, with dramatic diversity loss, particularly from dynamic landscapes. In line with ecological theory, static landscapes favored good competitors; however, competitive ability was linked to growth rate and not, as expected, to seed mass. In dynamic landscapes, there was strong selection for increased dispersal ability in the form of increased inflorescence height and reduced seed mass. The most competitive genotypes were almost eliminated from highly disturbed
landscapes, raising concern over the impact of increased
levels of human-induced disturbance in natural landscapes.

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Additional indexing

Item Type:Journal Article, refereed, original work
Communities & Collections:07 Faculty of Science > Department of Plant and Microbial Biology
07 Faculty of Science > Institute of Evolutionary Biology and Environmental Studies
07 Faculty of Science > Zurich-Basel Plant Science Center
Dewey Decimal Classification:570 Life sciences; biology
590 Animals (Zoology)
580 Plants (Botany)
Uncontrolled Keywords:Arabidopsis thaliana, competition, disturbance, evolution, genomics
Language:English
Date:2010
Deposited On:08 Jan 2011 11:17
Last Modified:07 Dec 2017 04:23
Publisher:National Academy of Sciences
ISSN:0027-8424
Additional Information:Copyright: National Academy of Sciences USA
Free access at:Publisher DOI. An embargo period may apply.
Publisher DOI:https://doi.org/10.1073/pnas.1010846107
PubMed ID:20956303

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