Natural selection and neutral evolutionary processes contribute to genetic divergence in leaf traits across a precipitation gradient in the tropical oak Quercus oleoides

José A. Ramírez-Valiente, Nicholas J Deacon, Julie R Etterson, Alyson Center, Jed P. Sparks, Kimberlee L. Sparks, Timothy Longwell, George Pilz, Jeannine M Cavender-Bares

Research output: Contribution to journalArticle

8 Citations (Scopus)

Abstract

The impacts of drought are expanding worldwide as a consequence of climate change. However, there is still little knowledge of how species respond to long-term selection in seasonally dry ecosystems. In this study, we used Q ST -F ST comparisons to investigate (i) the role of natural selection on population genetic differentiation for a set of functional traits related to drought resistance in the seasonally dry tropical oak Quercus oleoides and (ii) the influence of water availability at the site of population origin and in experimental treatments on patterns of trait divergence. We conducted a thorough phenotypic characterization of 1912 seedlings from ten populations growing in field and greenhouse common gardens under replicated watering treatments. We also genotyped 218 individuals from the same set of populations using eleven nuclear microsatellites. Q ST distributions for leaf lamina area, specific leaf area, leaf thickness and stomatal pore index were higher than F ST distribution. Results were consistent across growth environments. Genetic differentiation among populations for these functional traits was associated with the index of moisture at the origin of the populations. Together, our results suggest that drought is an important selective agent for Q. oleoides and that differences in length and severity of the dry season have driven the evolution of genetic differences in functional traits.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)2176-2192
Number of pages17
JournalMolecular ecology
Volume27
Issue number9
DOIs
StatePublished - May 1 2018

Fingerprint

Quercus oleoides
Quercus
Genetic Selection
natural selection
genetic differentiation
leaf area
divergence
drought
Droughts
drought resistance
genetic variation
water availability
population genetics
Population
garden
dry season
leaves
moisture
seedling
climate change

Keywords

  • adaptive evolution
  • ecotypic divergence
  • local adaptation
  • oaks
  • specific leaf area

PubMed: MeSH publication types

  • Journal Article
  • Research Support, Non-U.S. Gov't
  • Research Support, U.S. Gov't, Non-P.H.S.

Cite this

Natural selection and neutral evolutionary processes contribute to genetic divergence in leaf traits across a precipitation gradient in the tropical oak Quercus oleoides. / Ramírez-Valiente, José A.; Deacon, Nicholas J; Etterson, Julie R; Center, Alyson; Sparks, Jed P.; Sparks, Kimberlee L.; Longwell, Timothy; Pilz, George; Cavender-Bares, Jeannine M.

In: Molecular ecology, Vol. 27, No. 9, 01.05.2018, p. 2176-2192.

Research output: Contribution to journalArticle

Ramírez-Valiente, José A. ; Deacon, Nicholas J ; Etterson, Julie R ; Center, Alyson ; Sparks, Jed P. ; Sparks, Kimberlee L. ; Longwell, Timothy ; Pilz, George ; Cavender-Bares, Jeannine M. / Natural selection and neutral evolutionary processes contribute to genetic divergence in leaf traits across a precipitation gradient in the tropical oak Quercus oleoides. In: Molecular ecology. 2018 ; Vol. 27, No. 9. pp. 2176-2192.
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