Jul 11, 2016

Geo-climatic gradient shapes functional trait variations in Salix eriocephala Michx.

BioRxiv : the Preprint Server for Biology
Arun S.K. ShunmugamRobert D Guy


Intraspecific variations in seasonal phenology and growth physiology reflect adaptation to local climate. To explore the patterns of local adaptation along latitudinal and longitudinal clines, we used thirty-four populations of Salix eriocephala sourced from its natural ranges across Canada. The genotypes were examined for 6 phenology and 19 ecophysiology traits over two growing seasons under common garden condition. Photosynthetic assimilation rate (A) increased with increase in latitude when measured during free growth. In spite, the negative correlation between stomatal density and stomatal conductance (gs), higher A is facilitated via larger pore length among genotypes from short growing seasons. In addition, higher A, was positively associated with total leaf nitrogen and leaf mass per unit area. No population level differences were observed for water use-efficiency (Δ13C), however nitrogen isotope discrimination (δ15N) displayed latitudinal clines. Growing season phenological traits considered in this study accounted high heritability (H2 = 0.65-0.94). Melampsora rust infestation also displayed a strong latitudinal cline with high-latitude genotypes being more susceptible. Overall, the results support the hypothesis that ...Continue Reading

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Salix eriocephala
Bacterial Shell Rot

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