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Patterns of phenotypic trait variation in two temperate forest herbs along a broad climatic gradient

(2015) PLANT ECOLOGY. 216(11). p.1523-1536
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Abstract
Phenotypic trait variation plays a major role in the response of plants to global environmental change, particularly in species with low migration capabilities and recruitment success. However, little is known about the variation of functional traits within populations and about differences in this variation on larger spatial scales. In a first approach, we therefore related trait expression to climate and local environmental conditions, studying two temperate forest herbs, Milium effusum and Stachys sylvatica, along a similar to 1800-2500 km latitudinal gradient. Within each of 9-10 regions in six European countries, we collected data from six populations of each species and recorded several variables in each region (temperature, precipitation) and population (light availability, soil parameters). For each plant, we measured height, leaf area, specific leaf area, seed mass and the number of seeds and examined environmental effects on within-population trait variation as well as on trait means. Most importantly, trait variation differed both between and within populations. Species, however, differed in their response. Intrapopulation variation in Milium was consistently positively affected by higher mean temperatures and precipitation as well as by more fertile local soil conditions, suggesting that more productive conditions may select for larger phenotypic variation. In Stachys, particularly light availability positively influenced trait variation, whereas local soil conditions had no consistent effects. Generally, our study emphasises that intra-population variation may differ considerably across larger scales-due to phenotypic plasticity and/or underlying genetic diversity-possibly affecting species response to global environmental change.
Keywords
Global environmental change, Climate change, Milium effusum, Phenotypic plasticity, Intraspecific variation, Stachys sylvatica, PLANT FUNCTIONAL TRAITS, INTRASPECIFIC VARIABILITY, LATITUDINAL GRADIENT, BRITISH-ISLES, PLASTICITY, ECOLOGY, EVOLUTION, COMMUNITY, RESPONSES, ENVIRONMENTS

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Citation

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Chicago
Lemke, Isgard H, Annette Kolb, Bente J Graae, Pieter De Frenne, Kamal P Acharya, Cristina Blandino, Jörg Brunet, et al. 2015. “Patterns of Phenotypic Trait Variation in Two Temperate Forest Herbs Along a Broad Climatic Gradient.” Plant Ecology 216 (11): 1523–1536.
APA
Lemke, I. H., Kolb, A., Graae, B. J., De Frenne, P., Acharya, K. P., Blandino, C., Brunet, J., et al. (2015). Patterns of phenotypic trait variation in two temperate forest herbs along a broad climatic gradient. PLANT ECOLOGY, 216(11), 1523–1536.
Vancouver
1.
Lemke IH, Kolb A, Graae BJ, De Frenne P, Acharya KP, Blandino C, et al. Patterns of phenotypic trait variation in two temperate forest herbs along a broad climatic gradient. PLANT ECOLOGY. 2015;216(11):1523–36.
MLA
Lemke, Isgard H, Annette Kolb, Bente J Graae, et al. “Patterns of Phenotypic Trait Variation in Two Temperate Forest Herbs Along a Broad Climatic Gradient.” PLANT ECOLOGY 216.11 (2015): 1523–1536. Print.
@article{7160617,
  abstract     = {Phenotypic trait variation plays a major role in the response of plants to global environmental change, particularly in species with low migration capabilities and recruitment success. However, little is known about the variation of functional traits within populations and about differences in this variation on larger spatial scales. In a first approach, we therefore related trait expression to climate and local environmental conditions, studying two temperate forest herbs, Milium effusum and Stachys sylvatica, along a similar to 1800-2500 km latitudinal gradient. Within each of 9-10 regions in six European countries, we collected data from six populations of each species and recorded several variables in each region (temperature, precipitation) and population (light availability, soil parameters). For each plant, we measured height, leaf area, specific leaf area, seed mass and the number of seeds and examined environmental effects on within-population trait variation as well as on trait means. Most importantly, trait variation differed both between and within populations. Species, however, differed in their response. Intrapopulation variation in Milium was consistently positively affected by higher mean temperatures and precipitation as well as by more fertile local soil conditions, suggesting that more productive conditions may select for larger phenotypic variation. In Stachys, particularly light availability positively influenced trait variation, whereas local soil conditions had no consistent effects. Generally, our study emphasises that intra-population variation may differ considerably across larger scales-due to phenotypic plasticity and/or underlying genetic diversity-possibly affecting species response to global environmental change.},
  author       = {Lemke, Isgard H and Kolb, Annette and Graae, Bente J and De Frenne, Pieter and Acharya, Kamal P and Blandino, Cristina and Brunet, J{\"o}rg and Chabrerie, Olivier and Cousins, Sara AO and Decocq, Guillaume and Heinken, Thilo and Hermy, Martin and Liira, Jaan and Schmucki, Reto and Shevtsova, Anna and Verheyen, Kris and Diekmann, Martin},
  issn         = {1385-0237},
  journal      = {PLANT ECOLOGY},
  language     = {eng},
  number       = {11},
  pages        = {1523--1536},
  title        = {Patterns of phenotypic trait variation in two temperate forest herbs along a broad climatic gradient},
  url          = {http://dx.doi.org/10.1007/s11258-015-0534-0},
  volume       = {216},
  year         = {2015},
}

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