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Title

To what extent is altitudinal variation of functional traits driven by genetic adaptation in European oak and beech?

Publication Year

2011

Author(s)
  • Bresson, Caroline C.
  • Vitasse, Yann
  • Kremer, Antoine
  • Delzon, Sylvain
Source
TREE PHYSIOLOGY Volume: 31 Issue: 11 Pages: 1164-1174 Published: 2011
ISSN
0829-318X
Abstract

The phenotypic responses of functional traits in natural populations are driven by genetic diversity and phenotypic plasticity. These two mechanisms enable trees to cope with rapid climate change. We studied two European temperate tree species (sessile oak and European beech), focusing on (i) in situ variations of leaf functional traits (morphological and physiological) along two altitudinal gradients and (ii) the extent to which these variations were under environmental and/or genetic control using a common garden experiment. For all traits, altitudinal trends tended to be highly consistent between species and transects. For both species, leaf mass per area displayed a positive linear correlation with altitude, whereas leaf size was negatively correlated with altitude. We also observed a significant increase in leaf physiological performance with increasing altitude: populations at high altitudes had higher maximum rates of assimilation, stomatal conductance and leaf nitrogen content than those at low altitudes. In the common garden experiment, genetic differentiation between populations accounted for 0-28% of total phenotypic variation. However, only two traits (leaf mass per area and nitrogen content) exhibited a significant cline. The combination of in situ and common garden experiments used here made it possible to demonstrate, for both species, a weaker effect of genetic variation than of variations in natural conditions, suggesting a strong effect of the environment on leaf functional traits. Finally, we demonstrated that intrapopulation variability was systematically higher than interpopulation variability, whatever the functional trait considered, indicating a high potential capacity to adapt to climate change.

Author Keyword(s)
  • adaptation
  • altitude
  • common garden
  • functional traits
  • genetic variation
  • phenotypic variations
KeyWord(s) Plus
  • CARBON-ISOTOPE DISCRIMINATION
  • RUBISCO ACTIVATION STATE
  • LEAF-NITROGEN-CONTENT
  • COMMON GARDEN
  • ECOPHYSIOLOGICAL TRAITS
  • METROSIDEROS-POLYMORPHA
  • GAS-EXCHANGE
  • PHENOTYPIC PLASTICITY
  • STOMATAL CONDUCTANCE
  • CLIMATE-CHANGE
ESI Discipline(s)
  • Plant & Animal Science
Web of Science Category(ies)
  • Forestry
Adress(es)

[Bresson, Caroline C.; Vitasse, Yann; Kremer, Antoine; Delzon, Sylvain] Univ Bordeaux, UMR BIOGECO 1202, F-33405 Talence, France; [Bresson, Caroline C.; Kremer, Antoine; Delzon, Sylvain] INRA, UMR BIOGECO 1202, F-33610 Cestas, France

Reprint Adress

Delzon, S (reprint author), Univ Bordeaux, UMR BIOGECO 1202, Bat B8,Ave Fac, F-33405 Talence, France.

Country(ies)
  • France
CNRS - Adress(es)

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Accession Number
WOS:000297223100002
uid:/7CJS819Q
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