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Abstract Detail

Physiology & Ecophysiology

Krieg, Christopher [1], McCulloh, Kate [2], Guralnick, Rob [3], Sessa, Emily [1].

Niche divergence and novel ecophysiological traits in a North American polyploid fern complex.

Polyploidy is thought to be an important driver of plant evolution by facilitating diversification, yet the mechanisms behind the ecological success of individual polyploid species remain poorly understood. Newly formed allopolyploid individuals are reproductively isolated from their diploid progenitors and therefore must overcome significant exclusion pressures against minority cytotypes to survive. Allopolyploids must be able to successfully outcompete their progenitors in situ, or invade novel habitats. Ferns are an excellent group with which to study the ecophysiology of polyploidy because over 31% of recent speciation events in ferns have involved changes in ploidy level, compared to only 15% in angiosperms. Despite the importance of polyploidy in plant evolution and its prevalence in ferns, no study has examined the dynamics of inter- and intraspecific trait variation and its potential impact on the ecological success of a polyploid fern complex. This work presented here integrates ecophysiology and niche modelling to better understand the evolution of novel traits and their role in driving niche divergence, using species in the North American Polystichum polyploid complex as a model system. Preliminary results show that patterns of niche preference are related to ploidy level and that the allopolyploid has evolved novel traits relative to its progenitors, which may allow it to persist beyond the parental range.

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1 - University of Florida, Department of Biology, Gainesville, FL, 32611, USA
2 - University of Wisconsin, Department of Botany, Madison, WI, 53706, USA
3 - Florida Museum of Natural History, Gainesville, FL, 32611, USA

Trait Evolution
stress adaptation

Presentation Type: Oral Paper
Session: 39, Ecophysiology
Location: 114/Mayo Civic Center
Date: Wednesday, July 25th, 2018
Time: 10:30 AM
Number: 39010
Abstract ID:441
Candidate for Awards:Physiological Section Physiological Section Li-COR Prize,Physiological Section Best Paper Presentation

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