Altitudinal adaptation

Altitudinal gradients encompass steep cimatic clines, for example, in temperature. Species that occur over a wide range of altitudes may therefore have adapted to altitude across their different populations. We tested this hypothesis using in the model plant Arabidodpsis thaliana. In particular, we investigated whether small stature at high altitude ("alpine dwarfism") is adaptive and how genetic drift and natural selection may interact to produce trait clines along altitude.

High-altitude environments are not only chanracterized by extreme conditions but also by a high heterogeneity in microhabitats, often association with the duration on snow cover.  Our resarch shows that such micro-heterogeniety may allow the dwraf willow Salix herbacea to maintain variation wiithin popouluations and increase the species's potential to cope with changing conditions.  

Related publications

Halbritter, Aud H.; Fior, Simone; Keller, Irene; Billeter, Regula et al.: Trait differentiation and adaptation of plants along elevation gradients. Journal of Evolutionary Biology, s. 784-800, 2018. DOI Till DiVA

Sedlacek, Janosch; Cortés, Andrés; Wheeler, Julia; Bossdorf, Oliver et al.: Evolutionary potential in the Alpine: trait heritabilities and performance variation of the dwarf willow Salix herbacea from different elevations and microhabitats. Ecology and Evolution, s. 3940-3952, 2016. DOI Uppladdad fulltext Till DiVA

Wheeler, Julia A.; Cortes, Andres J.; Sedlacek, Janosch; Karrenberg, Sophie et al. The snow and the willows: earlier spring snowmelt reduces performance in the low-lying alpine shrub Salix herbacea. Journal of Ecology, p. 1041-1050, 2016. DOI To DiVA

Luo, Yonghai; Dong, Xinwei; Yu, Tianying; Shi, Xuan et al. ..., Karrenberg, Sophie.  A Single Nucleotide Deletion in Gibberellin20-oxidase1 Causes Alpine Dwarfism in Arabidopsis. Plant Physiology, p. 930-937, 2015. DOI To DiVA

Cortes, Andres J.; Waeber, S.; Lexer, C.; Sedlacek, J. et al. ... Karrenberg, S. Small-scale patterns in snowmelt timing affect gene flow and the distribution of genetic diversity in the alpine dwarf shrub Salix herbacea Heredity, s. 233-239, 2014. DOI Till DiVA

Sedlacek, Janosch; Wheeler, Julia A.; Cortes, Andres J.; Bossdorf, Oliver et al. ...The Response of the Alpine Dwarf Shrub Salix herbacea to Altered Snowmelt Timing: Lessons from a Multi-Site Transplant Experiment. PLOS ONE, 2015. DOI Uploaded full-text To DiVA

Luo, Y.; Widmer, A.; Karrenberg, Sophie The roles of genetic drift and natural selection in quantitative trait divergence along an altitudinal gradient in Arabidopsis thaliana  Heredity, p. 220-228, 2015. DOI To DiVA

Last modified: 2022-02-01