Abstract Detail

The impact of climate change on plants and their interactions with pollinators

Brunet, Johanne [1].

The impact of abiotic factors on flowering phenology and floral traits in a high-altitude plant in changing environments.

Shifts in abiotic factors affect plant traits, including the initiation of flowering, floral traits affecting the mating system, and floral traits involved in pollinator attraction. Changes in abiotic factors may favor new phenotypes and such phenotypes may occur via phenotypic plasticity or result from selection on standing genetic variation. Phenotypic plasticity represents a genotype expressing different traits in distinct environments. When a plant responds to a new environment phenotypic plasticity and selection on a trait mean may interact and phenotypic plasticity itself may evolve. Here, we examine the response to changes in water regime at two different temperatures on the initiation of flowering, and on floral traits influencing the mating system and traits affecting pollinator attraction. To determine the potential role of phenotypic plasticity and selection on trait means in how plants respond to changes in abiotic factors, we examined whether a trait was plastic in response to water or temperature, and whether a trait and phenotypic plasticity itself had a genetic basis within or among populations. Results indicated that many traits exhibited phenotypic plasticity in response to water or temperature, and for some traits phenotypic plasticity itself had a genetic basis either within or among populations. In addition, various traits had a genetic basis (within populations) and the great majority of traits exhibited genetic differentiation among populations. Therefore, both phenotypic plasticity and selection on trait mean can play a role in how plants respond to changes in abiotic factors associated with climate change. In addition, phenotypic plasticity itself can be selected on during the process. When the plastic responses bring populations away from their optimum, such as earlier flowering, increased selfing, and reduced pollinator attraction observed under drier conditions, standing genetic variation in these traits and in phenotypic plasticity provide hope that plant species be able to deal with the changes associated with anthropogenic climate change.

1 - USDA-ARS VCRU, 455 Science Drive, Madison, WI, 53711, United States

climate change
Phenotypic plasticity
Floral traits
breeding system
Pollinator attraction
high altitude plant.

Presentation Type: Symposium Presentation
Number: S3003
Abstract ID:296
Candidate for Awards:None

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