Abstract Detail


Krieg, Christopher [1], Watts, Jacob [2], Sessa, Emily [3].

Reconciling patterns of trait and niche evolution in polyploid plants.

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. Numerous studies have examined broad patterns of species niche overlap and separation between polyploid and diploid plants however empirical patterns are not consistent and range from contracted intermediacy to extreme novelty. The few studies that have compared the physiological traits of parents and polyploids have found similarly diverse outcomes, with few, if any, consistent physiological consequences of polyploidy. The work presented here integrates ecophysiology and niche modelling with a new framework to analyze and interpret polyploid ecological patterns. We compiled ecological and physiological data for over 100 sets of parental diploid species and polyploid offspring species to determine if 1) niche patterns are predicted by trait patterns, 2) polyploids exhibit consistent bias towards maternal or paternal species in traits and/or ecology, and 3) polyploids are consistently more or less tolerant of key abiotic factors. We found that traits patterns can reasonably predict ecological niche patterns between parents and polyploids, and polyploids are consistently found to be less competitive and more stress tolerant compared to their parents. However, we did not find any evidence of polyploid species show a consistent bias towards the maternal or paternal parental species in phenotype or ecology. Ongoing work will shed more light on how polyploidy may drive the evolution of ecophysiological traits that underlie the complex ecological patterns observed across polyploid complexes.

1 - University of Wisconsin, Botany, 430 Lincoln Dr. , Madison, WI, 53706, USA
2 - University of Cambridge, Plant Sciences, Churchill College, Storeys Way, Cambridge, CB3 0DS, UK
3 - University of Florida, Biology, 220 Bartram Hall, PO Box 118525 , Gainesville, FL, 32611 , USA

ecological niche
trait differentiation
niche differentiation.

Presentation Type: Oral Paper
Number: EPH1003
Abstract ID:653
Candidate for Awards:None

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