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Adaptive Differentiation in Seedling Traits in a Hybrid Pine Species Complex, Pinus densata and Its Parental Species, on the Tibetan Plateau
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2015 (English)In: PLoS ONE, ISSN 1932-6203, Vol. 10, no 3, e0118501Article in journal (Refereed) Published
Abstract [en]

Evidence from molecular genetics demonstrates that Pinus densata is a natural homoploid hybrid originating from the parent species Pinus tabuliformis and Pinus yunnanensis, and ecological selection may have played a role in the speciation of Pinus densata. However, data on differentiation in adaptive traits in the species complex are scarce. In this study, we performed a common garden test on 16 seedling traits to examine the differences between Pinus densata and its parental species in a high altitude environment. We found that among the 16 analyzed traits, 15 were significantly different among the species. Pinus tabuliformis had much earlier bud set and a relatively higher bud set ratio but poorer seedling growth, and Pinus yunnanensis had opposite responses for the same traits. Pinus densata had the greatest fitness with higher viability and growth rates than the parents. The relatively high genetic contribution of seedling traits among populations suggested that within each species the evolutionary background is complex. The correlations between the seedling traits of a population within a species and the environmental factors indicated different impacts of the environment on species evolution. The winter temperature is among the most important climate factors that affected the fitness of the three pine species. Our investigation provides empirical evidence on adaptive differentiation among this pine species complex at seedling stages.

Place, publisher, year, edition, pages
2015. Vol. 10, no 3, e0118501
National Category
Biological Sciences
URN: urn:nbn:se:umu:diva-102225DOI: 10.1371/journal.pone.0118501ISI: 000351275700022PubMedID: 25757072OAI: diva2:811063
Available from: 2015-05-10 Created: 2015-04-22 Last updated: 2015-05-10Bibliographically approved

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Wang, Xiao-Ru
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Department of Ecology and Environmental Sciences
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