Journal Article

Variation in inbreeding depression and plasticity across native and non-native field environments

C. J. Murren and M. R. Dudash

in Annals of Botany

Published on behalf of The Annals of Botany Company

Volume 109, issue 3, pages 621-632
Published in print February 2012 | ISSN: 0305-7364
Published online January 2012 | e-ISSN: 1095-8290 | DOI: http://dx.doi.org/10.1093/aob/mcr325
Variation in inbreeding depression and plasticity across native and non-native field environments

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  • Ecology and Conservation
  • Evolutionary Biology
  • Plant Sciences and Forestry

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Background and Aims

Since the early 1990s, research on genetic variation of phenotypic plasticity has expanded and empirical research has emphasized the role of the environment on the expression of inbreeding depression. An emerging question is how these two evolutionary ecology mechanisms interact in novel environments. Interest in this area has grown with the need to understand the establishment of populations in response to climate change, and to human-assisted transport to novel environments.

Methods

We compare performance in the field of outcrossed (O) and inbred lines (S1, S2) from 20 maternal families from each of two native populations of Mimulus guttatus. The experiment was planted in California in each population's home site, in the other populations's home site, in a novel site within the native range of M. guttatus, and in a novel site within the non-native range in North America. The experiment included nearly 6500 individuals. Survival, sexual reproduction and above-ground biomass were examined in order to evaluate inbreeding depression, and stem diameter and plant height were examined in order to evaluate phenotypic plasticity.

Key Results

Across all field sites, approx. 36 % of plants survived to flowering. Inbreeding depression differed among sites and outcrossed offspring generally outperformed selfed offspring. However, in the native-novel site, self-progeny performed better or equally well as outcross progeny. Significant phenotypic plasticity and genetic variation in plasticity was detected in the two architectural traits measured. The absolute value of plasticity showed the most marked difference between home and non-native novel site or non-native-novel site. Evidence was detected for an interaction between inbreeding and plasticity for stem diameter.

Conclusions

The results demonstrate that during initial population establishment, both inbreeding depression and phenotypic plasticity vary among field sites, and may be an important response to environments outside a species' currently occupied range. However, the interaction between inbreeding and plasticity may be limited and environment-dependent.

Keywords: Inbreeding depression; non-native species; Mimulus guttatus; opportunistic plasticity; phenotypic plasticity

Journal Article.  9480 words.  Illustrated.

Subjects: Ecology and Conservation ; Evolutionary Biology ; Plant Sciences and Forestry

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