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Abstract Detail

Frontiers in fern gametophyte research

Stevens, Sally [1], Emery, Nancy [2].

No Place Like Home? Testing for Local Adaptation and Dispersal Limitation in the Fern Vittaria appalachiana (Vittariaceae).

Elevated temperatures and increased variability in precipitation patterns are causing significant changes in contemporary plant populations and communities. To accurately understand the impacts of climate change, scientists must examine how organisms respond at the individual, population, and species levels of biological organization. We are evaluating the impacts of climate change across these biological scales in Vittaria appalachiana, a fern that exists exclusively as an asexual gametophyte and is restricted to the recesses of non-calcareous rock outcrops in the Appalachian Mountain range of eastern North America. The asexual nature of this gametophytic species, along with the occupation of patchily-distributed habitats likely limits dispersal among colonies occupying different rock outcrops. Given these ecological and life history characteristics, we hypothesize that V. appalachiana colonies will survive best in their home climates, termed local adaptation. If this hypothesis is true, V. appalachiana may have limited potential to respond to projected climate change scenarios. To test for local adaptation we reciprocally transplanted individuals among six sites within their geographic range, and into an additional site just north of V. appalachiana’s range limit to test for dispersal limitation at this boundary line. In the first four months of these transplant experiments, we have observed that the destination site, source site, and the interaction between these two factors significantly impact transplant survival rates. Results from this study will provide important information about the role of climate variation in determining species distributions and the response of the gametophytic generation to these alterations in the global environment.

Broader Impacts:

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1 - Graduate Student, Botany, Purdue University, 915 West State Street, West Lafayette, IN, 47907, USA
2 - Purdue University, Departments of Biological Sciences and Botany and Plant Pathology, 915 West State Street, West Lafayette, IN, 47907, USA

Local Adaptation
Dispersal Limitation.

Presentation Type: Symposium or Colloquium Presentation
Session: C4
Location: Prince of Wales/Riverside Hilton
Date: Tuesday, July 30th, 2013
Time: 9:45 AM
Number: C4006
Abstract ID:732
Candidate for Awards:None

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