Cheplick, Gregory .
The common garden approach to plant evolutionary ecology.
Both common garden and reciprocal transplant experiments have contributed much to current understanding of plant evolutionary ecology, especially population adaptation to local habitats. Such adaptive matching of populations to habitats is widespread because natural selection is ubiquitous and a primary attribute of all plant populations. It is one of several processes that can cause genetic differentiation among populations, but is the only process that can result in local adaptation. Common garden experiments have been useful in documenting genetically based differences among populations, ecotypes, hybrids, and subspecies, and among genotypes within populations. They can also provide evidence of adaptive differentiation especially when they are coupled to experimental manipulation of the putative selective agents or when environmental conditions at the site of population origin are calibrated to those of the test site. Multiple common gardens have been used to demonstrate adaptation of source populations to specific habitat conditions in herbaceous species. Although the control of environmental conditions is desirable in common garden studies, considerable spatial and temporal heterogeneity in environmental factors can and does occur in field gardens. As demonstrated by a common garden study of Lolium perenne, this results in variable natural selection occurring within a single garden and can complicate the interpretation of experiments.
Despite some limitations, the common garden technique continues to be a powerful and widely used tool in studies of plant adaptation with applications to fields such as conservation, invasive species biology, and restoration ecology.
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1 - City University of New York, College of Staten Island, Department Of Biology, Staten Island, New York, 10314, USA
Presentation Type: Poster:Posters for Sections
Location: Hall A/Convention Center
Date: Monday, August 2nd, 2010
Time: 5:30 PM