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Gewählte Publikation:

Alonso-Marcos, H; Nardi, FD; Scheffknecht, S; Tribsch, A; Hulber, K; Dobes, C.
(2019): Difference in reproductive mode rather than ploidy explains niche differentiation in sympatric sexual and apomictic populations of Potentilla puberula
ECOL EVOL. 2019; 9(6): 3588-3598. FullText FullText_BOKU

Apomicts tend to have larger geographical distributional ranges and to occur in ecologically more extreme environments than their sexual progenitors. However, the expression of apomixis is typically linked to polyploidy. Thus, it is a priori not clear whether intrinsic effects related to the change in the reproductive mode or rather in the ploidy drive ecological differentiation. We used sympatric sexual and apomictic populations of Potentilla puberula to test for ecological differentiation. To distinguish the effects of reproductive mode and ploidy on the ecology of cytotypes, we compared the niches (a) of sexuals (tetraploids) and autopolyploid apomicts (penta-, hepta-, and octoploids) and (b) of the three apomictic cytotypes. We based comparisons on a ploidy screen of 238 populations along a latitudinal transect through the Eastern European Alps and associated bioclimatic, and soil and topographic data. Sexual tetraploids preferred primary habitats at drier, steeper, more south-oriented slopes, while apomicts mostly occurred in human-made habitats with higher water availability. Contrariwise, we found no or only marginal ecological differentiation among the apomictic higher ploids. Based on the pronounced ecological differences found between sexuals and apomicts, in addition to the lack of niche differentiation among cytotypes of the same reproductive mode, we conclude that reproductive mode rather than ploidy is the main driver of the observed differences. Moreover, we compared our system with others from the literature, to stress the importance of identifying alternative confounding effects (such as hybrid origin). Finally, we underline the relevance of studying ecological parthenogenesis in sympatry, to minimize the effects of differential migration abilities.
Autor*innen der BOKU Wien:
Scheffknecht Susanne
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Find related publications in this database (Keywords)
ecological differentiation
European Alps
reproductive mode

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