Skip to content Skip to navigation

Dittmar EL, Schemske D (2023)  Temporal variation in selection influences microgeographic local adaptation.  The American Naturalist (in press)

Year Published: 2023

Ecological heterogeneity can lead to local adaptation when populations exhibit fitness trade-offs among habitats. However, the degree to which local adaptation is affected by the spatial and temporal scale of environmental variation is poorly understood. A multi-year reciprocal transplant experiment was performed with populations of the annual plant Leptosiphon parviflorus living on adjacent serpentine and non-serpentine soil. Local adaptation over this small geographic scale was observed, but there were differences in the temporal variability of selection across habitats. On serpentine soil, the local population had a consistently large survival advantage, presumably due to the temporal stability in selection imposed by soil cation content. In contrast, a fecundity advantage was observed for the sandstone population on its native soil type, but only in the two years of study with the highest rainfall. A manipulative greenhouse experiment demonstrated that the fitness advantage of the sandstone population in its native soil type depends critically on water availability. The temporal variability in local adaptation driven by variation in precipitation suggests that continued drought conditions have the potential to erode local adaptation in these populations. These results show how different selective factors can influence spatial and temporal patterns of variation in fitness trade-offs.  [link to publication]

Article Title: 
Temporal variation in selection influences microgeographic local adaptation.