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Abstract Detail



Molecular Ecology and Evolution

Galliart, Matt [1], Johnson, Loretta [1], Sabates, Sofia [1], Tetreault, Hannah [1], DeLaCruz, Angel [2], Bryant, Johnny [2], Morgan, Theodore [2], Bello, Nora [3], Baer, Sara [4], Gibson, David [5], Wilson, Laurel [5], Maricle, Brian [6].

Adaptive potential and trait variation of a widespread grass Andropogon gerardii across a Great Plains climate gradient: Implications for climate change.

Midwest grasslands are dominated by big bluestem, Andropogon gerardii that grows across a strong precipitation gradient (500 to 1200 mm/yr from western KS to IL). Grassland response to drought is critical for informing restoration plantings and predicting response to climate. We used reciprocal gardens to investigate ecotype differences in vegetative and reproductive traits. Three ecotypes (from central KS (CKS), eastern KS (EKS), and southern Illinois (SIL)) were reciprocally planted in Colby, Hays, and Manhattan, KS, and Carbondale, IL. We evaluated ecotypic differences in vegetative (canopy area, height, blade width, and emergence) and reproductive features (seed production and flowering time) across planting sites. We predicted ecotypes would perform best in their home environment. Canopy area and height increased from west to east, with no evidence for any ecotype differences in Colby and Hays. However, in Carbondale, the SIL ecotype showed disproportionate increase indicating local adaptation. Ecotypes varied in blade width (SIL>CKS>EKS), and blade widths of all ecotypes increased eastward. For all ecotypes, leaves emerged earlier in eastern Illinois site. In Carbondale and Manhattan planting sites, the CKS ecotype flowered 20 days earlier than other ecotypes and showed a greater probability of seed production in the western sites relative to other ecotypes, while the SIL ecotype had greatest seed productivity in its home site. The CKS ecotype shows a suite of traits consistent with drought tolerance—reduced canopy, short stature, and early flowering in its home environment. Our results provide insight into plasticity of trait variation and ecotypic adaptability in drier climates.  


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Related Links:
Big Bluestem Ecotype Project


1 - Kanas State University, Division of Biology, Ackert Hall, Manhattan, KS, 66506, United States
2 - Kansas State University, Division of Biology, Ackert Hall, Manhattan, KS, 66506, United States
3 - Kanas State University, Statistics
4 - Southern Illinois University, Plant Biology and Center for Ecology, Carbondale, Illinois
5 - Southern Illinois University, Plant Biology and Center for Ecology, Carbondale, IL
6 - Fort Hays State University, Department Of Biological Sciences, 600 Park St., Hays, KS, 67601-4099, USA

Keywords:
none specified

Presentation Type: Oral Paper:Papers for Topics
Session: 28
Location: Firs South/Boise Centre
Date: Tuesday, July 29th, 2014
Time: 2:45 PM
Number: 28006
Abstract ID:413
Candidate for Awards:None


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