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Evidence for adaptation and acclimation in a widespread eucalypt of semi-arid Australia


Steane, DA and McLean, EH and Potts, BM and Prober, SM and Stock, WD and Stylianou, VM and Vaillancourt, RE and Byrne, M, Evidence for adaptation and acclimation in a widespread eucalypt of semi-arid Australia, Biological Journal of the Linnean Society, 121, (3) pp. 484-500. ISSN 0024-4066 (2017) [Refereed Article]

Copyright Statement

Copyright 2017 The Linnean Society of London

DOI: doi:10.1093/biolinnean/blw051


As climates change, restoration programmes need to maximize the capacity of regenerating ecosystems to adapt to new environments, particularly when planting long-lived trees. By using a combined phenotypic and genomic approach, we assessed evidence of adaptation capacity in Eucalyptus loxophleba ssp. lissophloia, a mallee eucalypt important for restoration and oil production in Western Australia. Assessment of leaf traits in nine wild populations across a rainfall gradient showed that two traits were correlated with long-term moisture availability. Populations in more arid environments had lower specific leaf area and lower stomatal conductance, consistent with a stable plastic or adaptive response. Other leaf size and shape traits were correlated with short-term climate variables, suggesting a dynamic plastic response. Genome-wide scans with 4851 DArTseq markers and outlier analysis detected 50 markers showing signals of disruptive selection, consistent with local adaptation. Sixteen markers showed allele frequencies correlated with aridity; three were also associated with differences in stomatal conductance. Multivariate analysis and marker-environment associations signalled secondary directions of adaptation associated with maximum temperatures and soil phosphorus. We suggest that adaptation and acclimation are both likely determinants of functional phenotype in E. loxophleba, and argue that aridity is a critical driver of adaptation in this widespread species.

Item Details

Item Type:Refereed Article
Keywords:climate resilience, DArTseq markers, genome-wide scan, leaf traits, local adaptation, population genomics, widespread species
Research Division:Biological Sciences
Research Group:Evolutionary biology
Research Field:Biological adaptation
Objective Division:Plant Production and Plant Primary Products
Objective Group:Forestry
Objective Field:Native forests
UTAS Author:Steane, DA (Dr Dorothy Steane)
UTAS Author:Potts, BM (Professor Brad Potts)
UTAS Author:Vaillancourt, RE (Professor Rene Vaillancourt)
ID Code:117708
Year Published:2017
Web of Science® Times Cited:22
Deposited By:Plant Science
Deposited On:2017-06-26
Last Modified:2018-04-30

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