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Vulnerability to cavitation, hydraulic efficiency, growth and survival in an insular pine (Pinus canariensis)

AuthorsLópez, Rosana; López de Heredia, Unai; Collada, Carmen; Cano, Francisco Javier; Emerson, Brent C. ; Cochard, H.; Gil, Luis
Phenotypic plasticity
Vulnerability to cavitation
Pinus canariensis
Common garden
Genetic differentiation
Hydraulic conductivity
Issue DateJun-2013
PublisherOxford University Press
CitationAnnals of Botany 111(6): 1167-1179 (2013)
Abstract[Background and Aims] It is widely accepted that hydraulic failure due to xylem embolism is a key factor contributing to drought-induced mortality in trees. In the present study, an attempt is made to disentangle phenotypic plasticity from genetic variation in hydraulic traits across the entire distribution area of a tree species to detect adaptation to local environments.
[Methods] A series of traits related to hydraulics (vulnerability to cavitation and hydraulic conductivity in branches), growth performance and leaf mass per area were assessed in eight Pinus canariensis populations growing in two common gardens under contrasting environments. In addition, the neutral genetic variability (FST) and the genetic differentiation of phenotypic variation (QST) were compared in order to identify the evolutionary forces acting on these traits.
[Key Results] The variability for hydraulic traits was largely due to phenotypic plasticity. Nevertheless, the vulnerability to cavitation displayed a significant genetic variability (approx. 5 % of the explained variation), and a significant genetic × environment interaction (between 5 and 19 % of the explained variation). The strong correlation between vulnerability to cavitation and survival in the xeric common garden (r = –0·81; P < 0·05) suggests a role for the former in the adaptation to xeric environments. Populations from drier sites and higher temperature seasonality were less vulnerable to cavitation than those growing at mesic sites. No trade-off between xylem safety and efficiency was detected. QST of parameters of the vulnerability curve (0·365 for P50 and the slope of the vulnerability curve and 0·452 for P88) differed substantially from FST (0·091), indicating divergent selection. In contrast, genetic drift alone was found to be sufficient to explain patterns of differentiation for xylem efficiency and growth.
[Conclusions] The ability of P. canariensis to inhabit a wide range of ecosystems seemed to be associated with high phenotypic plasticity and some degree of local adaptations of xylem and leaf traits. Resistance to cavitation conferred adaptive potential for this species to adapt successfully to xeric conditions.
Publisher version (URL)https://doi.org/10.1093/aob/mct084
Identifiersdoi: 10.1093/aob/mct084
issn: 0305-7364
e-issn: 1095-8290
Appears in Collections:(IPNA) Artículos
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