October 12 2017

5:00 pm 1100 TLSB

EcoEvoPub Series

Graduate Student Presentations


Brandon MacDonald
Department of Ecology and Evolutionary Biology, UCLA

“Local Climatic Heterogeniety Predicts Differences in Phenotypic Plasticity Across Populations of a Widely Distributed California Oak Species”

Brandon W.S. MacDonald, Jessica W. Wright, Paul F. Gugger, and Victoria L. Sork

Climate change will increasingly become a major concern for the conservation of long-lived, slowly dispersing tree species such as California’s Valley oak (Quercus lobata). Phenotypic plasticity may be an important mechanism in tolerance of climate change. Using two common gardens established in 2012, we will identify traits and genotypes from the same family and provenance (i.e. locality) that show plasticity. Acorns from valley oak trees of 95 provenances were sampled throughout the species range, germinated in a greenhouse, and 7000 tree were outplanted as seedlings into two common gardens administered by the US. Forest Service. All provenances and families are represented in both common gardens. We found strong differences in growth and leaf morphology between the two environments with Chico, the lower elevation site, broader, more narrow, thinner less lobed leaves and bigger plants. Significantly more plasticity was displayed in trichome density as compared to other leaf morphology traits. Genotypes from Northern California tended to be more plastic, as did genotypes from more variable climates lending evidence to the hypothesis that plastic genotypes have been selected for in more variable climates.

















































































































































































































































































































































































































































































































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