Data from: Water availability as an agent of selection in introduced populations of Arabidopsis thaliana: impacts on flowering time evolution
Stock, Amanda J.; McGoey, Brechann V.; Stinchcombe, John R. (2016), Data from: Water availability as an agent of selection in introduced populations of Arabidopsis thaliana: impacts on flowering time evolution, Dryad, Dataset, https://doi.org/10.5061/dryad.2jk12
Flowering is one of the most influential events in the life history of a plant and one of the main determinants of reproductive investment and lifetime fitness. It is also a highly complex trait controlled by dozens of genes. Understanding the selective pressures influencing time to flowering, and being able to reliably predict how it will evolve in novel environments, are unsolved challenges for plant evolutionary geneticists. Using the model plant species, Arabidopsis thaliana, we examined the impact of simulated high and low winter precipitation levels on the flowering time of naturalized lines from across the eastern portion of the introduced North American range, and the fitness consequences of early versus late flowering. Flowering time order was significantly correlated across two environments—in a previous common garden experiment and in environmental chambers set to mimic mid-range photoperiod and temperature conditions. Plants in low water flowered earlier, had fewer basal branches and produced fewer fruits. Selection in both treatments favored earlier flowering and more basal branches. Our analyses revealed an interaction between flowering time and water treatment for fitness, where flowering later was more deleterious for fitness in the low water treatment. Our results are consistent with the hypothesis that differences in winter precipitation levels are one of the selective agents underlying a flowering time cline in introduced A. thaliana populations.