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Intraspecific independent evolution of floral spur length in response to local flower visitor size in Japanese Aquilegia in different mountain regions

Citation

Toji, Tsubasa et al. (2023), Intraspecific independent evolution of floral spur length in response to local flower visitor size in Japanese Aquilegia in different mountain regions, Dryad, Dataset, https://doi.org/10.5061/dryad.4tmpg4fb9

Abstract

Geographic differences in floral traits may reflect geographic differences in effective pollinator assemblages. Independent local adaptation to pollinator assemblages in multiple regions would be expected to cause parallel floral trait evolution, although sufficient evidence for this is still lacking. In this study, we investigated the relationship between flower spur length and pollinator size in 16 populations of Aquilegia buergeriana var. buergeriana distributed in four mountain regions in the Japanese Alps. We also examined the genetic relationship between yellow- and red-flowered individuals, to see if color differences caused genetic differentiation by pollinator isolation. Genetic relationships among 16 populations were analyzed based on genome-wide single-nucleotide polymorphisms. Even among populations within the same mountain region, pollinator size varied widely, and the average spur length of A. buergeriana var. buergeriana in each population was strongly related to the average visitor size of that population. Genetic relatedness between populations was not related to the similarity of spur length between populations; rather, it was related to the geographic proximity of populations in each mountain region. Our results indicate that spur length in each population evolved independently of the population genetic structure but in parallel in different mountain regions. Further, yellow- and red-flowered individuals of A. buergeriana var. buergeriana were not genetically differentiated. Unlike other Aquilegia species in Europe and America visited by hummingbirds and hawkmoths, this species is consistently visited by bumblebees in Japan. As a result, genetic isolation by flower color has not occurred.

Funding

Ministry of Education, Culture, Sports, Science and Technology of Japan, Award: 19H03300

Ministry of Education, Culture, Sports, Science and Technology of Japan, Award: 19J22443

Environment Research and Technology Development Fund, Award: 4-2001