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Data from: Quantifying temporal change in plant population attributes: insights from a resurrection approach


Gómez, Rocío et al. (2019), Data from: Quantifying temporal change in plant population attributes: insights from a resurrection approach, Dryad, Dataset,


Rapid evolution in annual plants can be quantified by comparing phenotypic and genetic changes between past and contemporary individuals from the same populations over several generations. Such knowledge will help understand the response of plants to rapid environmental shifts, such as the ones imposed by global climate change. To that end, we undertook a resurrection approach in Spanish populations of the annual plant Arabidopsis thaliana that were sampled twice over a decade. Annual weather records were compared to their historical records to extract patterns of climatic shifts over time. We evaluated the differences between samplings in flowering time, a key life-history trait with adaptive significance, with a field experiment. We also estimated genetic diversity and differentiation based on neutral nuclear markers and nucleotide diversity in candidate flowering time (FRI and FLC) and seed dormancy (DOG1) genes. The role of genetic drift was estimated by computing effective population sizes with the temporal method. Overall, two climatic scenarios were detected: intense warming with increased precipitation and moderate warming with decreased precipitation. The average flowering time varied little between samplings. Instead, within-population variation in flowering time exhibited a decreasing trend over time. Substantial temporal changes in genetic diversity and differentiation were observed with both nuclear microsatellites and candidate genes in all populations, which were interpreted as the result of natural demographic fluctuations. We conclude that drought stress caused by moderate warming with decreased precipitation may have the potential to reduce within-population variation in key life-cycle traits, perhaps as a result of stabilising selection on them, and to constrain the genetic differentiation over time. Besides, the demographic behaviour of populations probably accounts for the substantial temporal patterns of genetic variation, while keeping rather constant those of phenotypic variation.

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Iberian Peninsula