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Data from: Using a ‘time machine’ to test for local adaptation of aquatic microbes to temporal and spatial environmental variation

Citation

Fox, Jeremy W.; Harder, Lawrence D. (2014), Data from: Using a ‘time machine’ to test for local adaptation of aquatic microbes to temporal and spatial environmental variation, Dryad, Dataset, https://doi.org/10.5061/dryad.d0p47

Abstract

Local adaptation occurs when different environments are dominated by different specialist genotypes, each of which is relatively fit in its local conditions and relatively unfit under other conditions. Analogously, ecological species sorting occurs when different environments are dominated by different competing species, each of which is relatively fit in its local conditions. The simplest theory predicts that spatial, but not temporal, environmental variation selects for local adaptation (or generates species sorting), but this prediction is difficult to test. Although organisms can be reciprocally transplanted among sites, doing so among times seems implausible. Here we describe a reciprocal transplant experiment testing for local adaptation or species sorting of lake bacteria in response to both temporal and spatial variation in water chemistry. The experiment used a −80 °C freezer as a ‘time machine’. Bacterial isolates and water samples were frozen for later use, allowing transplantation of older isolates ‘forward in time’ and newer isolates ‘backward in time’. Surprisingly, local maladaptation predominated over local adaptation in both space and time. Such local maladaptation may indicate that adaptation, or the analogous species sorting process, fails to keep pace with temporal fluctuations in water chemistry. This hypothesis could be tested with more finely-resolved temporal data.

Usage Notes

Location

Alberta