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Rapid divergent evolution of an annual plant across a latitudinal gradient revealed by seed resurrection


Cheptou, Pierre-olivier (2021), Rapid divergent evolution of an annual plant across a latitudinal gradient revealed by seed resurrection, Dryad, Dataset,


Global change is expected to drive short-term evolution of natural populations. However, it remains unclear whether different populations are changing in unison. Here, we study contemporary evolution of growth-related and reproductive traits of three populations of Cyanus segetum face to warming and pollinator decline across a latitudinal gradient in France. We resurrected stored seeds sampled up to 24 years apart from northern, central-western, and southern populations and conducted an in situ common-garden experiment. To disentangle neutral from selection-driven differentiation, we calculated neutral genetic differentiation (FST) and quantitative trait differentiation (QST) between temporal samples. We found that phenotypic evolution was divergent across populations exhibiting different trends for rosette size, date of flowering, and capitula size. By measuring seed set as a proxy of fitness, we showed that samples with larger mean capitula size outperformed samples with smaller mean capitula size in the western and southern populations. Regression of traits on seed set showed that flowering date and capitula size are the primary determinants of fitness, and QST-FST comparisons indicated that natural selection has likely contributed to the shifts in flowering phenology and rosette size. These findings outline the potential for rescue of natural populations through contemporary evolution and emphasize the complex interplay between spatial and temporal variation in species’ responses to global change.


Conseil National de la Recherche Scientifique