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Data from: Microscale trait-environment associations in two closely-related South African shrubs


Mitchell, Nora; Holsinger, Kent E. (2019), Data from: Microscale trait-environment associations in two closely-related South African shrubs, Dryad, Dataset,


Premise of the study: Plant traits are often associated with the environments in which they occur, but these associations often differ across spatial and phylogenetic scales. Here we study the relationship between microenvironment, microgeographical location, and traits within populations using co-occurring populations of two closely related evergreen shrubs in the genus Protea. Methods: We measured a suite of functional traits on 147 plants along a single steep mountainside where both species occur, and we used data-loggers and soil analyses to characterize the environment at 10 microsites spanning the elevational gradient. We used Bayesian path analyses to detect trait-environment relationships in the field for each species. We used complementary data from greenhouse grown seedlings derived from wild collected seed to determine whether associations detected in the field are the result of genetic differentiation. Key results: Microenvironmental variables differed substantially across our study site. We found strong evidence for six trait-environment associations, although these differed between species. We were unable to detect similar associations in greenhouse-grown seedlings. Conclusions: Several leaf traits were associated with temperature and soil variation in the field, but the inability to detect these in the greenhouse suggests that differences in the field are not the result of genetic differentiation. In compliance with data protection regulations, please contact the publication office if you would like to have your personal information removed from the database.

Usage notes


National Science Foundation, Award: 1601095


South Africa
Cape Floristic region