Data from: Evidence of divergent selection for drought and cold tolerance at landscape and local scales in Abies alba Mill. in the French Mediterranean Alps
Roschanski, Anna M. et al. (2015), Data from: Evidence of divergent selection for drought and cold tolerance at landscape and local scales in Abies alba Mill. in the French Mediterranean Alps, Dryad, Dataset, https://doi.org/10.5061/dryad.t671s
Understanding local adaptation in forest trees is currently a key research and societal priority. Geographically and ecologically marginal populations provide ideal case studies, because environmental stress along with reduced gene flow can facilitate the establishment of locally adapted populations. We sampled European silver fir (Abies alba Mill.) trees in the French Mediterranean Alps, along the margin of its distribution range, from pairs of high and low elevation plots on four different mountains situated along a 170 km east-west transect. The analysis of 267 SNP loci from 175 candidate genes suggested a neutral pattern of east-west isolation-by-distance among mountain sites. FST outlier tests revealed 16 SNPs that showed patterns of divergent selection. Plot climate was characterized using both in-situ measurements and gridded data that revealed marked differences between and within mountains with different trends depending on the season. Association between allelic frequencies and bio-climatic variables revealed eight genes that contained candidate SNPs of which two were also detected using FST outlier methods. All SNPs were associated with winter drought and one of them showed strong evidence of selection with respect to elevation. QST - FST tests for fitness related traits measured in a common garden, suggested adaptive divergence for the date of bud flush and for growth rate. Overall, our results suggest a complex adaptive picture for A. alba in the southern French Alps where, during the east to west Holocene recolonization, locally advantageous genetic variants established both at the landscape and local scales.