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Data from: Local plant adaptation across a subarctic elevational gradient

Cite this dataset

Kardol, Paul; De Long, Jonathan R.; Wardle, David A. (2015). Data from: Local plant adaptation across a subarctic elevational gradient [Dataset]. Dryad.


Predicting how plants will respond to global warming necessitates understanding of local plant adaptation to temperature. Temperature may exert selective effects on plants directly, and also indirectly through environmental factors that covary with temperature, notably soil properties. However, studies on the interactive effects of temperature and soil properties on plant adaptation are rare, and the role of abiotic versus biotic soil properties in plant adaptation to temperature remains untested. We performed two growth chamber experiments using soils and Bistorta vivipara bulbil ecotypes from a subarctic elevational gradient (temperature range: ±3°C) in northern Sweden to disentangle effects of local ecotype, temperature, and biotic and abiotic properties of soil origin on plant growth. We found partial evidence for local adaption to temperature. Although soil origin affected plant growth, we did not find support for local adaptation to either abiotic or biotic soil properties, and there were no interactive effects of soil origin with ecotype or temperature. Our results indicate that ecotypic variation can be an important driver of plant responses to the direct effects of increasing temperature, while responses to covariation in soil properties are of a phenotypic, rather than adaptive, nature.

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Northern Sweden