Environmental marginality and geographic range limits: a case study with Arabidopsis lyrata ssp. lyrata

Lee-Yaw, Julie A. and Fracassetti, Marco and Willi, Yvonne. (2017) Environmental marginality and geographic range limits: a case study with Arabidopsis lyrata ssp. lyrata. Ecography.

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Official URL: http://edoc.unibas.ch/55984/

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Understanding the factors that govern the distribution of species is a central goal of evolutionary ecology. It is commonly assumed that geographic range limits reflect ecological niche limits and that species experience increasingly marginal conditions towards the edge of their ranges. Using spatial data and ecological niche models we tested these hypotheses in Arabidopsis lyrata. Specifically, we asked whether range limits coincide with predicted niche limits in this system and whether the suitability of sites declines towards the edge of the species’ range in North America. We further explored patterns of environmental change towards the edge of the range and asked whether genome-wide patterns of genetic diversity decline with increasing peripherality and environmental marginality. Our results suggest that latitudinal range limits coincide with niche limits. Populations experienced increasingly marginal environments towards these limits – though patterns of environmental change were more complex than most theoretical models for range limits assume. Genomic diversity declined towards the edge of the species’ range and with increasing distance from the estimated centre of the species’ niche in environmental space, but not with the suitability of sites based on niche model predictions. Thus while latitudinal range limits in this system are broadly associated with niche limits, the link between environmental conditions and genetic diversity (and thus the adaptive potential of populations) is less clear.
Faculties and Departments:05 Faculty of Science > Departement Umweltwissenschaften > Integrative Biologie > Pflanzenökologie und -evolution (Willi)
UniBasel Contributors:Willi, Yvonne and Fracassetti, Marco and Lee-Yaw, Julie
Item Type:Article, refereed
Article Subtype:Research Article
Note:Publication type according to Uni Basel Research Database: Journal article
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Last Modified:04 Jul 2018 11:06
Deposited On:13 Oct 2017 09:45

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