Environment dependence of the expression of mutational load and species' range limits

Perrier, Antoine and Sánchez-Castro, Dario and Willi, Yvonne. (2022) Environment dependence of the expression of mutational load and species' range limits. Journal of Evolutionary Biology, 35 (5). pp. 731-741.

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Official URL: https://edoc.unibas.ch/92245/

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Theoretical and empirical research on the causes of species’ range limits suggest the contribution of several intrinsic and extrinsic factors, with potentially complex interactions among them. An intrinsic factor proposed by recent theory is mutational load increasing towards range edges because of genetic drift. Furthermore, environmental quality may decline towards range edges and enhance the expression of load. Here, we tested whether the expression of mutational load associated with range limits in the North American plant Arabidopsis lyrata was enhanced under stressful environmental conditions by comparing the performance of within- versus between-population crosses at common garden sites across the species’ distribution and beyond. Heterosis, reflecting the expression of load, increased with heightened estimates of genomic load and with environmental stress caused by warming, but the interaction was not significant. We conclude that range-edge populations suffer from a twofold genetic Allee effect caused by increased mutational load and stress-dependent load linked to general heterozygote deficiency, but there is no synergistic effect between them.
Faculties and Departments:05 Faculty of Science > Departement Umweltwissenschaften > Integrative Biologie > Pflanzenökologie und -evolution (Willi)
UniBasel Contributors:Willi, Yvonne and Perrier, Antoine and Sanchez Castro, Darío
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:31 Jan 2023 07:51
Deposited On:31 Jan 2023 07:51

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