Evidence for parallel adaptation to climate across the natural range of Arabidopsis thaliana
Article first published online: 7 JUN 2013
© 2013 The Authors. Ecology and Evolution published by John Wiley & Sons Ltd.
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Ecology and Evolution
Volume 3, Issue 7, pages 2241–2250, July 2013
How to Cite
Ecology and Evolution 2013; 3(7): 2241–2250
- Issue published online: 10 JUL 2013
- Article first published online: 7 JUN 2013
- Manuscript Accepted: 6 MAY 2013
- Manuscript Revised: 30 APR 2013
- Manuscript Received: 17 JAN 2013
- University of Maryland
- U. S. National Science Foundation. Grant Number: NSF DEB-0845413
- parallel evolution
How organisms adapt to different climate habitats is a key question in evolutionary ecology and biological conservation. Species distributions are often determined by climate suitability. Consequently, the anthropogenic impact on earth's climate is of key concern to conservation efforts because of our relatively poor understanding of the ability of populations to track and evolve to climate change. Here, we investigate the ability of Arabidopsis thaliana to occupy climate space by quantifying the extent to which different climate regimes are accessible to different A. thaliana genotypes using publicly available data from a large-scale genotyping project and from a worldwide climate database. The genetic distance calculated from 149 single-nucleotide polymorphisms (SNPs) among 60 lineages of A. thaliana was compared to the corresponding climate distance among collection localities calculated from nine different climatic factors. A. thaliana was found to be highly labile when adapting to novel climate space, suggesting that populations may experience few constraints when adapting to changing climates. Our results also provide evidence of a parallel or convergent evolution on the molecular level supporting recent generalizations regarding the genetics of adaptation.