Cost of adaptation to a metalliferous environment for Thlaspi caerulescens: a field reciprocal transplantation approach

Authors

  • Caroline Dechamps,

    1. Université Libre de Bruxelles, Laboratoire de Génétique et d’Ecologie Végétales, CP320, chaussée de Wavre 1850, B-1160 Bruxelles, Belgium;
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  • Nausicaa Noret,

    1. Université Libre de Bruxelles, Laboratoire de Génétique et d’Ecologie Végétales, CP320, chaussée de Wavre 1850, B-1160 Bruxelles, Belgium;
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  • Rony Mozek,

    1. Université Libre de Bruxelles, Laboratoire de Génétique et d’Ecologie Végétales, CP320, chaussée de Wavre 1850, B-1160 Bruxelles, Belgium;
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  • José Escarré,

    1. Centre d’Ecologie Fonctionnelle et Evolutive (CNRS) – UMR 5175, Route de Mende 1919, F-34293 Montpellier Cedex 05, France
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  • Claude Lefèbvre,

    1. Université Libre de Bruxelles, Laboratoire de Génétique et d’Ecologie Végétales, CP320, chaussée de Wavre 1850, B-1160 Bruxelles, Belgium;
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  • Wolf Gruber,

    1. Université Libre de Bruxelles, Laboratoire de Génétique et d’Ecologie Végétales, CP320, chaussée de Wavre 1850, B-1160 Bruxelles, Belgium;
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  • Pierre Meerts

    1. Université Libre de Bruxelles, Laboratoire de Génétique et d’Ecologie Végétales, CP320, chaussée de Wavre 1850, B-1160 Bruxelles, Belgium;
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Author for correspondence:
Caroline Dechamps
Tel: +32 26509161
Fax: +32 26509170
Email: cdechamp@ulb.ac.be

Summary

  • • Field reciprocal transplantations of two metallicolous populations (Mpops) and two nonmetallicolous populations (NMpops) of Thlaspi caerulescens were performed here to determine the pattern of local adaptation and to assess the cost of adaptation of Mpops to a metalliferous environment (Menv). The role of herbivores as an important selective pressure in the nonmetalliferous environment (NMenv) was also examined.
  • • Growth, survival, fitness, life cycle and herbivore consumption were monitored for each transplant for 2 yr.
  • • Local adaptation of Mpops to their own environment was clearly demonstrated, as Mpops consistently outperformed NMpops in Menv. In NMenv, no advantage of NMpops over Mpops was detected. However, the fitness of Mpops was generally lower in NMenv than in Menv. Herbivore consumption appeared to be a significant selective pressure for Mpops in NMenv.
  • • An imbalance of selective forces between Menv and NMenv probably explains the greater local adaptation of Mpops. Therefore, colonization of NMenv by Mpops appears possible. Although Mpops were able to survive and reproduce in NMenv, they nevertheless expressed a cost attributable in part to their higher susceptibility to herbivores.

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