ELIZABETH H. MCLEAN, SUZANNE M. PROBER, WILLIAM D. STOCK, DOROTHY A. STEANE, BRAD M. POTTS, RENÉ E. VAILLANCOURT and MARGARET BYRNE Plasticity of functional traits varies clinally along a rainfall gradient in Eucalyptus tricarpa Plant, Cell & Environment 37
Our study investigates the nature of adaptation to climate in a widespread tree species, a topic of current and growing scientific interest, given the ongoing pressures of climate change. However, surprisingly few studies to date have examined within-species patterns of phenotypic plasticity and local adaptation in climate related traits, in any detail. Our study reveals clinal variation across a rainfall gradient, not only in the values of functional traits, but in the plasticity of several morphological traits. The findings support the hypothesis that the adaptive value of plasticity depends on both the environment and the trait in question, with genetic variation for plasticity itself forming part of local adaptations to climate.
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