: In the mountain terrain, ice holes are little depressions between rock boulders that are characterized by the exit of cold air able to cool down the rock surface even in summer. This cold air creates cold microrefugia in warmer surroundings that preserve plant species probably over thousands of years under extra-zonal climatic conditions. We hypothesized that ice hole populations of the model species Vaccinium vitis-idaea (Ericaceae) show genetic differentiation from nearby zonal subalpine populations, and high functional trait distinctiveness, in agreement with genetic patterns. We genotyped almost 30,000 single nucleotide polymorphisms using restriction site-associated DNA sequencing and measured eight functional traits indicative of individual performance and ecological strategies. Genetic results showed high differentiation among the six populations suggesting isolation. On siliceous bedrock, ice hole individuals exhibited higher levels of admixture than those from subalpine populations which could have experienced more bottlenecks during demographic fluctuations related to glacial cycles. Ice hole and subalpine calcareous populations clearly separated from siliceous populations, indicating a possible effect of bedrock in shaping genetic patterns. Trait analysis reflected the bedrock effect on populations' differentiation. The significant correlation between trait and genetic distances suggests the genetic contribution in shaping intraspecific functional differentiation. In conclusion, extra-zonal populations reveal a prominent genetic and phenotypic differentiation determined by history and ecological contingency. Therefore, microrefugia populations can contribute to the overall variability of the species and lead to intraspecific-driven responses to upcoming environmental changes.

Ice holes microrefugia harbor genetically and functionally distinct populations of Vaccinium vitis-idaea (Ericaceae)

Tonin, Rita
Primo
;
Gerdol, Renato;Trucchi, Emiliano;
2023

Abstract

: In the mountain terrain, ice holes are little depressions between rock boulders that are characterized by the exit of cold air able to cool down the rock surface even in summer. This cold air creates cold microrefugia in warmer surroundings that preserve plant species probably over thousands of years under extra-zonal climatic conditions. We hypothesized that ice hole populations of the model species Vaccinium vitis-idaea (Ericaceae) show genetic differentiation from nearby zonal subalpine populations, and high functional trait distinctiveness, in agreement with genetic patterns. We genotyped almost 30,000 single nucleotide polymorphisms using restriction site-associated DNA sequencing and measured eight functional traits indicative of individual performance and ecological strategies. Genetic results showed high differentiation among the six populations suggesting isolation. On siliceous bedrock, ice hole individuals exhibited higher levels of admixture than those from subalpine populations which could have experienced more bottlenecks during demographic fluctuations related to glacial cycles. Ice hole and subalpine calcareous populations clearly separated from siliceous populations, indicating a possible effect of bedrock in shaping genetic patterns. Trait analysis reflected the bedrock effect on populations' differentiation. The significant correlation between trait and genetic distances suggests the genetic contribution in shaping intraspecific functional differentiation. In conclusion, extra-zonal populations reveal a prominent genetic and phenotypic differentiation determined by history and ecological contingency. Therefore, microrefugia populations can contribute to the overall variability of the species and lead to intraspecific-driven responses to upcoming environmental changes.
2023
Tonin, Rita; Wilhelmi, Selina; Gültas, Mehmet; Gerdol, Renato; Paun, Ovidiu; Trucchi, Emiliano; Schmitt, Armin Otto; Wellstein, Camilla
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Utilizza questo identificativo per citare o creare un link a questo documento: https://hdl.handle.net/11392/2520651
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