Abstract Detail


Wiegand, Thomas [1], Corlew, Annabree [2], Rogers, Will [3], Cruse-Sanders, Jennifer [3], Boyd, Jennifer [4].

Investigating associations between phenotypic plasticity and geographic distribution in Helianthus.

The rapid pace of environmental change, in part due to anthropogenic activities, has important implications for the persistence of rare species. Species can respond viably to environmental change via migration to suitable habitats, adaptation, and/or acclimation to altered conditions. In the case of rare species, which are often limited by low genetic variation and barriers to migration, the ability to acclimate can be especially important to persistence through change. Because geographic range sizes can indicate the diversity of environmental conditions that a species can tolerate, it has been suggested that rare species, characterized by restricted range sizes, may be limited in their ability to acclimate to change via phenotypic plasticity relative to more widely distributed common species. To investigate associations between phenotypic plasticity and range size, we are conducting a garden experiment to compare the phenotypic plasticity of Helianthus spp. with varying geographic distributions in response to altered light availability. Study species include H. verticillatus and H. longifolius, which are rare and endemic to the southeastern U.S., H. angustifolius and H. atrorubens, which are distributed throughout the eastern U.S., and H. maximiliani, which is found throughout North America. We hypothesize that species’ geographic distributions will be positively correlated with their plasticity, which could constrain the ability of restricted species to respond viably to environmental change. We are examining both species and population level plasticity of growth, reproductive, and physiological traits to consider how plasticity may differ among members of the same species and between species of varied distributions. Using biomass as a proxy for fitness, we determine the adaptive or maladaptive nature of plasticity in each species.

1 - University Of Tennessee At Chattanooga, Dept 2653, 8 Rock Haven Lane, Signal Mountain, TN, 37377, United States
2 - State Botanical Garden of Georgia, 2450 S Milledge Avenue, Athens, GA, 30605, USA
3 - State Botanical Garden of Georgia, 2450 S Milledge Avenue, Athens, GA, 30605, United States
4 - University Of Tennessee At Chattanooga, Dept 2653, 615 McCallie Avenue, Chattanooga, TN, 37403, United States

Geographic distribution
Phenotypic plasticity.

Presentation Type: Poster
Number: PEC036
Abstract ID:226
Candidate for Awards:Phytochemical Best Poster Award

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