Abstract Detail


Zell, Anne [1], Grossenbacher, Dena [2].

Habitat and life history divergence between sympatric populations of the Seep Monkeyflower complex (Erythranthe guttata).

Erythranthe serpentinicola, the Irish Hills monkeyflower, is a rare spring ephemeral, endemic to serpentine seeps on the Central Coast of California. It co-occurs within meters of its close relative, Erythranthe guttata. Even though it’s likely these two members of the Seep monkeyflower complex are interfertile, preliminary work suggests they diverge in life history related traits such as size, flowering time, and lifespan. Life history shifts in plants involve multi-trait modifications that are often related to water availability and seasonal variability. The first objective of this project is to determine whether there is a significant phenotypic, physiological and phenological divergence that correlates with microhabitat among sympatric E. serpentinicola and E. guttata populations. The second goal is to test how much of this divergence is related to phenotypic plasticity with a common garden experiment. E. serpentinicola could have a fixed and heritable phenotype. Alternatively, it could be a developmentally stunted form of E. guttata, which is known for being highly polymorphic and for having broad environmental tolerances. Finding out what traits are environmentally induced versus fixed among these sympatric annual and perennial populations elucidates the role life history, microhabitat and local adaptation plays in the maintainence of diversity within and among plant populations.

1 - Cal Poly, 1527 Nipomo Street, 1527 Nipomo Street, San Luis Obispo, CA, 93401, United States
2 - California Polytechnic State University, 1 Grand Ave, San Luis Obispo, CA, 93401, United States

life history
plant traits
reproductive biology.

Presentation Type: Oral Paper
Number: EC02003
Abstract ID:990
Candidate for Awards:Ecological Section Best Graduate Student Paper

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