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  • 1
    ISSN: 1432-1939
    Keywords: Ecological genetics ; Phenotypic plasticity ; Plant competition ; Quercus douglasii ; Stable carbon isotope discrimination
    Source: Springer Online Journal Archives 1860-2000
    Topics: Biology
    Notes: Abstract Blue oak (Quercus douglasii) is a deciduous tree species endemic to California that currently exhibits poor seedling survival to sapling age classes. We used common garden techniques to examine how genetic variation at regional and local scales affected phenotypic expression in traits affecting oak seedling growth and survival. Between-population variation was examined for seedlings grown from acorns collected from a northern, mesic population and a southern, xeric population. Within-population variation was examined by comparing seedlings from different maternal families within the mesic population. Acorns were planted into neighborhoods of an annual dicot (Erodium botrys), an annual grass (Bromus diandrus), and a perennial bunchgrass (Nassella pulchra). By varying the species composition of herbaceous neighborhoods into which acorns were planted, the interactive effects of competition and acorn germplasm source on phenotypic expression could also be examined. Potential maternal effects, expressed as variation in acorn size, were assessed by weighing each acorn before planting. Probability of seedling emergence increased significantly with acorn size in the xeric population but not in the mesic population. Similarly, the effect of acorn size on seedling leaf area, stem weight, and root weight was also population-dependent. At a within-population level, acorn size effects on seedling traits varied significantly among maternal families. In addition to acorn size effects, rates of oak seedling emergence were also dependent on an interaction of population source and competitive environment. Interactions between maternal family and competitive environment in the expression of seedling leaf characters suggest the possibility of genetic variation for plasticity in traits such as specific leaf area. Using carbon isotope discrimination (Δ) as an index of relative water-use efficiency (WUE), higher water use efficiency was indicated for oak seedlings grown in the annual plant neighborhoods compared to seedlings grown in the bunchgrass neighborhood. This trend may represent an adaptive plastic response because, compared to the bunchgrass neighborhood, soil water depletion was more rapid within annual plant neighborhoods.
    Type of Medium: Electronic Resource
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  • 2
    Electronic Resource
    Electronic Resource
    Springer
    Oecologia 72 (1987), S. 589-596 
    ISSN: 1432-1939
    Keywords: Seed dormancy ; Genetic variation ; Variable selection ; Erodium
    Source: Springer Online Journal Archives 1860-2000
    Topics: Biology
    Notes: Summary The periodic occurrence of summer/early autumn precipitation in the California annual grassland can result in the formation of early and late emerging cohorts of Erodium botrys and E. brachycarpum. The occurrence of early rainfall and the timing of such rainfall are highly variable from year to year. A series of field watering experiments in 1980–81 were used to simulate early emergence conditions that would result from significant rainfall (1 cm) occurring in mid-July, late August, and mid-September. Net reproduction was used to estimate fitness differentials between Erodium cohorts emerging in response to a watering treatment (early emerging cohorts) and Erodium cohorts emerging with the onset of winter rains in mid-October (late emerging cohorts). Survival was lower and gross reproduction was higher among early emerging cohorts than late emerging cohorts. For both species, net reproduction of the early cohort was lower than that of the late cohort under the July watering treatment and higher than that of the late cohort under the August watering treatment. Early cohorts, formed in response to rainfall in mid-September, 1982, were also compared demographically to later cohorts emerging in October. Compared to late cohorts, net reproduction, gross reproduction and survival were higher for the early cohorts. Common garden experiments indicate that differences in the duration of seed dormancy between the progenies of early and late emerging plants reflect a significant genetic component. Progency produced by early cohorts of E. brachycarpum from all three watering treatments possessed more extended seed dormancy than progeny of late cohorts. In E. botrys, progeny from early cohorts emerging in response to the July watering treatment were also more dormant than late progeny. In contrast, early cohorts of E. botrys emerging in response to the September watering treatment produced seed less dormant than seed produced by late cohorts. When combined with demographic data, indicating that fitness differentials between early and late cohorts varied with changes in the date of early emergence, genetic results suggest that year to year variation in early rainfall may act to retain genetic variation in the duration of seed dormancy.
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  • 3
    ISSN: 1432-1939
    Keywords: Neighborhood competition ; Quercus douglasii ; Root morphology ; Soil water potential ; Plant water relations
    Source: Springer Online Journal Archives 1860-2000
    Topics: Biology
    Notes: Summary We examined the competitive effects of two annual species on soil water potential and blue oak (Quercus douglasii Hook & Arn.) seedling growth and water relations. Two densities of the annual grass Bromus diandrus (Roth.) (100/dm2, 3.6/dm2) and one density of the annual forb Erodium botrys (Cav.) (3.6/dm2) comprised plant neighborhoods around the oak seedlings grown in 1 m deep boxes. Rates of soil water depletion differed among neighborhoods. Soil in the Erodium neighborhoods dried significantly more slowly than did soil in the Bromus neighborhoods at either density. Differences in the rates of soil water depletion were correlated both with the 30% lower root biomass developed by Erodium, and the lower water extraction rates of Erodium relative to Bromus roots at constant root biomass. These results suggest that the annual species are not equivalent competitors for water: fibrous grass roots had greater competitive effect than did forb tap-roots. In a control container without an annual neighborhood, soil water potentials remained high for the duration of the experiment. Oak seedling emergence and growth responses were significantly affected by annual plant density. High density of annual plants suppressed oak root growth and shoot emergence. Only 20% of the acorns planted in high density Bromus neighborhoods showed aboveground shoot growth; 56% of those planted in low density Bromus or Erodium emerged. Ninety percent emerged in the control box. Relative growth rates of oak seedling roots and shoots were directly dependent on soil water potentials. Soil water was also closely correlated with oak seedling predawn water potentials and gas conductance measurements. Higher soil water potentials greater dry weights, and longer growing seasons were found for oak seedlings in the Erodium neighborhood and the container with no annuals than in Bromus neighborhoods of either density. These results suggest that competition for soil water with introduced annual species contributes to the increased rate of blue oak seedling mortality currently observed in California woodland systems.
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  • 4
    ISSN: 1432-1939
    Keywords: Soil nitrogen competition ; Competitive interactions ; Oak savannas ; Annual and perennial grasses ; Quercus
    Source: Springer Online Journal Archives 1860-2000
    Topics: Biology
    Notes: Summary The spatial overlap of woody plant root systems and that of annual or perennial grasses promotes competition for soil-derived resources. In this study we examined competition for soil nitrogen between blue oak seedlings and either the annual grassBromus mollis or the perennial grassStipa pulchra under controlled outdoor conditions. Short-term nitrogen competition was quantified by injecting15N at 30 cm depth in a plane horizontal to oak seedling roots and that of their neighbors, and calculating15N uptake rates, pool sizes and15N allocation patterns 24 h after labelling. Simultaneously, integrative nitrogen competition was quantified by examining total nitrogen capture, total nitrogen pools and total nitrogen allocation.Stipa neighbors reduced inorganic soil nitrogen content to a greater extent than didBromus plants. Blue oak seedlings responded to lower soil nitrogen content by allocating lower amounts of nitrogen per unit of biomass producing higher root length densities and reducing the nitrogen content of root tissue. In addition, blue oak seedlings growing with the perennial grass exhibited greater rates of15N uptake, on a root mass basis, compensating for higher soil nitrogen competition inStipa neighborhoods. Our findings suggest that while oak seedlings have lower rates of nitrogen capture than herbaceous neighbors, oak seedlings exhibit significant changes in nitrogen allocation and nitrogen uptake rates which may offset the competitive effect annual or perennial grasses have on soil nitrogen content.
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  • 5
    ISSN: 1365-2494
    Source: Blackwell Publishing Journal Backfiles 1879-2005
    Topics: Agriculture, Forestry, Horticulture, Fishery, Domestic Science, Nutrition
    Notes: Small gaps and clumped species distributions are common in grasslands. In California annual grasslands, patches of Lolium multiflorum Lam. and Bromus hordeaceus L. are often separated by gaps. These gaps potentially limit the productivity and associated resource use of these grasslands. The effect that differences in spatial aggregation, gap distribution and species mixing on 20-cm-diameter plots has on overall forage production by these two grasses was tested. There were three levels of aggregation: whole plots planted; half planted/half empty; two opposing quarters planted/two empty. Each species was planted in each distribution, and they were combined as mixed, half L. multiflorum/half B. hordeaceus and two quarters L. multiflorum/two quarters B. hordeaceus (nine treatments). Plant aggregation had no significant effect on above-ground production of whole plots, but individual tillers near gaps were significantly larger than others. Plasticity in the growth of individual annual grasses effectively buffered against variation in average productivity resulting from variations in plant distribution. There were significant (P 〈 0·001) differences in forage production as a result of the species the plots contained. Plots containing only L. multiflorum produced 4053 kg of dry matter (DM) ha–1, B. hordeaceus plots produced 2448 kg of DM ha–1, and plots containing both species produced 4712 kg of DM ha–1. At small scales, spatial distribution was less important than species composition in determining annual grassland productivity.
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  • 6
    Publication Date: 2007-09-01
    Print ISSN: 0012-9658
    Electronic ISSN: 1939-9170
    Topics: Biology
    Published by Wiley on behalf of Ecological Society of America (ESA).
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  • 7
    Publication Date: 1997-05-01
    Print ISSN: 1051-0761
    Electronic ISSN: 1939-5582
    Topics: Biology
    Published by Wiley on behalf of Ecological Society of America (ESA).
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  • 8
    Publication Date: 1997-05-01
    Print ISSN: 1051-0761
    Electronic ISSN: 1939-5582
    Topics: Biology
    Published by Wiley on behalf of Ecological Society of America (ESA).
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  • 9
    Publication Date: 2011-07-13
    Description: According to theory, gene flow to marginal populations may stall or aid adaptation at range limits by swamping peripheral populations with maladaptive gene flow or by enhancing genetic variability and reducing inbreeding depression, respectively. We tested these contrasting predictions by manipulating patterns of gene flow of the annual plant, Mimulus laciniatus, at its warm range limit. Gene flow was experimentally applied by using crosses within warm-limit populations (selfed and outcrossed), between warm-limit populations, and between warm-limit and central range populations across two elevational transects. We measured the fitness of offspring in a common garden at the warm-edge species range limit. All sources of gene flow increased seedling emergence at the range limit, suggesting local inbreeding depression at both range limit populations; however, lifetime reproductive success only increased significantly when pollen originated from another warm-limit population. Center–to–warm-edge gene flow was maladaptive by delaying time to development at this warm, fast-drying range limit, whereas edge-to-edge gene flow hastened emergence time and time to reproduction. By empirically testing theory on the effects of gene flow on the formation of geographic range limits, we find benefits of gene flow among populations to be greatest when gene flow is between populations occupying the same range limit. Our results emphasize the overlooked importance of gene flow among populations occurring near the same range limit and highlight the potential for prescriptive gene flow as a conservation option for populations at risk from climate change.
    Print ISSN: 0027-8424
    Electronic ISSN: 1091-6490
    Topics: Biology , Medicine , Natural Sciences in General
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