||Genetic differentiation and regional adaptation among seed origins used for grassland restoration: lessons from a multispecies transplant experiment
||Bucharova, A.; Michalski, S.; Hermann, J.-M.; Heveling, K.; Durka, W.
; Hölzel, N.; Kollmann, J.; Bossdorf, O.
|Journal / Serie
||Journal of Applied Ecology
||fitness; genetic differentiation; grassland restoration; local adaptation; multispecies experiment; phenology; reciprocal transplant; regional adaptation; regional provenancing; seed sourcing strategy
of the key questions in ecosystem restoration is the choice of seed
material for restoring plant communities. More and more scientists and
practitioners are currently advocating the use of regional seed sources,
based on the argument that plants are often adapted to local or
regional environmental conditions, and thus, regional seed sources
should provide the best restoration success. However, there is still
substantial debate about this approach, partly because of a lack of
solid empirical data.
- We conducted a multispecies transplant
experiment in which we compared the performance of eight seed origins of
seven plant species frequently used in grassland restoration in four
common gardens across Germany.
- We found that, on average, plants
of regional origins produced 10% more inflorescences and 7% more
biomass than those of foreign origins. There were substantial
differences among species in the strength of these effects, but in the
majority of the study species fitness decreased with increasing
geographical distance of seed origins or with increasing climatic
differences between plant origins and experimental sites.
addition to these effects on plant fitness, increasing geographical or
climatic distances of origin were often also correlated with increasing
differences in plant phenology. Since phenology is important for biotic
interactions, especially with pollinators and seed predators, using
foreign seed sources may have cascading effects on local ecosystems.
- Synthesis and applications.
Genetic differentiation is widespread in grassland species and often
shows the patterns of regional adaptation. Our study thus supports the
use of regional seed sources in restoration. Moreover, using
non-regional seed sources in grassland restoration may not only decrease
the performance of plants, but it will likely also affect their biotic
|Bucharova, A., Michalski, S., Hermann, J.-M., Heveling, K., Durka, W., Hölzel, N., Kollmann, J., Bossdorf, O. (2017):
Genetic differentiation and regional adaptation among seed origins used for grassland restoration: lessons from a multispecies transplant experiment
J. Appl. Ecol. 54 (1), 127 - 136