Publication Details

Category Text Publication
Reference Category Journals
DOI 10.1073/pnas.2219664120
Licence creative commons licence
Title (Primary) Plants cultivated for ecosystem restoration can evolve toward a domestication syndrome
Author Conrady, M.; Lampei, C.; Bossdorf, O.; Hölzel, N.; Michalski, S.; Durka, W. ORCID logo ; Bucharova, A.
Journal Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences of the United States of America
Year 2023
Department BZF; iDiv
Volume 120
Issue 20
Page From e2219664120
Language englisch
Topic T5 Future Landscapes
Data and Software links
Keywords domestication syndrome; ecosystem restoration; rapid evolution; restoration seed
Abstract The UN Decade on Ecosystem Restoration calls for upscaling restoration efforts, but many terrestrial restoration projects are constrained by seed availability. To overcome these constraints, wild plants are increasingly propagated on farms to produce seeds for restoration projects. During on-farm propagation, the plants face non-natural conditions with different selection pressures, and they might evolve adaptations to cultivation that parallel those of agricultural crops, which could be detrimental to restoration success. To test this, we compared traits of 19 species grown from wild-collected seeds to those from their farm-propagated offspring of up to four cultivation generations, produced by two European seed growers, in a common garden experiment. We found that some plants rapidly evolved across cultivated generations towards increased size and reproduction, lower within-species variability, and more synchronized flowering. In one species, we found evolution towards less seed shattering. These trait changes are typical signs of the crop domestication syndrome, and our study demonstrates that it can also occur during cultivation of wild plants, within only few cultivated generations. However, there was large variability between cultivation lineages, and the observed effect sizes were generally rather moderate, which suggests that the detected evolutionary changes are unlikely to compromise farm-propagated seeds for ecosystem restoration. To mitigate the potential negative effects of unintended selection, we recommend to limit the maximum number of generations the plants can be cultivated without replenishing the seed stock from new wild collections.
Persistent UFZ Identifier
Conrady, M., Lampei, C., Bossdorf, O., Hölzel, N., Michalski, S., Durka, W., Bucharova, A. (2023):
Plants cultivated for ecosystem restoration can evolve toward a domestication syndrome
Proc. Natl. Acad. Sci. U.S.A. 120 (20), e2219664120