Author(s): Kunin WE, Vergeer P, Kenta T, Davey MP, Burke T,
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Abstract Range margins are spatially complex, with environmental, genetic and phenotypic variations occurring across a range of spatial scales. We examine variation in temperature, genes and metabolomic profiles within and between populations of the subalpine perennial plant Arabidopsis lyrata ssp. petraea from across its northwest European range. Our surveys cover a gradient of fragmentation from largely continuous populations in Iceland, through more fragmented Scandinavian populations, to increasingly widely scattered populations at the range margin in Scotland, Wales and Ireland. Temperature regimes vary substantially within some populations, but within-population variation represents a larger fraction of genetic and especially metabolomic variances. Both physical distance and temperature differences between sites are found to be associated with genetic profiles, but not metabolomic profiles, and no relationship was found between genetic and metabolomic population structures in any region. Genetic similarity between plants within populations is the highest in the fragmented populations at the range margin, but differentiation across space is the highest there as well, suggesting that regional patterns of genetic diversity may be scale dependent.
This article was published in Proc Biol Sci
and referenced in Journal of Ecosystem & Ecography