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Landscape genomics of Sphaeralcea ambigua in the Mojave Desert: a multivariate, spatially-explicit approach to guide ecological restoration

June 18, 2015

Local adaptation influences plant species’ responses to climate change and their performance in ecological restoration. Fine-scale physiological or phenological adaptations that direct demographic processes may drive intraspecific variability when baseline environmental conditions change. Landscape genomics characterize adaptive differentiation by identifying environmental drivers of adaptive genetic variability and mapping the associated landscape patterns. We applied such an approach to Sphaeralcea ambigua, an important restoration plant in the arid southwestern United States, by analyzing variation at 153 amplified fragment length polymorphism loci in the context of environmental gradients separating 47 Mojave Desert populations. We identified 37 potentially adaptive loci through a combination of genome scan approaches. We then used a generalized dissimilarity model (GDM) to relate variability in potentially adaptive loci with spatial gradients in temperature, precipitation, and topography. We identified non-linear thresholds in loci frequencies driven by summer maximum temperature and water stress, along with continuous variation corresponding to temperature seasonality. Two GDM-based approaches for mapping predicted patterns of local adaptation are compared. Additionally, we assess uncertainty in spatial interpolations through a novel spatial bootstrapping approach. Our study presents robust, accessible methods for deriving spatially-explicit models of adaptive genetic variability in non-model species that will inform climate change modelling and ecological restoration.

Citation Information

Publication Year 2015
Title Landscape genomics of Sphaeralcea ambigua in the Mojave Desert: a multivariate, spatially-explicit approach to guide ecological restoration
DOI 10.1007/s10592-015-0741-1
Authors Daniel F. Shryock, Caroline A. Havrilla, Lesley DeFalco, Todd C. Esque, Nathan Custer, Troy E. Wood
Publication Type Article
Publication Subtype Journal Article
Series Title Conservation Genetics
Series Number
Index ID 70155960
Record Source USGS Publications Warehouse
USGS Organization Western Ecological Research Center

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