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Journal Articles Ecology and Evolution Year : 2016

Impact of temperature shifts on the joint evolution of seed dormancy and size

Abstract

Seed dormancy and size are two important life-history traits that interplay as adaptation to varying environmental settings. As evolution of both traits involves correlated selective pressures, it is of interest to comparatively investigate the evolution of the two traits jointly as well as independently. We explore evolutionary trajectories of seed dormancy and size using adaptive dynamics in scenarios of deterministic or stochastic temperature variations. Ecological dynamics usually result in unbalanced population structures, and temperature shifts or fluctuations of high magnitude give rise to more balanced ecological structures. When only seed dormancy evolves, it is counter-selected and temperature shifts hasten this evolution. Evolution of seed size results in the fixation of a given strategy and evolved seed size decreases when seed dormancy is lowered. When coevolution is allowed, evolutionary variations are reduced while the speed of evolution becomes faster given temperature shifts. Such coevolution scenarios systematically result in reduced seed dormancy and size and similar unbalanced population structures. We discuss how this may be linked to the system stability. Dormancy is counter-selected because population dynamics lead to stable equilibrium, while small seeds are selected as the outcome of size-number trade-offs. Our results suggest that unlike random temperature variation between generations, temperature shifts with high magnitude can considerably alter population structures and accelerate life-history evolution. This study increases our understanding of plant evolution and persistence in the context of climate changes.
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hal-01404721 , version 1 (29-11-2016)

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Yang Liu, Sébastien Barot, Yousry A. El-Kassaby, Nicolas Loeuille. Impact of temperature shifts on the joint evolution of seed dormancy and size. Ecology and Evolution, 2016, 7 (1), pp.26-37. ⟨10.1002/ece3.2611⟩. ⟨hal-01404721⟩
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