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Seed dormancy varies widely among Arabidopsis thaliana populations both between and within Fennoscandia and Italy
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  • Giulia Zacchello,
  • Svenja Bomers,
  • Cecilia Böhme,
  • Froukje Postma,
  • Jon Agren
Giulia Zacchello
Uppsala Universitet
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Svenja Bomers
Uppsala University
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Cecilia Böhme
Uppsala University
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Froukje Postma
Uppsala University
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Jon Agren
Uppsala University
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Abstract

The timing of germination is a key life-history trait in plants, which is strongly affected by the strength of seed dormancy. Continental-wide variation in seed dormancy has been related to differences in climate and the timing of conditions suitable for seedling establishment. However, for predictions of adaptive potential and consequences of climatic change, information is needed regarding the extent to which seed dormancy varies within climatic regions and the factors driving such variation We planted 17 Italian and 28 Fennoscandian populations of Arabidopsis thaliana in the greenhouse and at two field sites in Italy and Sweden. To identify possible drivers of among-population variation in seed dormancy, we examined the relationship between seed dormancy and climate at the sites where populations were originally sampled. Seed dormancy was on average stronger in the Italian compared to the Fennoscandian populations, but also varied widely within both regions. Estimates of seed dormancy in the three maternal environments were positively correlated, but seeds had on average stronger dormancy when produced in the greenhouse than at the two field sites. Among Fennoscandian populations, seed dormancy tended to increase with increasing summer temperature and decreasing precipitation at the site of origin. In the smaller sample of Italian populations, no significant association was detected between mean seed dormancy and climate at the site of origin. The correlation between seed dormancy and climatic factors in Fennoscandia suggests that at least some of the among-population variation is adaptive and that climate change will affect selection on this trait.

Peer review status:IN REVISION

06 Apr 2021Submitted to Ecology and Evolution
07 Apr 2021Assigned to Editor
07 Apr 2021Submission Checks Completed
12 Apr 2021Reviewer(s) Assigned
09 May 2021Review(s) Completed, Editorial Evaluation Pending
18 May 2021Editorial Decision: Revise Minor