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Microgeographic local adaptation and species distributions: the role of selective processes on early life history traits in the Symphonia syngameon.
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  • Niklas Tysklind,
  • Marie-Pierre Etienne,
  • Caroline Scotti-Saintagne,
  • Alexandra Tinaut,
  • Valerie Troispoux,
  • Saint Omer Cazal,
  • Louise Brousseau,
  • Bruno Ferry,
  • Ivan Scotti
Niklas Tysklind
Ecologie des forets de Guyane
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Marie-Pierre Etienne
IRMAR
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Caroline Scotti-Saintagne
Ecologie des Forets Mediterraneennes
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Alexandra Tinaut
Université de la Guyane
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Valerie Troispoux
Ecologie des forets de Guyane
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Saint Omer Cazal
ECOFOG
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Louise Brousseau
Botany and Modelling of Plant and Vegetation Architecture
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Bruno Ferry
AgroParisTech
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Ivan Scotti
Ecologie des Forets Mediterraneennes
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Peer review status:ACCEPTED

15 Apr 2020Submitted to Ecology and Evolution
16 Apr 2020Submission Checks Completed
16 Apr 2020Assigned to Editor
17 Apr 2020Review(s) Completed, Editorial Evaluation Pending
03 May 2020Reviewer(s) Assigned
31 May 2020Editorial Decision: Revise Minor
29 Jul 20201st Revision Received
30 Jul 2020Submission Checks Completed
30 Jul 2020Assigned to Editor
30 Jul 2020Review(s) Completed, Editorial Evaluation Pending
01 Aug 2020Editorial Decision: Accept

Abstract

1. Trees are characterised by the large number of seeds they produce. Although most of those seeds will never germinate, plenty will. Of those which germinate, many die young, and eventually only a minute fraction will grow to adult stage and reproduce. Is this just a random process? Do variations in germination and survival at very young stages rely on variations in adaptations to microgeographic heterogeneity? and do these processes matter at all in determining tree species distribution and abundance? 2. We have studied these questions with the Neotropical Symphonia syngameon. In the Guiana shield, Symphonia are represented by at least two sympatric taxa or ecotypes, Symphonia globulifera found almost exclusively in bottomlands, and a yet undescribed more generalist taxon/ecotype, Symphonia sp1. A reciprocal transplantation experiment (510 seeds, 16 conditions) was set-up and followed over the course of 6 years to evaluate the survival and performance of individuals from different ecotypes and provenances. 3. Germination, survival, growth, and herbivory showed signs of local adaptation, with some combinations of ecotypes and provenances growing faster and surviving better in their own habitat or provenance region. S. globulifera was strongly penalised when planted outside its home habitat but showed the fastest growth rates when planted in its home habitat, suggesting it’s a specialist of a high-risk high-gain strategy. Conversely, S. sp1 behaved as a generalist, performing well in a variety of environments. 4. Synthesis: The differential performance of seeds and seedlings in the different habitats matches the known distribution of both ecotypes, indicating that environmental filtering at the very early stages can be a key determinant of tree species distributions, even at the microgeographic level and among very closely related taxa. Furthermore, such differential performance also contributes to explain, in part, the maintenance of the different ecotypes in the Symphonia syngameon living in intimate sympatry despite occasional gene flow.