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      Climate drives intraspecific differentiation in the expression of growth-defence trade-offs in a long-lived pine species

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          Abstract

          Intraspecific variation in plant defences is expected to be the result of adaptive and plastic responses to environmental conditions, where trade-offs between growth and defences are thought to play a key role shaping phenotypic patterns in defensive investment. Axial resin ducts are costly defensive structures that remain imprinted in the tree rings of conifers, therefore being a valuable proxy of defensive investment along the trees’ lifespan. We aimed to disentangle climate-driven adaptive clines and plastic responses to both spatial and temporal environmental variation in resin duct production, and to explore growth-defence trade-offs. To that aim, we applied dendrochronological procedures to quantify annual growth and resin duct production during a 31-year-period in a Mediterranean pine species, including trees from nine populations planted in two common gardens. Both genetic factors and plastic responses modulated annual resin duct production. However, we found no evidence of adaptive clines with climate gradients driving population differentiation. Our results revealed a marked physiological trade-off between growth and defences, where the slope of the trade-off was genetically variable and associated with climatic gradients. Our results help to enlighten the evolutionary patterns and genetic basis of defensive allocation within species, particularly revealing a key role of growth-defence trade-offs.

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          Most cited references 63

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          An improved method of constructing a database of monthly climate observations and associated high-resolution grids

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            Climate change and evolutionary adaptation.

            Evolutionary adaptation can be rapid and potentially help species counter stressful conditions or realize ecological opportunities arising from climate change. The challenges are to understand when evolution will occur and to identify potential evolutionary winners as well as losers, such as species lacking adaptive capacity living near physiological limits. Evolutionary processes also need to be incorporated into management programmes designed to minimize biodiversity loss under rapid climate change. These challenges can be met through realistic models of evolutionary change linked to experimental data across a range of taxa.
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              Resource availability and plant antiherbivore defense.

              The degree of herbivory and the effectiveness of defense varies widely among plant species. Resource availability in the environment is proposed as the major determinant of both the amount and type of plant defense. When resource are limited, plants with inherently slow growth are favored over those with fast growth rates; slow rates in turn favor large investments in antiherbivore defenses. Leaf lifetime, also determined by resource availability, affects the relative advantages of defenses with different turnover rates. Relative limitation of different resources also constrains the types of defenses. The proposals are compared with other theories on the evolution of plant defenses.
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                Author and article information

                Contributors
                cvazquez@mbg.csic.es
                Journal
                Sci Rep
                Sci Rep
                Scientific Reports
                Nature Publishing Group UK (London )
                2045-2322
                29 June 2020
                29 June 2020
                2020
                : 10
                Affiliations
                [1 ]ISNI 0000 0001 2292 6080, GRID grid.502190.f, Misión Biológica de Galicia - Consejo Superior de Investigaciones Científicas (MBG-CSIC), ; 36143 Pontevedra, Spain
                [2 ]ISNI 0000 0001 2286 5329, GRID grid.5239.d, iuFOR-EiFAB, Campus Duques de Soria, Universidad de Valladolid, ; 42004 Soria, Spain
                [3 ]ISNI 0000 0004 0487 459X, GRID grid.7119.e, Laboratorio de Dendrocronología y Cambio Global, Facultad de Ciencias Forestales y Recursos Naturales, Universidad Austral de Chile, ; Valdivia, Chile
                Article
                67158
                10.1038/s41598-020-67158-4
                7324371
                32601428
                © The Author(s) 2020

                Open Access This article is licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution 4.0 International License, which permits use, sharing, adaptation, distribution and reproduction in any medium or format, as long as you give appropriate credit to the original author(s) and the source, provide a link to the Creative Commons license, and indicate if changes were made. The images or other third party material in this article are included in the article’s Creative Commons license, unless indicated otherwise in a credit line to the material. If material is not included in the article’s Creative Commons license and your intended use is not permitted by statutory regulation or exceeds the permitted use, you will need to obtain permission directly from the copyright holder. To view a copy of this license, visit http://creativecommons.org/licenses/by/4.0/.

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