Section: Evolutionary Biology
Topic: Ecology, Evolution, Population biology

Interplay between fecundity, sexual and growth selection on the spring phenology of European beech (Fagus sylvatica L.).

10.24072/pcjournal.396 - Peer Community Journal, Volume 4 (2024), article no. e27.

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Background: Plant phenological traits such as the timing of budburst or flowering can evolve on ecological timescales through response to fecundity and viability selection. However, interference with sexual selection may arise from assortative mating. This study aims to investigate how these three components of selection on spring phenology may combine in European beech populations in contrasting environments (high versus low altitude). Methods: we monitored the timing of budburst (TBB) in 339 adult beech trees and estimated their fecundity using spatially explicit mating models. Fecundity selection was infered by regressing fecundities on TBB, while sexual selection was inferred by regressing fecundities on mating opportunities (i.e., TBB mismatch). The correlation between mates for flowering time (i.e., assortative mating) was estimated based on paternity analyses. Morever, TBB and growth were surveyed in 3261 seedlings from 40 families grown planted in a common garden, and viability selection was inferred by regressing growth on TBB. Results: Overall, directional fecundity selection on female fitness favored trees with earlier TBB. Sexual selection acted only on male fitness through assortative mating favoring trees with mean TBB value (stabilizing selection). In the common garden, early budburst was associated with higher seedling growth. The respective intensities of directional and stabilizing selection varied with the environment: at low altitude, directional selection for earlier phenology was modulated by strong assortative mating and by an interaction effect between TBB an size on female fecundity, whereas at high altitude, directional selection for earlier phenology was reinforced by selection through male fecundity. Discussion: This study showed that selection through female fecundity and seedlings growth predominantly selected for earlier TBB, while sexual selection on male fitness through assortative mating modulated this trend. This interplay between fecundity and sexual selection calls for an integrative approach to predict the evolution of spring phenology under a changing climate.

Published online:
DOI: 10.24072/pcjournal.396
Type: Research article
Keywords: budburst phenology, selection gradient, assortative mating, Bateman’s gradient, parentage/paternity analyses, Mixed-Effect Mating Model (MEMM), Fagus sylvatica

Oddou-Muratorio, Sylvie 1, 2; Bontemps, Aurore 1; Gauzere, Julie 1, 3; Klein, Etienne K 4

1 INRAE, URFM, Avignon, France
2 ECOBIOP Université de Pau et des Pays de l’Adour, E2S UPPA, INRAE, ECOBIOP, Saint-Pée-sur-Nivelle, France
3 Institute of Evolutionary Biology, School of Biological Sciences, University of Edinburgh, Edinburgh, UK
4 INRAE, BioSp, Avignon, France
License: CC-BY 4.0
Copyrights: The authors retain unrestricted copyrights and publishing rights
     author = {Oddou-Muratorio, Sylvie and Bontemps, Aurore and Gauzere, Julie and Klein, Etienne K},
     title = {Interplay between fecundity, sexual and growth selection on the spring phenology of {European} beech {(\protect\emph{Fagus} sylvatica} {L.).}},
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Oddou-Muratorio, Sylvie; Bontemps, Aurore; Gauzere, Julie; Klein, Etienne K. Interplay between fecundity, sexual and growth selection on the spring phenology of European beech (Fagus sylvatica L.).. Peer Community Journal, Volume 4 (2024), article  no. e27. doi : 10.24072/pcjournal.396.

PCI peer reviews and recommendation, and links to data, scripts, code and supplementary information: 10.24072/pci.evolbiol.100657

Conflict of interest of the recommender and peer reviewers:
The recommender in charge of the evaluation of the article and the reviewers declared that they have no conflict of interest (as defined in the code of conduct of PCI) with the authors or with the content of the article.

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