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Phenotypic plasticity: Cause of the successful spread of the genus Potamogeton in the Kashmir Himalaya

Aijaz Hassan Ganie 1 Zafar A. Reshi 1 B.A. Wafai 1 Sara Puijalon 2 
2 EVZH - Équipe 2 - Écologie Végétale et Zones Humides
LEHNA - Laboratoire d'Ecologie des Hydrosystèmes Naturels et Anthropisés
Abstract : Morphological variations observed for a given species according to habitat conditions are generally asso- ciated with plant adaptation to local conditions enhancing the plants ability to occupy a wide range of environments, and hence ecological niche breadth. Morphological variations can result from genetic dif- ferentiation or from phenotypic plasticity in response to environmental conditions. The present study was undertaken to assess phenotypic variations in the most widespread, as well as one of the largest, aquatic genera of the Kashmir Himalaya. The study was conducted in 10 species of Potamogeton across habitats with different water flow types and a common garden experiment was carried out to test for the plastic origin for the morphological differences observed under natural conditions. Significant differences were observed in morphological characters such as the leaf dimensions, spike and peduncle length; and number of spikes, flowers, fruits and turions/tubers per ramet in both lentic and lotic waters. The results of the transplantation experiments revealed that when plants of the same species collected from different habitats (standing and running waters) were grown under similar conditions, the differences in the mor- phological traits were no longer observed at the end of the transplantation period. These results suggest that the morphological differences observed between the plants sampled under different conditions are due to phenotypic plasticity and not to genetic differentiation. The capacity of these species to colonise a wide range of environmental conditions may rely on this high level of morphological variation.
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Submitted on : Tuesday, February 3, 2015 - 3:59:40 PM
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Aijaz Hassan Ganie, Zafar A. Reshi, B.A. Wafai, Sara Puijalon. Phenotypic plasticity: Cause of the successful spread of the genus Potamogeton in the Kashmir Himalaya. Aquatic Botany, Elsevier, 2014, 120, pp.283-289. ⟨10.1016/j.aquabot.2014.09.007⟩. ⟨hal-01112770⟩



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