, Volume 139, Issue 4, pp 487–494 | Cite as

Natural selection on light response curve parameters in the herbaceous annual, Impatiens capensis

  • M. Shane Heschel
  • John R. Stinchcombe
  • Kent E. Holsinger
  • Johanna Schmitt


We tested for genetic variation in light response curves and their acclimation to sun versus shade in recombinant inbred lines (RILs) of the annual species Impatiens capensis derived from a cross between sun and shade populations. We exposed replicates of 49 RILs to experimentally manipulated light levels (open versus shade) in a greenhouse and measured photosynthetic light response curves, height, biomass, and reproduction. Plants were taller in the shade treatment, but we were unable to detect differences between light treatments (i.e., acclimation) in the maximal rate of photosynthesis, the light compensation point, or the quantum efficiency of photosynthesis. Genotypic selection analyses indicated that higher maximal rates of carbon assimilation and higher light compensation points (typical of sun-acclimated light curves) were favored by natural selection in both light treatments. Thus, it appears that the pattern of selection on photosynthetic parameters may not depend on light environment in this species.


Photosynthetic acclimation responses Sun–shade ecotypes Impatiens capensis Natural selection 



We thank A. Aguilera, B. Leib, and F. Jackson for help in maintaining our inbred lines and superb plant care. We are grateful to H. Urabe and M. Jackson for experimental assistance, and J. Kelley for discussions about non-linear curve fitting. Our research has been supported by NSF grant DEB 0129018.


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Copyright information

© Springer-Verlag 2004

Authors and Affiliations

  • M. Shane Heschel
    • 1
    • 2
    • 2
  • John R. Stinchcombe
    • 3
  • Kent E. Holsinger
    • 1
  • Johanna Schmitt
    • 3
  1. 1.Department of Ecology and Evolutionary BiologyUniversity of ConnecticutStorrsUSA
  2. 2.Harvard University HerbariaCambridgeUSA
  3. 3.Department of Ecology and Evolutionary BiologyBrown UniversityProvidenceUSA

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