The Botanical Review

, Volume 79, Issue 4, pp 542–558 | Cite as

Genotype-by-Environment Interactions for Seedling Establishment Across Native and Degraded-Forest Habitats in a Long-Lived Cycad

  • Cristina Lopez-Gallego


Habitat differences might promote adaptive differentiation among populations that can be evidenced by genotype-by-environment interactions (GxE). I examined GxE in seed germination and seedling survival in demes of a rainforest cycad across their native and degraded-forest habitats, and explored the role of maternal effects and resource availability on the observed GxE. A reciprocal-transplant experiment showed a home-site advantage in terms of establishmen of the demes. Germination in a manipulative greenhouse experiment mirrored the patterns in natural environments, with GxE in response to light and water availability. Overall germination was lower in the degraded-forest habitat and under high-light and low-water conditions in the greenhouse. Several analysis suggested that maternal effects related to size on germination are weak, but maternal effects are suggested by better survival of larger seedlings in the degraded-forest habitat. With weak maternal effects, GxE in establishment of individuals suggest some adaptive differentiation across demes in this cycad, which could have implications for population persistence in its habitats.


Common-garden experiment Maternal effects Population divergence Reciprocal-transplant experiment 


Diferencias entre habitats pueden resultar en divergencia adaptativa entre poblaciones que se evidencia por interacciones genotipo-ambiente (GxA). Examiné GxA en germinación y supervivencia de plántulas en demes de una cycada de bosques tropicales en sus habitats de bosques nativos y degradados, y exploré el papel de efectos maternos y disponibilidad de recursos en las GxA observadas. Un experimento de transplante recíproco mostró una ventaja de sitio nativo en términos de establecimiento para los demes. La germinación en un experimento de invernadero simuló los patrones en ambientes naturales, con GxA en respuesta a la disponibilidad de luz y humedad. En general la germinación fue mas baja en el habitat de bosque degradado y en las condiciones de alta luz y baja humedad en el invernadero. Varios análisis sugirieron que los efectos maternos relacionados con el tamaño sobre la germinación son débiles, pero efectos maternos podrían existir dada una mejor supervivencia de plántulas de mayor tamaño en el habitat de bosque degradado. Con efectos maternos débiles, GxA en el establecimiento de individuos sugieren algún grado de divergencia adaptativa entre demes de esta cycada, lo cual podría tener implicaciones para la persistencia de las poblaciones en sus habitats.



I thank the personnel at Corcovado National Park in Costa Rica for their help during fieldwork, and at Montgomery Botanical Center for support during the greenhouse experiment. This research was funded by a couple of research grants awarded to CLG by the Montgomery Botanical Center (FL, USA).

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Copyright information

© The New York Botanical Garden 2013

Authors and Affiliations

  1. 1.Biology InstituteUniversidad de Antioquia (Colombia)MedellinColombia

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