Journal of Plant Research

, Volume 131, Issue 6, pp 987–999 | Cite as

Dependence of functional traits related to growth rates and their CO2 response on multiple habitat climate factors across Arabidopsis thaliana populations

  • Hiroshi OzakiEmail author
  • Riichi Oguchi
  • Kouki Hikosaka
Regular Paper


The values of many plant traits are often different even within a species as a result of local adaptation. Here, we studied how multiple climate variables influence trait values in Arabidopsis thaliana grown under common conditions. We examined 9 climate variables and 29 traits related to vegetative growth rate in 44 global A. thaliana accessions grown at ambient or elevated CO2 concentration ([CO2]) and applied a multiple regression analysis. We found that genetic variations in the traits related to growth rates were associated with various climate variables. At ambient [CO2], plant size was positively correlated with precipitation in the original habitat. This may be a result of larger biomass investment in roots at the initial stage in plants adapting to a lower precipitation. Stomatal conductance and photosynthetic nitrogen use efficiency were negatively correlated with vapor pressure deficit, probably as a result of the trade-off between photosynthetic water- and nitrogen-use efficiency. These results suggest that precipitation and air humidity influence belowground and aboveground traits, respectively. Elevated [CO2] altered climate dependences in some of the studied traits. The CO2 response of relative growth rate was negatively correlated with altitude, indicating that plants inhabiting a higher altitude have less plasticity to changing [CO2]. These results are useful not only for understanding evolutionary process but also to predict the plant species that are favored under future global change.


Ecotype Functional traits Global change Growth analysis Habitat filtering Local adaptation 



The authors thank members of the laboratory of plant ecology and functional ecology at Tohoku University for their support in statistical analyses. This work was supported by KAKENHI (nos. 20677001, 21114009, 25291095, 17H03727), Global COE program (J03) and JST CREST Grant number JPMJCR11B3, Japan.

Supplementary material

10265_2018_1058_MOESM1_ESM.pdf (230 kb)
Supplementary material 1 (PDF 230 KB)


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Copyright information

© The Botanical Society of Japan and Springer Japan KK, part of Springer Nature 2018

Authors and Affiliations

  1. 1.Graduate School of Life SciencesTohoku UniversitySendaiJapan
  2. 2.School of Life SciencesTokyo University of Pharmacy and Life SciencesHachiojiJapan

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