Biodiversity & Conservation

, Volume 7, Issue 6, pp 799–813 | Cite as

Phenotypic variation and stress resistance in core and peripheral populations of Hordeum spontaneum

  • Sergei Volis
  • Samuel Mendlinger
  • Linda Olsvig-Whittaker
  • Uriel N. Safriel
  • Nikolay Orlovsky


The phenotypic variation and response of plants to water stress were studied in a field trial in populations of wild barley, Hordeum spontaneum Koch. from Israel and Turkmenistan. Populations from the species distributional core and periphery were compared and contrasted for phenotypic variation in 16 phenological and morphological traits. The peripheral populations (six) were found to be phenotypically more variable and more resistant to water stress than core populations (12). The association of water-stress resistance with high phenotypic variability gives support to the hypothesis that populations that are genetically more variable are better adapted or pre-adapted to environmental changes and are thus valuable for conservation.

phenotypic variation core and peripheral populations wild barley 


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Copyright information

© Kluwer Academic Publishers 1998

Authors and Affiliations

  • Sergei Volis
    • 1
  • Samuel Mendlinger
    • 1
  • Linda Olsvig-Whittaker
    • 2
  • Uriel N. Safriel
    • 3
    • 4
  • Nikolay Orlovsky
    • 5
  1. 1.The Institutes for Applied ResearchBen-Gurion University of the NegevBeer ShevaIsrael
  2. 2.JerusalemIsrael
  3. 3.The Mitrani Center for Desert EcologyBen-Gurion University of the NegevSede BoqerIsrael
  4. 4.Department of Evolution, Systematics and Ecology, Alexander Silberman Institute of Life SciencesThe Hebrew University of JerusalemJerusalemIsrael
  5. 5.The Institute for Desert ResearchAshgabatTurkmenistan

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