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Functional traits and local adaptation in Epidendrum fulgens Brongn (Orchidaceae) ecotypes

Grant number: 20/12723-0
Support Opportunities:Scholarships in Brazil - Master
Effective date (Start): February 01, 2021
Effective date (End): April 30, 2022
Field of knowledge:Biological Sciences - Botany
Principal Investigator:Fábio Pinheiro
Grantee:Thales Moreira de Lima
Host Institution: Instituto de Biologia (IB). Universidade Estadual de Campinas (UNICAMP). Campinas , SP, Brazil


Environmental variation within the range of a species may generate divergent selective pressures between populations, with local adaptation being one of the possible results. This adaptive process can be understood as a differentiation of the ecological niche of each population, with the idea of a trade-off between adaptations for each environment being implicit. Therefore, it is expected that, if individuals from different population are submitted to one of the factors responsible for such differentiation, there will be an inter-population contrast of individuals performance. Each group of populations will have physiological and morphological differences related to adaptation to each environment, and these changes can be integrated and related to environmental factors through functional attributes. Natural selection must overcome the gene flow between populations for local adaptation to take place, but once it is established it can reduce the gene flow between different ecotypes and generate a pattern of "isolation by environment". In this project, ecophysiological experiments will be carried out to evaluate the performance of coastal and interior populations of Epidendrum fulgens Brongn to marine spray, investigating if there is a pattern of local adaptation. In addition, it will be assessed whether the functional attributes and the climatic niche of the two groups of populations indicate any divergent selection process. Finally, it will be assessed whether neutral molecular markers reflect an "isolation by environment" pattern. (AU)

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