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Journal of Ecology 2009, 97, 450462 doi: 10.1111/j.1365-2745.2009.01481.x 2009 The Authors. Journal compilation 2009 British Ecological Society
 

Summary: Journal of Ecology 2009, 97, 450462 doi: 10.1111/j.1365-2745.2009.01481.x
2009 The Authors. Journal compilation 2009 British Ecological Society
Blackwell Publishing Ltd
Frayed at the edges: selective pressure and adaptive
response to abiotic stressors are mismatched in low
diversity edge populations
Gareth A. Pearson*, Asuncion Lago-Leston and Catarina Mota
CCMAR-CIMAR, University of Algarve, 8005-139 Faro, Portugal
Summary
1. Theory predicts that population structure and dynamics affect a population's capacity for
adaptation to environmental change. For isolated, small and fragmented populations at the trailing
edge of species distributions, loss of genetic diversity through random genetic drift may reduce
adaptive potential and fitness levels for complex traits. This has important consequences for under-
standing population responses to, for example changing climate, but has rarely been tested in natural
populations.
2. We measured the intertidal thermal environment and tidal exposure (emersion) times for natural
populations of the intertidal seaweed Fucus serratus at the centre (southwest UK) and southern
edge (northern Portugal) of its range in the Eastern Atlantic, and for a congener, F. vesiculosus,
whose range extends further south to Morocco. Fitness-related traits of individuals at each location
were measured in common garden experiments: physiological resilience to desiccation and heat

  

Source: Alberto, Filipe - Centro de Ciencias do Mar, Universidade do Algarve

 

Collections: Environmental Sciences and Ecology; Biology and Medicine