Data from: Costs and benefits of admixture between foreign genotypes and local populations in the field
Date of Archiving2019
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Molecular Plant Physiology
Key wordsreciprocal transplant; local adaptation; Lythrum salicaria; Hybridisation
Admixture is the hybridization between populations within one species. It can increase plant fitness and population viability by alleviating inbreeding depression and increasing genetic diversity. However, populations are often adapted to their local environments and admixture with distant populations could break down local adaptation by diluting the locally adapted genomes. Thus, admixed genotypes might be selected against and be outcompeted by locally adapted genotypes in the local environments. To investigate the costs and benefits of admixture, we compared the performance of admixed and within-population F1 and F2 generations of the European plant Lythrum salicaria in a reciprocal transplant experiment at three European field sites over a two-year period. Despite strong differences between site and plant populations for most of the measured traits, including herbivory, we found limited evidence for local adaptation. The effects of admixture depended on experimental site and plant population, and were positive for some traits. Plant growth and fruit production of some populations increased in admixed offspring and this was strongest with larger parental distances. These effects were only detected in two of our three sites. Our results show that, in the absence of local adaptation, admixture may boost plant performance, and that this is particularly apparent in stressful environments. We suggest that admixture between foreign and local genotypes can potentially be considered in nature conservation to restore populations and/or increase population viability, especially in small inbred or maladapted populations.