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Relative success of frost-resistant variants of Avena fatua : a field experiment

Abstract : Abstract While climate change mainly applies to global warming and subsequent drought periods, freezing periods also are changing and may trigger genetic adaptation. However, there are few prospective, experimental demonstrations. This paper investigates how effectively genetic frost-resistant variants can respond differently to frost periods, especially in farmers’ fields where various other selection pressures occur. An experiment using Avena fatua variants was set up in the field over 8 years of winter crop rotation. The frequency of each variant identified by their leaf isozymes was estimated every year. Six years were necessary to observe a weak trend towards an increased frequency of the frost-resistant phenotype, while the other variants had apparent erratic behaviour. Selection of the frost-resistant variant was challenged by irregular low temperature selection pressure, differential dormancy, germination and seed production, and possibly herbicide sensitivity that mitigated the expression of the selection response. This experiment shows how plant polymorphism and farmers’ practices that superimpose habitat unpredictability diversify possible responses to selection pressures and delay adaptation. However, if climate change brings both higher mean temperatures and extreme values, changes of apparent plant phenology could happen for weeds species displaying the appropriate genetic variability within the time-frame of farmers’ career, thus necessitating correlative adaptation of farming practices.
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Contributor : Noureddine El Mjiyad <>
Submitted on : Monday, June 28, 2021 - 1:26:18 PM
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Henri Darmency, Alain Fleury. Relative success of frost-resistant variants of Avena fatua : a field experiment. Journal of Agricultural Science, Cambridge University Press (CUP), 2020, 158 (7), pp.558-563. ⟨10.1017/S002185962000101X⟩. ⟨hal-03272455⟩



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