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Journal Articles New Phytologist Year : 2022

Asymmetric character displacement in mixed oak stands

Fang K Du
Min Qi
Yuan‐ye Zhang
Rémy J. Petit
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Ecological character displacement (ECD) refers to a pattern of increased divergence at sites where species ranges overlap caused by competition for resources. Although ECD is believed to be common, there are few in-depth studies that clearly establish its existence, especially in plants. Thus, we have compared leaf traits in allopatric and sympatric populations of two East Asian deciduous oaks: Quercus dentata and Quercus aliena. In contrast to previous studies, we define sympatry and allopatry at a local scale, thereby comparing populations that can or cannot directly interact. Using genetic markers, we found greater genetic divergence between the two oak species growing in mixed stands and inferred that long-term gene flow has predominantly occurred asymmetrically from the cold-tolerant species (Q. dentata) to the warm-demanding later colonizing species (Q. aliena). Analysis of leaf traits revealed greater divergence in mixed than in pure oak stands. This was mostly due to the later colonizing species being characterized by more resource-conservative traits in the presence of the other species. Controlling for relevant environmental differences did not alter these conclusions. These results suggest that asymmetric trait divergence can take place where species coexist, possibly due to the imbalance in demographic history of species resulting in asymmetric interspecific selection pressures.
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Dates and versions

hal-03745435 , version 1 (04-08-2022)




Fang K Du, Min Qi, Yuan‐ye Zhang, Rémy J. Petit. Asymmetric character displacement in mixed oak stands. New Phytologist, 2022, pp.1-13. ⟨10.1111/nph.18311⟩. ⟨hal-03745435⟩
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