Genetic and spatial variation in vegetative and floral traits across a hybrid zone

Diane R. Campbell, Robert A. Raguso, Maya Midzik, Mascha Bischoff, Geoffrey T. Broadhead

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

4 Citations (Scopus)


Premise: Genetic variation influences the potential for evolution to rescue populations from impacts of environmental change. Most studies of genetic variation in fitness-related traits focus on either vegetative or floral traits, with few on floral scent. How vegetative and floral traits compare in potential for adaptive evolution is poorly understood. Methods: We measured variation across source populations, planting sites, and genetic families for vegetative and floral traits in a hybrid zone. Seeds from families of Ipomopsis aggregata, I. tenuituba, and F1 and F2 hybrids of the two species were planted into three common gardens. Measured traits included specific leaf area (SLA), trichomes, water-use efficiency (WUE), floral morphology, petal color, nectar, and floral volatiles. Results: Vegetative traits SLA and WUE varied greatly among planting sites, while showing weak or no genetic variation among source populations. Specific leaf area and trichomes responded plastically to snowmelt date, and SLA exhibited within-population genetic variation. All aspects of floral morphology varied genetically among source populations, and corolla length, corolla width, and sepal width varied genetically within populations. Heritability was not detected for volatiles due to high environmental variation, although one terpene had high evolvability, and high emission of two terpenes, a class of compounds emitted more strongly from the calyx than the corolla, correlated genetically with sepal width. Environmental variation across sites was weak for floral morphology and stronger for volatiles and vegetative traits. The inheritance of three of four volatiles departed from additive. Conclusions: Results indicate stronger genetic potential for evolutionary responses to selection in floral morphology compared with scent and vegetative traits and suggest potentially adaptive plasticity in some vegetative traits.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)1780-1793
Number of pages14
JournalAmerican Journal of Botany
Issue number11
Publication statusPublished - 4 Oct 2022


  • common garden
  • floral morphology
  • floral scent
  • genetic variation
  • genotype by environment interaction
  • heritability
  • Polemoniaceae
  • specific leaf area
  • water-use efficiency


Dive into the research topics of 'Genetic and spatial variation in vegetative and floral traits across a hybrid zone'. Together they form a unique fingerprint.

Cite this