Climate adaptation in plants

Habitat of Arabidopsis lyrata on the shore of Lake Michigan, USA - Measuring soil water content in populations of A. lyrata - Common garden study relating plant traits with climate at the sites of origin of seeds



Climate adaptation in plants; adaptation to latitude and elevation – what are the important environmental factors? what are the traits of adaptation? 

Predicting adaptive evolution under climate change depends on knowledge of the important niche parameters of a species and the traits of climate adaptation. Once this is known, genetic variation within species for tolerance traits can be measured.

We use niche modelling to understand what the important climate niche parameters are, and perform common garden experiments with divergent populations to assess the traits that co-vary with the climatic conditions at the site of origin. We also use genome-wide association studies, relating population frequencies of genetic variants with the climatic conditions at their site of origin, as an alternative approach to understanding the relevant traits and pathways.


Projects of Marco Fracassetti, Julien Vieu, Guillaume Wos, Julie Lee-Yaw



Wos G, Willi, Y (2015) Temperature-stress resistance and tolerance along a latitudinal cline in North American Arabidopsis lyrata. PLoS ONE 10, e0131808

Paccard A, Fruleux A, Willi, Y (2014) Latitudinal trait variation and responses to drought in Arabidopsis lyrata. Oecologia 175:577–587