The significance of variation in floral traits and mating system for local adaptation (2015 ongoing)


We test the hypothesis, that population variability in floral traits and the mating system are the result of natural selection and local adaptation. Particularly. We will evaluate whether variation in protandry and flower phenology in Anthyllis vulneraria results from fine-tuning of populations to the timing and abundance of pollinator availability. We suggest that protandry evolved to adjust flowers to the optimum degree of outcrossing, determined by inbreeding depression, pollinator service and reproductive insurance. In Campanula scheuchzeri/rotundifolia we evaluate whether variation in flower size (and shape) is an adaptation to pollinator environment at different elevation. We suggest that larger flowers evolved to better attract scarce pollinators or to fit better the particular pollinators at higher elevation.


Halil Kesselring, Hannah Bichsel

Selected publications

Kesselring H, Hamann E, Stöcklin J, Armbruster GFJ (2013) New microsatellite markers for Anthyllis vulneraria (Fabaceae), analysed with Spreadex® gel electrophoresis. Application in Plant Sciences 1(12): 1300054.

Preite V, Stöcklin J, Armbruster GFJ, Scheepens JF (2015) Adaptation of flowering phenology and fitness-related traits across environmental gradients in the widespread Campanula rotundifolia. Evol Ecol 29: 249-267, DOI 10.1007/s10682-015-9754-y