Annals of Botany

Ecological range shift and polyploidy in Fosterella

Distribution of polyploidy along a relatively steep Andean elevation gradient is studied using the genus Fosterella (Bromeliaceae) as a model system. Paule et al. observed an ecological differentiation of cytotypes with polyploids preferentially occupying colder habitats with high annual temperature variability (seasonality).

Distribution of studied Fosterella cytotypes.
Distribution of studied Fosterella cytotypes. Each location is represented by a filled circle or pie chart, with ploidy levels indicated by different colours. Grey lines point to the original position of the data point, which is otherwise covered by another data point. The size of circles and pie charts is proportional to the number of analysed plants.

Ancestral chromosome number reconstructions suggest a link between polyploidizations, dispersal events and range shifts. The results indicate polyploidy’s role in generating speciation in a topographically highly structured and climatically diverse landscape.

Polyploidy Special Issue Cover This paper is part of the Annals of Botany Special Issue on Polyploidy in Ecology and Evolution. It will be free access until October 2017, then available only to subscribers until August 2018 when it will be free access again.


Paule, J., Wagner, N. D., Weising, K., & Zizka, G. (2017). Ecological range shift in the polyploid members of the South American genus Fosterella (Bromeliaceae). Annals of Botany, mcw245.