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DNA methylation is an important, heritable epigenetic modification in most eukaryotic organisms that is connected with numerous biological processes. To study the impact of natural epigenetic variation in an ecological or evolutionary context, epigenetic studies are increasingly using methylation-sensitive amplification polymorphism (MSAP) for surveys at(More)
Variation of DNA methylation is thought to play an important role for rapid adjustments of plant populations to dynamic environmental conditions, thus compensating for the relatively slow response time of genetic adaptations. However, genetic and epigenetic variation of wild plant populations has not yet been directly compared in fast changing environments.(More)
Arctic ecosystems face strong changes in snow conditions due to global warming. In contrast to habitat specialists, species occupying a wide range of microhabitats under different snow conditions may better cope with such changes. We studied how growth and reproduction of the dominant dwarf shrub Empetrum hermaphroditum varied among three habitat types(More)
Understanding the partitioning of genetic variance in peripheral and central populations may shed more light on the effects of genetic drift and gene flow on population genetic structure and, thereby, improve attempts to conserve genetic diversity. We analysed genetic structure of peripheral and central populations of three insect-pollinated violets (Viola(More)
Seedling establishment is influenced by litter cover and by seed predators, but little is known about interactions between these two factors. We tested their effects on emergence of five typical grassland species in a microcosm experiment. We manipulated the amounts of grass litter, seed sowing position and earthworm activity to determine whether: (i) the(More)
BACKGROUND AND AIMS Ongoing and previous range expansions have a strong influence on population genetic structure of plants. In turn, genetic variation in the new range may affect the population dynamics and the expansion process. The annual Ceratocapnos claviculata (Papaveraceae) has expanded its Atlantic European range in recent decades towards the north(More)
Non-native plant species may contain allelopathic substances that might help to out-compete native vegetation. These allelochemicals may be released from live or dead plant tissues and be accumulated in the soil. We tested whether non-native species leaf litter and their leachates reduced seedling establishment and growth of native species. We subjected(More)
BACKGROUND AND AIMS A meta-analysis of global change experiments in arctic tundra sites suggests that plant productivity and the cover of shrubs, grasses and dead plant material (i.e. litter) will increase and the cover of bryophytes will decrease in response to higher air temperatures. However, little is known about which effects these changes in(More)
Since inference concerning the relative effects of propagule pressure, biotic interactions, site conditions and species traits on the invasibility of plant communities is limited, we carried out a field experiment to study the role of these factors for absolute and relative seedling emergence in three resident and three non-resident confamilial herb species(More)
Fitness of individual plants and of populations depends on the rates of survival, growth and fecundity. This study tested whether vital rates were differentially affected by biotic interactions and water availability. The effects of manipulations of above-ground competition (through clipping) and water availability (through water addition) on the vital(More)