Ecotypic Variation in Tundra Plants

Collaborating PIs:

Ned Fetcher Wilkes University, Institute for Environmental Science and Sustainability, 84 W. South St. Wlkes-Barre, PA

James McGraw West Virginia University, Department of Biology, 53 Campus Drive, Morgantown, WV

Jim Tang, the Ecosystems Center, Marine Biological Laboratory, Woods Hole, MA.

Michael L. Moody, Biological Sciences, The University of Texas at El Paso, El Paso, TX

Reciprocal transplant experiments designed to quantify genetic and environmental effects on phenotype are powerful tools for the study of local adaptation. For long-lived species, especially those in habitats with short growing seasons, however, the cumulative effects of many years in novel environments may be required for fitness differences and phenotypic changes to accrue. We returned to reciprocal transplant experiments thirty years after their initial establishment in interior Alaska to ask whether patterns of differentiation observed in the years immediately following transplant have persisted. For more information see the following web sites:

Ecotypic Variation and the Response of Tundra Plants to Climate Change

Consequences of Rapid Environmental Change in the Arctic

Recent publications:

Jessica Schedlbauer, Ned Fetcher, Katherine Hood, Michael Moody, and Jianwu Tang. 2018. Carbon dioxide response curve, dark respiration, specific leaf area, and leaf nitrogen data for the 2014 Eriophorum vaginatum reciprocal transplant gardens at Toolik Lake and Sagwon, AK, collected in 2016. Arctic Data Center.

Schedlbauer JL, Fetcher N, Hood K, Moody ML, Tang J. Effect of growth temperature on photosynthetic capacity and respiration in three ecotypes ofEriophorum vaginatum. Ecology and Evolution. 2018 ;8(7):3711 - 3725.

Carey JC, Parker TC, Fetcher N, Tang J. Biogenic silica accumulation varies across tussock tundra plant functional type Power S. Functional Ecology [Internet]. 2017 ;31(11):2177 - 2187. Available from:

Parker TC, Tang J, Clark MB, Moody ML, Fetcher N. Ecotypic differences in the phenology of the tundra species Eriophorum vaginatum reflect sites of origin. Ecology and Evolution [Internet]. 2017 ;7(22):9775 - 9786. Available from: