Study on reproductive traits in Ranunculus glacialis
Growth and reproductive adaptations to low temperature, short season length, and/or fluctuating weather conditions are key traits for arctic and alpine plant species. Ranunculus glacialis in alpine area at Finse retains the perianth after the anthesis, but petals color change from white to purple, as opposed to most species that wither the perianths after petals have contributed to insect attraction during anthesis.
Photograph of Ranunculus glacialis in the flowering (left) and fruiting phase (right). Petals are retained, but change in color, until seeds are mature.
We investigate the ecologically and evolutionary significances of this unique trait (retention of old perianths), by examining resource allocation to sexual reproduction and the subsequent reproductive output in plants with and without purple petals, to understand how this trait has evolved under the harsh abiotic environment in alpine Norway.