Tillandsia landbeckii is securing high phenotypic plasticity and population fitness via clonal propagation at the dry limits of plant life in the Chilean Atacama Desert

Published: 20 March 2024| Version 2 | DOI: 10.17632/8hjmjsxkw9.2
, Marcus Koch


Sarina Jabbusch, Marcus A. Koch* *Correspondence: Marcus A. Koch, marcus.koch@cos.uni-heidelberg.de General description of data Tillandsia landbeckii is an epiarenically (on sand and without roots) growing Bromeliaceae from the Atacama Desert. We gathered genetic (genotyping-by-sequencing) as well as phenotypic data. The phenotypic data included growth rate, leaf length and stem diameter of one Tillandsia landbeckii population. Growth rate and leaf length were collected from nine study plots distributed across the population at different elevations and with different vegetation densities. This data was gathered for one year in situ in the Atacama Desert and for two years ex situ at Heidelberg Botanic Garden with T. landbeckii plants collected from the nine study plots. Leaf length and stem diameter were measured across the whole T. landbeckii population in addition to the phenotypic measurements in the nine plots. With the genetic data, we determined the genetic diversity in the Tillandsia landbeckii population, assigned genetic variation into genepools and characterized clonally distributed individuals and their respective frequency. In combination with the phenotypic data, we evaluated which effect genetic and phenotypic variability in concert have on the fitness of the T. landbeckii population. Furthermore, the phenotypic field data are used to compare growth rates and leaf length under differing environmental conditions and to evaluate seasonal differences in the growth rate. The file explanation.docx will provide details about data files and scripts.



University of Heidelberg Centre for Organismal Studies


Evolutionary Biology


Deutsche Forschungsgemeinschaft

INST 216/860