Adaptive variation and local adaptation requires decades to become evident in common gardens

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Here, we show >20 yr were required for adaptive differences to emerge among 13 populations of a widespread shrub (sagebrush, Artemisia tridentata ssp wyomingensis) collected from around the western United States and planted into common gardens. Additionally, >10 yr were required for greater survival of local populations, that is, local adaptation, to become evident. Variation in survival was best explained by the combination of populations’ home ecoregion combined with grouping of minimum temperature and aridity.

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