These clear divergence patterns promote The adaptation of organisms to natural and/or anthropogenic changes in their physical environment has raised considerable interest among plant ecologists and evolutionary biologists.
Special attention has been given to living organisms occurring on sites with high concentrations of Metal Trace Elements (hereafter called “metals”).
Firstly, local adaptation to metal-polluted soils is expected to result in a higher frequency of tolerant genotypes in M compared to NM populations. Secondly, considering that M populations of pseudometallophyte species occurring on anthropogenic polluted sites result from recent colonization and adaptation events, their level of neutral genetic diversity is expected to be reduced due to selection, founder and bottleneck effects during the colonization of metalliferous soils (Lefèbvre and Vernet ).
Accordingly, several phenotyping experiments reported higher mean metal tolerance levels in M compared to NM populations (e.g. Such contrasting patterns suggest that a simple comparison of edaphic types may not be sufficient to understand the structure of genetic diversity within and among populations of pseudometallophyte species.
Adaptation is expected to evolve faster on artificially polluted sites, but with large differences observed between taxa (Ernst ).