Serpentine soils are extreme habitats known to be involved in processes of local adaptation and speciation of plants. Here I use a greenhouse reciprocal-transplant experiment to compile baseline data for describing patterns of serpentine local adaptation in Quercus ilex subsp. ballota (Holm Oak). I also tested the role of mycorrhizal fungi on the establishment and growth of seedlings on serpentine and non-serpentine soil. Non-serpentine seedlings grew more than serpentine seedlings in all treatments. Plants grew more on non-serpentine soil and mycorrhizal fungi positively influenced seedling growth. I did not find evidence of better seedling performance in their home environment, suggesting the absence of local adaptation. However, I document significant growth differences between serpentine and non-serpentine seedlings, which suggest physiological differences between seedlings from these two soil origins.
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