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Due to a warming climate, mangrove populations within the Gulf of Mexico and along the Florida Atlantic coastline are expanding their range poleward. As mangroves expand their range limit, leading edge individuals are more likely to experience an increased incidence of freeze events. However, we still lack a clear understanding of the mechanisms used by mangroves to survive freezing conditions.
Here, we conducted common garden experiments at different locations experiencing variable winter freeze conditions to show glycine betaine, an organic osmolyte, increases significantly with freeze exposure, playing an important role in the freeze tolerance of
Avicennia germinans, a widespread Neotropical mangrove.
We found glycine betaine accumulation was similar across all source populations and freeze exposure locations, suggesting glycine betaine is not a range limit adaptation and is instead used for freeze tolerance by
A. germinansirrespective of source population. Plants sourced from populations that experience freezing conditions exhibited greater rates of survival, indicating range edge populations of A. germinanshave other heritable adaptations in addition to glycine betaine for freeze tolerance. Synthesis. Continued mangrove expansion poleward will result in a greater incidence of freeze events for individuals at the leading edge. Our findings suggest freeze tolerance in this species may be genetically based and that leading edge A. germinanshave the potential to survive extreme freeze events and recover post‐freeze, allowing for their continued expansion poleward. This process of selective survival may act to promote adaptation of freeze tolerance in range edge populations.
While molecular visualization has been recognized as a threshold concept in biology education, the explicit assessment of students' visual literacy skills is rare. To facilitate the evaluation of this fundamental ability, a series of NSF‐IUSE‐sponsored workshops brought together a community of faculty engaged in creating instruments to assess students' biomolecular visualization skills. These efforts expanded our earlier work in which we created a rubric describing overarching themes, learning goals, and learning objectives that address student progress toward biomolecular visual literacy. Here, the BioMolViz Steering Committee (
BioMolViz.org) documents the results of those workshops and uses social network analysis to examine the growth of a community of practice. We also share many of the lessons we learned as our workshops evolved, as they may be instructive to other members of the scientific community as they organize workshops of their own.