Influence of selfing and maternal effects on life-cycle traits and dispersal ability in the herb Hypochaeris radicata (Asteraceae)
SourceBotanical Journal of the Linnean Society, 146, 2, (2004), pp. 163-170
Article / Letter to editor
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Aquatic Ecology and Environmental Biology
Botanical Journal of the Linnean Society
The ecological and evolutionary implications of dispersal are many. Pollination type and maternal effects may affect plant fitness traits, including life-cycle traits as well as dispersal ability. This study investigated the joint influence of pollination type and maternal effects on both life-cycle traits and dispersal ability in the herb Hypochaeris radicata. We conducted experimental crosses to obtain selfed and outcrossed progeny. Individual seeds and their pappuses were measured to determine seed terminal velocity. Seed size was also used to assess maternal effects. Selfing dramatically decreased seed set, indicating that H. radicata is self-incompatible. However, the few selfed seeds produced outperformed outcrossed seeds in seed size and flowering probability, surely as a result of an effective reallocation of resources among selfed seeds. None of the life-cycle traits was affected by seed size, the estimate of maternal effects. Selfed seeds were larger and bore a smaller pappus than outcrossed seeds. As a result, dispersal ability was lower for selfed than outcrossed seeds. Several factors, such as the low proportion of plants that produced selfed seeds, the low number of selfed seeds produced per plant, and the lack of self-fertility mechanisms might act in concert to prevent the evolution of selfing in H. radicata. (C) 2004 The Linnean Society of London.
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