Journal Article

Effect of variation in self-incompatibility on pollen limitation and inbreeding depression in <i>Flourensia cernua</i> (Asteraceae) scrubs of contrasting density

Miriam M. Ferrer, Sara V. Good-Avila, Carlos Montaña, César A. Domínguez and Luis E. Eguiarte

in Annals of Botany

Published on behalf of The Annals of Botany Company

Volume 103, issue 7, pages 1077-1089
Published in print May 2009 | ISSN: 0305-7364
Published online February 2009 | e-ISSN: 1095-8290 | DOI: http://dx.doi.org/10.1093/aob/mcp033
Effect of variation in self-incompatibility on pollen limitation and inbreeding depression in Flourensia cernua (Asteraceae) scrubs of contrasting density

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  • Ecology and Conservation
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Background and Aims

Selection may favour a partial or complete loss of self-incompatibility (SI) if it increases the reproductive output of individuals in the presence of low mate availability. The reproductive output of individuals varying in their strength of SI may also be affected by population density via its affect on the spatial structuring and number of S-alleles in populations. Modifiers increasing levels of self-compatibility can be selected when self-compatible individuals receive reproductive compensation by, for example, increasing seed set and/or when they become associated with high fitness genotypes.

Methods

The effect of variation in the strength of SI and scrub density (low versus high) on seed set, seed germination and inbreeding depression in seed germination (δgerm) was investigated in the partially self-incompatible species Flourensia cernua by analysing data from self-, cross- and open-pollinated florets.

Key Results

Examination of 100 plants in both high and low scrub densities revealed that 51% of plants were strongly self-incompatible and 49 % varied from being self-incompatible to self-compatible. Seed set after hand cross-pollination was higher than after open-pollination for self-incompatible, partially self-incompatible and self-compatible plants but was uniformly low for strongly self-incompatible plants. Strongly self-incompatible and self-incompatible plants exhibited lower seed set, seed germination and multiplicative female fitness (floral display × seed set × seed germination) in open-pollinated florets compared with partially self-incompatible and self-compatible plants. Scrub density also had an effect on seed set and inbreeding depression: in low-density scrubs seed set was higher after open-pollination and δgerm was lower.

Conclusions

These data suggest that (a) plants suffered outcross pollen limitation, (b) female fitness in partially self-incompatible and self-compatible plants is enhanced by increased mate-compatibility and (c) plants in low-density scrubs received higher quality pollen via open-pollination than plants in high-density scrubs.

Keywords: Flourensia cernua; population density; seed set; seed germination; female fitness; partial self-incompatibility; Mapimí Biosphere Reserve

Journal Article.  9738 words.  Illustrated.

Subjects: Ecology and Conservation ; Evolutionary Biology ; Plant Sciences and Forestry

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