Offspring performance in Oxalis acetosella, a cleistogamous perennial herb
2000 (English)In: Plant Biology, ISSN 1435-8603, E-ISSN 1438-8677, Vol. 2, no 6, 638-645 p.Article in journal (Refereed) Published
Seed weight, seed germination, seedling survival, and juvenile/adult fitness in chasmogamously (CH) and cleistogamously (CL) derived offspring of Oxalis acetosella were compared during three growing seasons, to test hypotheses of fitness differences between the offspring types accounting for the maintenance of cleistogamy. In plots at three field sites, CH and CL seeds originating from all sites were sown to compare the performance of offspring growing in their habitat of origin and offspring growing in new habitats. Seeds were also sown in pots in a common garden, to test for effects of sibling competition. CL seeds had significantly lower germination than CH seeds in the field, possibly because of lower mean seed weight due to later flowering. Since the outcrossing rate in the CH flowers of O. acetosella is not known, it is uncertain whether the lower CL germination is a consequence of inbreeding depression. CH seeds had higher germination if sown at their home sites than at new sites, while for CL seeds this made no difference; this contradicts the local adaptation hypothesis for cleistogamy. No other fitness differences were found between the offspring types, and the findings did not support the sibling competition or local adaptation hypotheses. We suggest that the maintenance of the dimorphic reproductive system in O. acetosella is not explained by offspring characteristics, but rather by the two flowering phases complementing each other in maximizing annual seed production in the face of environmental variability. It is, therefore, important to include temporal and spatial variation in studies of reproductive strategies.
Place, publisher, year, edition, pages
2000. Vol. 2, no 6, 638-645 p.
IdentifiersURN: urn:nbn:se:uu:diva-42117DOI: 10.1055/s-2000-16646OAI: oai:DiVA.org:uu-42117DiVA: diva2:70018