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Environmental context drives seed predator-mediated selection on a floral display trait
Stockholm University, Faculty of Science, Department of Botany.
2010 (English)In: Evolutionary Ecology, ISSN 0269-7653, E-ISSN 1573-8477, Vol. 24, no 2, 433-445 p.Article in journal (Refereed) Published
Abstract [en]

Linking trait selection to environmental context is necessary to move beyond the simple recognition that selection is spatially variable and to understand what ultimately drives this variation. Natural selection acts through differences among individuals in lifetime fitness and information about effects on fitness components is therefore often not sufficient to gain such an understanding. We investigated how environmental context influenced intensity of seed predation, flower abortion and selection on floral display traits in 44-52 populations of the perennial herb Primula veris over 2 years. Phenotypic selection on both inflorescence height and flower number varied among populations and was mediated partly by pre-dispersal seed predation and flower abortion in one of the years. Among-population variation in selection on inflorescence height, but not flower number, was linked to variation in canopy cover via its effects on seed predation. Lifetime fitness was less sensitive to seed predator damage in shaded environments but estimates of selection based on lifetime fitness agreed qualitatively with those based on seed output. Our results demonstrate that seed predators constitute an important link between environmental conditions and trait evolution in plants, and that selection on plant traits by seed predators can depend on environmental context.

Place, publisher, year, edition, pages
2010. Vol. 24, no 2, 433-445 p.
Keyword [en]
Environment, Flower abortion, Flower number, Inflorescence height, Lifetime fitness, Phenotypic selection, Pre-dispersal seed predation
National Category
Biological Sciences
URN: urn:nbn:se:su:diva-49290DOI: 10.1007/s10682-009-9316-2ISI: 000274109600012OAI: diva2:378172
authorCount :2Available from: 2010-12-15 Created: 2010-12-13 Last updated: 2010-12-15Bibliographically approved

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Ehrlén, Johan
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