Genetic differentation in reproductive effort in the perennial herb Primula farinosa is related to vegetation height
(English)Manuscript (preprint) (Other academic)
Spatial variation in abiotic and biotic environmental factors influences vital rates and selection on reproductive strategies. Environmental factors that increase plant mortality, reduce competition and create gaps favorable for seedling recruitment should favor high reproductive effort in plants. To determine whether reproductive effort was negatively related to vegetation height and water availability, we quantified variation in age at first reproduction and relative allocation to flower production in flowering plants in field surveys and in a common-garden experiment that included twenty populations of Primula farinosa in calcareous alvar grasslands in SE Sweden. Reproductive effort of flowering plants varied significantly among populations both at the sites of origin and in the common-garden experiment, whereas there were no differences in age at first reproduction. Both in the field and in the common garden, reproductive effort decreased with increasing vegetation height at the sites of origin, and in the field it also tended to decrease with increasing soil moisture. The results indicate that observed variation in reproductive effort represent both genetic differentiation and phenotypic plasticity, that genetic differences in reproductive effort may have evolved in response to divergent selection associated with among-population differences in vegetation height, and that water availability is one determinant of plastic variation in reproductive effort.
Research subject Plant Ecology
IdentifiersURN: urn:nbn:se:su:diva-79482OAI: oai:DiVA.org:su-79482DiVA: diva2:549460