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Flexible mating: cross-pollination affects sex-expression in a marine clonal plant

MPG-Autoren
http://pubman.mpdl.mpg.de/cone/persons/resource/persons56707

Hämmerli,  A.
Department Ecophysiology, Max Planck Institute for Limnology, Max Planck Institute for Evolutionary Biology, Max Planck Society;

http://pubman.mpdl.mpg.de/cone/persons/resource/persons56884

Reusch,  T. B. H.
Department Ecophysiology, Max Planck Institute for Limnology, Max Planck Institute for Evolutionary Biology, Max Planck Society;
Department Evolutionary Ecology, Max Planck Institute for Evolutionary Biology, Max Planck Society;

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Zitation

Hämmerli, A., & Reusch, T. B. H. (2003). Flexible mating: cross-pollination affects sex-expression in a marine clonal plant. Journal of Evolutionary Biology, 16(6), 1096-1105. doi:doi:10.1046/j.1420-9101.2003.00626.x.


Zitierlink: http://hdl.handle.net/11858/00-001M-0000-000F-DB9F-4
Zusammenfassung
Many functionally hermaphroditic plants have evolved mechanisms to reduce interference between the sex functions and to optimize reproductive output. In addition to physical mechanisms such as the spatial (herkogamy) and temporal (dichogamy) separation of male and female functions, plasticity in sex expression by means of mate-recognition (flexible mating) could be important in plants with variable access to cross-pollen. This applies particularly to clonal plants because of their modular growth form. We experimentally tested for the effects of pollen source and vegetative neighbourhood on instantaneous sex ratio and seed production in the self-compatible clonal marine angiosperm Zostera marina L. To this end, we exposed the (monoecious) flowering shoots to self and cross-pollen and to neighbourhoods of their own and a mix of foreign vegetative shoots. Flowering shoots that had been exposed to cross-pollen showed (1) a significantly lower female/male ratio at peak flowering, evidence for mate-recognition, and (2) a significantly higher seed set by the end of the season. Both effects were independent of the genetic composition of their vegetative neighbourhood. The results suggest that Z. marina maintains a cryptic self-incompatibility system not previously described for angiosperms with sub-aqueous pollination. In Z. marina, and possibly other self-compatible clonal plant species, mate-recognition could be a means of increasing the out-crossing probability for flowering shoots with central positions within their clone