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Data from: Phenotypic but not genotypic selection for earlier flowering in a perennial herb


Fogelström, Elsa; Ehrlén, Johan (2019), Data from: Phenotypic but not genotypic selection for earlier flowering in a perennial herb, Dryad, Dataset, https://doi.org/10.5061/dryad.3sj2h60


1. Timing of reproduction affects the outcome of interactions between plants and their pollinators, grazers and seed predators, as well as with their local abiotic environment. In seasonal environments, phenotypic selection has often been shown to favor early flowering. Yet, we still know little about the agents driving selection in natural populations and whether observed phenotypic selection corresponds to genotypic selection – a prerequisite for evolutionary change. 2. In this study, we experimentally assessed phenotypic and genotypic selection for flowering time in a natural population of the perennial herb Lathyrus vernus. We transplanted sibling individuals, obtained through controlled crosses, to their source population and found net phenotypic selection for earlier flowering in the field. 3. Despite a higher susceptibility to roe deer grazing, early-flowering plants had higher fruit set and more seeds per fruit than late-flowering plants. We found no support for genotypic selection on flowering time, and heritability for first flowering day was very low. 4. Synthesis: Our results suggest that commonly observed patterns of higher fitness in early-flowering plants do not always correspond to selection on genotypic values and are thus not necessarily expected to result in evolutionary change even if the relationship between flowering time and fitness is causal. This finding should be important to understand how species phenology might respond to changing environmental conditions.

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