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Data from: Delusions of grandeur: seed count is not a good fitness proxy under individual variation in phenology

Citation

Wen, Lina; Simons, Andrew (2020), Data from: Delusions of grandeur: seed count is not a good fitness proxy under individual variation in phenology, Dryad, Dataset, https://doi.org/10.5061/dryad.0cfxpnvzc

Abstract

The concept of fitness is central to evolutionary biology, yet it is difficult to define and to measure. In plant biology, fitness is often measured as seed count. However, under an array of circumstances, seed count may be a biased proxy of fitness; for example, when individuals vary in allocation to sexual vs. asexual reproduction. A more subtle example, but also likely to be important in natural populations, is when interindividual variation in conditions during development results in variation in offspring quality among seed parents. In monocarpic (semelparous) plants, this is expected to result from variation in effective season length experienced among individuals that reach reproductive maturity at different times. Here, we manipulate growing season length to ask whether seed count is an accurate representation of parental fitness in the monocarpic herb Lobelia inflata. Simple seed count suggests a paradoxical fitness advantage under constrained season length. However, we find that the apparent fitness advantage of a constrained season length is overridden by low relative per-seed fitness. Furthermore, the fitness deficit in the constrained environment is associated primarily with an accelerating decrease in viability and seedling survival in seeds derived from fruits produced progressively later in the season. In this study, the overall fitness value of a seed under a constrained season is 0.774 of that observed under a long season.

Usage Notes

Please see Wen & Simons Read Me file.

Funding

Natural Sciences and Engineering Research Council of Canada, Award: RGPIN-2015-03922