Data from: Parental optimism versus parental pessimism in plants: how common should we expect pollen limitation to be?
Cite this dataset
Rosenheim, Jay A.; Williams, Neal M.; Schreiber, Sebastian J. (2014). Data from: Parental optimism versus parental pessimism in plants: how common should we expect pollen limitation to be? [Dataset]. Dryad. https://doi.org/10.5061/dryad.5459n
Many organisms exhibit parental optimism, producing more of the initial stages of offspring (e.g., eggs, embryos) than they can usually mature. For plants, parental optimism may be linked to the risk of seed production being limited by pollen receipt (pollen limitation). Here we elaborate a stochastic model of pollen limitation developed by Haig and Westoby (1988) and Burd (2008) and link it with published data on the magnitudes of prepollination costs versus postpollination costs of seed production in 80 plant species. We demonstrate that parental optimism should be expected when prepollination costs of seed production are small relative to postpollination costs. This was observed for most (62 of 80) of the plant taxa surveyed. Under parental optimism, plants overinvest in securing fertilized ovules, and consequently pollen limitation is predicted to be uncommon. However, for a sizable minority of plant species (18 of 80), prepollination costs approach or exceed postpollination costs. For these species, parental pessimism is instead optimal. Parents initiate fewer zygotes than they can usually mature, and pollen limitation is predicted to be severe. Because the relative magnitudes of prepollination and postpollination costs vary by more than 1,000-fold across plant taxa, parental outlook (optimism vs. pessimism) and levels of pollen limitation are predicted to vary widely.