Data from: Physiological effects of temperature do not explain prevalence of females in populations of gynodioecious Lobelia siphilitica growing in warmer climates
Bailey, Maia F.; Case, Andrea L.; Caruso, Christina M. (2017), Data from: Physiological effects of temperature do not explain prevalence of females in populations of gynodioecious Lobelia siphilitica growing in warmer climates, Dryad, Dataset, https://doi.org/10.5061/dryad.cb060
PREMISE OF THE STUDY: Gynodioecy is a sexual polymorphism whereby female and hermaphroditic plants co-occur within populations. In many gynodioecious species, stressful abiotic environments are associated with higher frequencies of females. This association suggests that abiotic stress affects the relative fitness of females and hermaphrodites and, thus, the maintenance of gynodioecy.
METHODS:To test whether abiotic stress affects the fitness of females and hermaphrodites, we grew open-pollinated Lobelia siphilitica families in temperature regimes characteristic of the southern portion of the species' range (where females are common) and the northern portion of the range (where females are rare). We measured physiological and phenological traits that are indicative of heat stress, and fitness components of females and hermaphrodites that could affect the maintenance of gynodioecy.
KEY RESULTS:Contrary to expectations if growth at high temperatures is stressful, we found that the hot treatment increased leaf chlorophyll content, decreased the percentage of plants that delayed flowering initiation, and did not affect the quantum efficiency of photosystem II. Growth at high temperatures did not affect the magnitude of the difference in rosette size (a correlate of flower number) between females and hermaphrodites, or the variance in pollen viability among hermaphrodites.
CONCLUSIONS:We found that growing-season temperatures typical of high female L. siphilitica populations were not stressful and did not affect either the fitness of females compared to hermaphrodites or variation in fitness among hermaphrodites. Consequently, further research is necessary to explain correlations between abiotic environmental factors and the frequency of females in this and other gynodioecious species.
National Science Foundation, Award: DEB-1043602; DEB-0842280