Data from: What drives selection on flowering time? An experimental manipulation of the inherent correlation between genotype and environment
Austen, Emily J.; Weis, Arthur E. (2015), Data from: What drives selection on flowering time? An experimental manipulation of the inherent correlation between genotype and environment, Dryad, Dataset, https://doi.org/10.5061/dryad.nk885
The optimal timing of the seasonal switch from somatic growth to reproduction can depend on an individual's condition at reproduction, the quality of the environment in which it will reproduce, or both. In annual plants, vegetative size (a function of age at flowering) affects resources available for seed production, while exposure to mutualists, antagonists, and abiotic stresses in the environment (functions of Julian date of flowering), influences success in converting resources into offspring. The inherent tight correlation between age, size, and environment obscures their independent fitness contributions. We isolated the fitness effects of these factors by experimentally manipulating the correlation between age at flowering and date of flowering in Brassica rapa. We staggered the planting dates of families with differing ages at flowering to produce experimental populations in which age at flowering and date of flowering were positively-, negatively-, or uncorrelated. In all populations, plants with an early date of flowering produced more seed than those flowering late, regardless of age or size at flowering onset. The temporal environment was thus the principal driver of selection on flowering time, but its importance relative to that of age and size varied with the presence/absence of herbivores and seed predators.