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Data from: Hermaphroditism promotes mate diversity in flowering plants

Cite this dataset

Christopher, Dorothy et al. (2019). Data from: Hermaphroditism promotes mate diversity in flowering plants [Dataset]. Dryad.


PREMISE OF THE STUDY: Genetically diverse sibships are thought to increase parental fitness through a reduction in the intensity of sib competition, and through increased opportunities for seedling establishment in spatially or temporally heterogeneous environments. Nearly all research on mate diversity in flowering plants has focused on the number of fathers siring seeds within a fruit or on a maternal plant. Yet as hermaphrodites, plants can also accrue mate diversity by siring offspring on several pollen recipients in a population. Here we explore whether mate composition overlaps between the dual sex functions, and discuss the implications for plant reproductive success. METHODS: We established an experimental population of 49 Mimulus ringens (monkeyflower) plants, each trimmed to a single flower. Following pollination by wild bees, we quantified mate composition for each flower through both paternal and maternal function. Parentage was successfully assigned to 240 progeny, 98% of the sampled seeds. KEY RESULTS: Comparison of mate composition between male and female function revealed high mate diversity, with almost no outcross mates shared between the two sexual functions of the same flower. CONCLUSIONS: Dual sex roles contribute to a near doubling of mate diversity in our experimental population of Mimulus ringens. This finding may help explain the maintenance of hermaphroditism under conditions that would otherwise favor the evolution of separate sexes.

Usage notes


National Science Foundation, Award: 1654943


United States