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Data from: Pollination, mating and reproductive fitness in a plant population with bimodal floral-tube length

Citation

Anderson, Bruce et al. (2016), Data from: Pollination, mating and reproductive fitness in a plant population with bimodal floral-tube length, Dryad, Dataset, https://doi.org/10.5061/dryad.v565c

Abstract

Mating patterns and natural selection play important roles in determining whether genetic polymorphisms are maintained or lost. Here, we document an atypical population of Lapeirousia anceps (Iridaceae) with a bimodal distribution of floral-tube length and investigate the reproductive mechanisms associated with this pattern of variation. Flowers were visited exclusively by the long-proboscid fly Moegistorhynchus longirostris (Nemestrinidae), which exhibited a unimodal distribution of proboscis length and displayed a preference for long-tubed phenotypes. Despite being visited by a single pollinator species, allozyme markers revealed significant genetic differentiation between open-pollinated progeny of long- and short-tubed phenotypes suggesting mating barriers between them. We obtained direct evidence for mating barriers between the floral-tube phenotypes through observations of pollinator foraging, controlled hand pollinations and measurements of pollen competition and seed set. Intermediate tube-length phenotypes produced fewer seeds in the field than either long- or short-tubed phenotypes. Although floral-tube length bimodality may not be a stable state over long timescales, reproductive barriers to mating and low ‘hybrid’ fitness have the potential to contribute to the maintenance of this state in the short term.

Usage Notes

Location

South Africa