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Data from: Simultaneous pulsed flowering in a temperate legume: causes and consequences of multimodality in the shape of floral display schedules

Citation

Wadgymar, Susana M.; Austen, Emily J.; Cumming, Matthew N.; Weis, Arthur E. (2015), Data from: Simultaneous pulsed flowering in a temperate legume: causes and consequences of multimodality in the shape of floral display schedules, Dryad, Dataset, https://doi.org/10.5061/dryad.vt55c

Abstract

1. In plants, the temporal pattern of floral displays, or display schedules, delimits an individual's mating opportunities. Thus, variation in the shape of display schedules can affect the degree of population synchrony and the strength of phenological assortative mating by flowering onset date. A good understanding of the mechanisms regulating the timing of flowering onset has been developed, but we know less about factors influencing subsequent patterns of floral display. 2. We observed unusual multimodal display schedules in temperate populations of the annual legume Chamaecrista fasciculata. Here we ask if ‘flowering pulses’ are simultaneous among individuals and populations and explore potential underlying mechanisms and consequences of pulsed flowering. 3 .We monitored daily flower production for individual plants from genetically divergent populations during a series of field experiments that manipulated three potential influencers of display schedule shape: average daily temperature, pollinator availability, and watering schedules. We measured floral longevity to isolate the contributions of flower retention and flower deployment to display schedules. We assessed relationships between flowering and environmental variables and compared estimates of population synchrony, individual synchrony, and the strength of assortative mating with those of 29 unimodally-flowering species from the area. 4. We observed simultaneous flowering pulses in all experiments, with peaks aligned among individuals and populations despite variation in flowering onset and/or duration. Pulses were not the result of increases in average temperature, pollinator availability, or variation in watering schedules. Seasonal fluctuations in temperature correlated with floral longevity and flower deployment, suggesting that the shape of display schedules may be plastic in response to temperature. Average population and individual synchrony differed only slightly from those of the species with unimodal schedules, while the average strength of assortative mating for flowering onset date was strongly reduced (0.21 in C. fasciculata vs. 0.35 for the 29 other species). 5. Synthesis. Researchers should take caution in assuming that components of display schedules are genetically or developmentally correlated with flowering onset. Variation in the shape of display schedules can influence patterns of gene-flow within or between populations, with potential effects on the strength of phenological assortative mating and subsequent responses to selection.

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