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Abstract Detail

Pollination Biology

Dorken, Marcel [1], Van Drunen, Wendy [1].

Clonal expansion does not interfere with sexual reproduction.

Clonal reproduction is generally thought to interfere with mating opportunities through female function (increased selfing) and male function (pollen discounting via interflower pollen transfer within clones). However, there are no theoretical models to guide empirical studies. Moreover, the evidence supporting the interference hypothesis is mixed. A new framework for interpreting the mating interference hypothesis is needed. Increased selfing and pollen discounting are by-products of attaining a large size and are not exclusively associated with clonality. Rather than ask whether clonality interferes with mating, a more appropriate question is: for a given size, which strategy yields less mating interference, increasing the size of the main shoot or outward growth via clonal expansion? To address this question, we use spatially explicit, stochastic simulations and compare the reproductive fitness of genets (clones; genetic individuals) that expend their reproductive resources on a single large shoot or spread those resources among numerous ramets (individual shoots comprising a genet). We predict that outward expansion of clones will decrease distances to mating partners and increase the number of potential mates, enhancing fitness gains through male function (pollen). Similarly, it should decrease the intensity of sib competition among seedlings by decreasing the degree of overlap in seed dispersal shadows in clonal vs. non-clonal plants, enhancing fitness gains through female function (seeds). Pollen and seed dispersal tends to be highly leptokurtic and under these dispersal regimes, we predict that non-zero allocations to clonal expansion will maximize fitness gains. In short, we argue that clonality should usually act to enhance reproductive fitness, contrary to the prevailing view.

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1 - Trent University, Biology, 1600 West Bank Drive, Peterborough, ON, K9J 7B8, Canada

Clonal plants
Pollen dispersal
Sib competition.

Presentation Type: Poster:Posters for Topics
Session: P
Location: Grand Salon A - D/Riverside Hilton
Date: Monday, July 29th, 2013
Time: 5:30 PM
Number: PPL001
Abstract ID:129
Candidate for Awards:None

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