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Pollen competition in the pistil does not only give flowering plants the possibility to reduce inbreeding but also provides an opportunity for selection of pollen traits that increase male reproductive success. An objection to the existence of selection on pollen competitive ability is that individual variation should quickly vanish if selection is strong. A balance between selection for local adaptation of sporophytes within sites and pollen flow between sites could maintain variation in pollen competitive ability. A prerequisite is that variation in male competitive ability is condition dependent, i.e., influenced by sporophytic adaptation to a patch. This further means that selection on pollen competitive ability can occur both directly on the gamethophytic level and indirectly on the sporophytic level. Our dynamic model shows that maintenance of variation in male competitive ability is more probable when differences in pollen competitive ability influence male fitness, i.e., in cases with pollen competition, than when differences in this trait only is a side effect of selection for more viable individuals. Since there is a connection between the gamethophytic and sporophytic life-phases, the incidence of pollen competition between donors should make it more probable that variability also in sporophyte fitness is preserved.