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Between-population variation in size-dependent reproduction and reproductive allocation in Pinguiculavulgaris (Lentibulariaceae) and its environmental correlates

Authors

  • Marcos Méndez,

  • P. Staffan Karlsson


M. Méndez and P. S. Karlsson, EBC, Uppsala Univ., Villavägen 14, SE-752 36 Uppsala, Sweden. Present address for MM: Dept of Botany, Stockholm Univ., SE-106 91 Stockholm, Sweden (marcos.mendez@botan.su.se). PSK also at: Abisko Naturvetenskapliga Station, SE-981 07 Abisko, Sweden.

Abstract

Several important fitness components in herbaceous perennial plants are commonly related to plant size: flowering probability, reproductive allocation and fecundity. However, evidence for such size-dependence of fitness components is mostly anecdotal and unconnected to other life history traits. Here we report size-dependence for flowering probability and reproductive allocation in 11 populations of Pinguicula vulgaris and relate it to environmental factors. Flowering probability was size-dependent in all populations of P. vulgaris, and indicated the existence of a threshold size for reproduction. Populations at low altitudes and in wet soils showed a significantly higher threshold size for reproduction. Reproductive mass was also size-dependent in all populations. We found considerable between-population differences in the slope and the intercept of the regression between plant size and reproductive mass. This variation was weakly related to the environmental factors measured. In general, relationships between different size-dependent fitness components were low. Instead of showing a covariation of traits, in line with interpretations in terms of life history “tactics”, P. vulgaris seemed to independently vary each size-dependent fitness component in each locality. In particular, no significant relationship was found between threshold size for reproduction and the slope of size-dependent reproductive allocation, as predicted by previous authors. Neither we found a significant influence of somatic cost of reproduction on size-dependent fitness components.

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