Should we sync? Seascape-level genetic and ecological factors determine seagrass flowering patterns (pages 1464–1474)
Marlene Jahnke, Jordi F. Pagès, Teresa Alcoverro, Paul S. Lavery, Kathryn M. McMahon and Gabriele Procaccini
Article first published online: 24 SEP 2015 | DOI: 10.1111/1365-2745.12470
The results shed new light on seagrass flowering patterns and on the mechanisms of flower synchronization at the patch level within a wider spatial scale. We found support for the kin selection hypothesis and indirect evidence for the resource budget hypothesis. Thus, a combination of mainly genetic but also ecological factors causes the observed heterogeneous flowering patterns in Posidonia oceanica seascapes. In addition, we found a strong positive relationship between the number of flowers and heterozygosity, adding evidence to the controversial association between heterozygosity and fitness when a limited number of loci are used. To our knowledge, this study is the first to link both ecological and genetic factors with flower abundance in a species with a presumed masting strategy.