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The Evolution of Self-Fertilization and Inbreeding Depression in Plants. II. Empirical Observations
Douglas W. Schemske and Russell Lande
Vol. 39, No. 1 (Jan., 1985), pp. 41-52
Published by: Society for the Study of Evolution
Stable URL: http://www.jstor.org/stable/2408515
Page Count: 12
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A bimodal distribution of outcrossing rates was observed for natural plant populations, with more primarily selfing and primarily outcrossing species, and fewer species with intermediate outcrossing rate than expected by chance. We suggest that this distribution results from selection for the maintenance of outcrossing in historically large, outcrossing populations with substantial inbreeding depression, and from selection for selfing when increased inbreeding, due to pollinator failure or population bottlenecks, reduces the level of inbreeding depression. Few species or populations are fixed at complete selfing or complete outcrossing. A low level of selfing in primarily outcrossing species is unlikely to be selectively advantageous, but will not reduce inbreeding depression to the level where selfing is selectively favored, particularly if accompanied by reproductive compensation. Similarly, occasional outcrossing in primarily selfing species is unlikely to regularly provide sufficient heterosis to maintain selection for outcrossing through individual selection. Genetic, morphological and ecological constraints may limit the potential for outcrossing rates in selfers to be reduced below some minimum level.
Evolution © 1985 Society for the Study of Evolution