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Sex Ratio, Seed Production, Biomass Allocation, and the Cost of Male Function in Cucurbita foetidissima HBK (Cucurbitaceae)

Joshua R. Kohn
Evolution
Vol. 43, No. 7 (Nov., 1989), pp. 1424-1434
DOI: 10.2307/2409458
Stable URL: http://www.jstor.org/stable/2409458
Page Count: 11
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Since scans are not currently available to screen readers, please contact JSTOR User Support for access. We'll provide a PDF copy for your screen reader.
Sex Ratio, Seed Production, Biomass Allocation, and the Cost of Male Function in Cucurbita foetidissima HBK (Cucurbitaceae)
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Abstract

In the gynodioecious plant Cucurbita foetidissima (Cucurbitaceae), females were common in all eight populations examined and made up 32% of adult plants. Females produced 1.5 (SE = 0.2) times as many seeds as did hermaphrodites. The observed difference in seed production alone is not great enough to explain the maintenance of females, especially at their current frequency. Females and hermaphrodites did not differ in number of nodes per stem, stems per plant, internode length, or size of leaves. Females produced more female biomass (fresh or dry weight) than hermaphrodites, but total investment in sexual biomass did not differ. Thus, the biomass of male flowers produced by hermaphrodites was about equal to the extra female biomass produced by females. The results support the existence of a trade-off between male and female reproduction.

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