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Effects of Cross and Self-Fertilization on Progeny Fitness in Lobelia cardinalis and L. siphilitica

Mark O. Johnston
Evolution
Vol. 46, No. 3 (Jun., 1992), pp. 688-702
DOI: 10.2307/2409638
Stable URL: http://www.jstor.org/stable/2409638
Page Count: 15
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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.
Effects of Cross and Self-Fertilization on Progeny Fitness in Lobelia cardinalis and L. siphilitica
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Abstract

Inbreeding depression, or the decreased fitness of progeny derived from self-fertilization as compared to outcrossing, is thought to be the most general factor affecting the evolution of self-fertilization in plants. Nevertheless, data on inbreeding depression in fitness characters are almost nonexistent for perennials observed in their natural environments. In this study I measured inbreeding depression in both survival and fertility in two sympatric, short-lived, perennial herbs: hummingbird-pollinated Lobelia cardinalis (two populations) and bumblebee-pollinated L. siphilitica (one population). Crosses were performed by hand in the field, and seedlings germinated in the greenhouse. Levels of inbreeding depression were determined for one year in the greenhouse and for two to three years for seedlings transplanted back to the natural environment. Fertility was measured as flower number, which is highly correlated with seed production under natural conditions in these populations. Inbreeding depression was assessed in three ways: 1) survival and fertility within the different age intervals; 2) cumulative survival from the seed stage through each age interval; and 3) net fertility, or the expected fertility of a seed at different ages. Net fertility is a comprehensive measure of fitness combining survival and flower number. In all three populations, selfing had nonsignificant effects on the number and size of seeds. Lobelia siphilitica and one population of L. cardinalis exhibited significant levels of inbreeding depression between seed maturation and germination, excluding the consideration of possible differences in dormancy or longterm viability in the soil. There was no inbreeding depression in subsequent survival in the greenhouse in any population. In the field, significant survival differences between selfed and outcrossed progeny occurred only in two years and in only one population of L. cardinalis. For both survival and fertility there was little evidence for the expected differences among families in inbreeding depression. Compared to survival, inbreeding depression in fertility (flower number) tended to be much higher. By first-year flower production, the combined effects on survival and flower number caused inbreeding depression in net fertility to reach 54%, 34% and 71% for L. siphilitica and the two populations of L. cardinalis. By the end of the second year of flowering in the field, inbreeding depression in net fertility was 53% for L. siphilitica and 54% for one population of L. cardinalis. For the other population of L. cardinalis, these values were 76% through the second year of flowering and 83% through the third year. Such high levels of inbreeding depression should strongly influence selection on those characters affecting self-fertilization rates in these two species.

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