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Gene Flow in Chamaecrista fasciculata (Leguminosae) I. Gene Dispersal

Charles B. Fenster
Evolution
Vol. 45, No. 2 (Mar., 1991), pp. 398-409
DOI: 10.2307/2409673
Stable URL: http://www.jstor.org/stable/2409673
Page Count: 12
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Gene Flow in Chamaecrista fasciculata (Leguminosae) I. Gene Dispersal
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Abstract

Both pollen and seed dispersal components of gene flow were examined in the annual plant Chamaecrista fasciculata (Leguminosae) and quantified in terms of Wright's neighborhood area. Pollen dispersal was estimated by measuring pollinator flight movement throughout the flowering season and the contribution of pollen carryover to pollen dispersal was determined by comparing pollinator flight movement with dispersal of electrophoretic markers in an experimental transect. Phenological effects on the probability of fruit set were measured to determine whether pollinations should be weighted differentially across the flowering season. The outcrossing rate, a major determinant of the role of pollen dispersal in gene flow, was estimated from electrophoretic analysis of progeny arrays and by measuring the proportion of nongeitonogamous pollinator flight movements. Seed dispersal was measured in a prairie habitat and in experimental plots without surrounding vegetation. Seed dispersal was small in comparison to pollen dispersal in both environments. Fruit set was low at the beginning and end of the flowering season, periods when flower density is low and pollinator flight distances are large. Although the outcrossing rate was high (t = 80%) and pollen carryover substantial, pollen dispersal was limited. Averaged over 4 years, neighborhood area, based on both seed and pollen dispersal, was 17.6 m2, and corresponds to a circle of radius 2.4 m. The observed limited gene dispersal suggests the population of C. fasciculata is genetically subdivided into small breeding units of related individuals.

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