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Gender Performance in a Cultivated Cohort of the Cycad Zamia integrifolia (Zamiaceae)

Robert Ornduff
American Journal of Botany
Vol. 83, No. 8 (Aug., 1996), pp. 1006-1015
Stable URL: http://www.jstor.org/stable/2445989
Page Count: 10
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Gender Performance in a Cultivated Cohort of the Cycad Zamia integrifolia (Zamiaceae)
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Abstract

A progeny of the native Florida cycad Zamia integrifolia grown from seeds planted in 1986 was monitored until 1995 to record mortality and the nature and time of expression of primary and secondary sex characters In addition to gender-specific cone morphologies, males and females differed in secondary sex characters such as age at first cone production, frequency of cone production, mean cone numbers in second and later coning episodes, and, in older plants, mean leaf and branch numbers. Gender differences expressed themselves at different stages in the life history: their nature and extent varied during the years following sexual maturation By 1995, 46% of the plants in the progeny had died, most of them before producing cones Prior to 1988 the mean leaf number of plants that died did not differ from that of survivors, but the mean leaf number of plants dying between 1988 and 1989 was 0.4 times that of the survivors during that period, suggesting reduced vigor prior to death Mean age at first cone production was 5.8 yr for males and 6 6 yr for females Mean dry masses of individual male cones increased between the first and second coning episodes, but not between the second and third coning episodes Mean dry masses of the entire cone crop of individual males increased through the third coning episode due to an increase in mean cone number per episode, but mean cone number was unchanged between the third and fourth coning episodes Mean dry mass of unpollinated female cones did not change between the first and second coning episodes; mean cone numbers did not change between the first and third coning episodes. After the first coning episode, males produced higher mean cone numbers than females By 1995, the mean dry mass of an individual male's cone crop was greater than that of a female Coning frequency of males was 1.7 times greater than that of unpollinated females, suggesting a gender difference in the genetic control of coning frequency. Coning frequency of females pollinated 1 or 2 yr previously was reduced compared with that of unpollinated females Cone production did not affect subsequent leaf production by either gender. Mean leaf numbers increased in some years and not in others Mean leaf numbers of males and females did not differ prior to cone production. After cone production mean leaf numbers of males were greater than of females Mean age of males producing first branches was 6.3 yr, with a mean of 2.5 first branches per plant Mean age of females producing first branches was 7 7 yr, with a mean of 2.5 first branches per plant. By 1995 the mean branch number of males was 5 7 per plant and of females was 2 7 per plant. Between 1993 and 1995 the mean branch number of males and females increased incrementally, but mean leaf numbers did not change In early years of branching, leaf number increased with branch number; higher mean leaf numbers of males of an age class thus reflected their earlier branching Males produced first cones earlier than females Since branch production was associated with cone production, higher branch numbers of males in an age class reflected their earlier first cone production. In 1995 the sex ratio of known males and females in the progeny was 1:1, with a few individuals not having produced cones by that year

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