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Spatial Variation in Phenotypic Selection on Floral Characteristics in an Epiphytic Orchid
Sol Taína Cintrón-Berdecía and Raymond L. Tremblay
Vol. 41, No. 1, Ecology and Population Dynamics of Terrestrial Orchids (Mar., 2006), pp. 33-46
Published by: Springer
Stable URL: http://www.jstor.org/stable/25134138
Page Count: 14
You can always find the topics here!Topics: Population size, Petals, Population characteristics, Ecological competition, Calyx, Phenotypic selection, Evolution, Natural selection, Directional selection, Species
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Spatial variation in twelve floral characters was examined in an epiphytic orchid Lepanthes rupestris to evaluate the strength and direction of phenotypic selection in seven riparian populations along two river basins in the Caribbean National Forest "El Yunque" for a range of 18-34 months. We evaluated selection on floral characters based on male (pollinaria removal) and female fitness (fruit set). Simple linear and quadratic regressions were used to evaluate the strength of directional, disruptive and stabilizing selections. Univariate and multivariate analyses were used to estimate the total strength of the selection acting on a character. Phenotypic selection was inconsistent among characters and populations. Few of the characters appeared to be under selection and none of them was found to be consistent throughout all populations. Inconsistency in selection coefficients among populations could suggest that selection is spatially variable. We only noted one character (column length) which had some consistency in differential selection coefficients among populations. Previous studies have shown that effective population sizes in L. rupestris are small and the observed "fitness differences" among populations could as easily be explained as stochastic events at play. We argue that the observed "fitness differences" in most characters and inconsistency among populations are likely from stochastic noise and not phenotypic selection. Consequently, we propose that random selection on character state support the hypothesis of genetic drift in small orchid populations.
Folia Geobotanica © 2006 Springer