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Morphological Variation and Female Reproductive Success in Two Sympatric Trillium Species: Evidence for Phenotypic Selection in Trillium erectum and Trillium grandiflorum (Liliaceae)

Rebecca E. Irwin
American Journal of Botany
Vol. 87, No. 2 (Feb., 2000), pp. 205-214
Stable URL: http://www.jstor.org/stable/2656907
Page Count: 10
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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.
Morphological Variation and Female Reproductive Success in Two Sympatric Trillium Species: Evidence for Phenotypic Selection in Trillium erectum and Trillium grandiflorum (Liliaceae)
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Abstract

I investigated the mating systems and phenotypic variation of two sympatric spring ephemerals, Trillium erectum and T. grandiflorum (Liliaceae), and phenotypic selection acting through female reproductive success for 11 morphological characters in five sympatric populations of the two species. I examined the degree of self-compatibility, pollinator-visitation rates, and pollen limitation of fruit and seed production in both species. Both Trillium species were self-compatible, but outcrossed flowers produced more successful fruits and seeds than self-pollinated flowers. Pollinator-visitation rates to the two species were low compared to other insect-pollinated spring ephemerals. In addition, both T. erectum and T. grandiflorum experienced pollen limitation in fruit and/or seed production; however, levels of fecundity in both species may be influenced by resource availability as well. I found significant phenotypic variation in 11 morphological characters within and among the five study populations. The sizes of all morphological characters were positively correlated. In general, larger T. erectum and T. grandiflorum produced more seeds. Phenotypic selection analysis revealed that direct and indirect selection acted on the size of morphological characters for both species. But there was no detectable selection acting on plant shape. This study reveals that variation in plant size exists within and among populations of both species, and this variation is associated with variance in female reproductive success. Spatial and temporal variation in pollinator and/or resource abundance may play a role in the phenotypic variation exhibited by both Trillium species.

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