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Environment-Dependent Performance and Fitness of Iris brevicaulis, I. fulva (Iridaceae), and Hybrids

Jill A. Johnston, David J. Grise, Lisa A. Donovan and Michael L. Arnold
American Journal of Botany
Vol. 88, No. 5 (May, 2001), pp. 933-938
Stable URL: http://www.jstor.org/stable/2657046
Page Count: 6
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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.
Environment-Dependent Performance and Fitness of Iris brevicaulis, I. fulva (Iridaceae), and Hybrids
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Abstract

We tested the relative fitness of two Louisiana Iris species (Iris brevicaulis and I. fulva) and their first-generation backcross hybrids in three experimental watering treatments: dry, field capacity, and flooded. Leaf area expansion rate, gas exchange (Amax, gs, ci), and biomass at final harvest were measured for each species and hybrid class in all three environmental treatments. Fitness (based on total biomass) of the four genotypic classes differed significantly with environment. All genotypic classes performed most poorly in the dry treatment. The fitness ranking of genotypic class also changed across environments (significant genotypic class by treatment interaction) with hybrid genotype fitness shifting relative to parental genotypes. Integrating over all treatments, backcrosses to I. fulva showed the lowest fitness, whereas backcrosses to I. brevicaulis outperformed I. fulva. The differences in fitness were apparently achieved by a combination of differences in photosynthesis and allocation. In this system, hybrids are not necessarily less fit than their parents, and the relationship between hybrid and parental fitness is influenced by environmental conditions, lending support to the Hybrid Novelty model of hybrid zone evolution.

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