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Am J Bot. 1999 Jul;86(7):980-7.

Inbreeding depression and selfing rates in a self-compatible, hermaphroditic species, Schiedea membranacea (Caryophyllaceae).

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  • 1Department of Ecology and Evolutionary Biology, University of California, Irvine, California, 92697.


Inbreeding depression and selfing rates were investigated in Schiedea membranacea (Caryophyllaceae), a hermaphroditic species endemic to the Hawaiian Islands. Most theoretical models predict high inbreeding depression in outcrossing hermaphroditic species and low inbreeding depression in inbreeding species. Although high outcrossing rates and high levels of inbreeding depression are characteristic of many species of Schiedea, self- fertilization is common among relatives of hermaphroditic S. membranacea, and high selfing rates and low levels of inbreeding depression were predicted in this species. Sixteen individuals grown in the greenhouse were used to produce selfed and outcrossed progeny. Inbreeding depression, which was evident throughout the stages measured (percentage viable seeds per capsule, mean seed mass, percentage seed germination, percentage seedling survival, and biomass after 8 mo), averaged 0.70. Inbreeding depression among maternal families varied significantly for all measured traits and ranged from -0.12 to 0.97. Using isozyme analysis, the multilocus selfing rate varied from 0.13 to 0.38 over 4 yr. Contrary to the initial prediction of high selfing and low inbreeding depression based on phylogenetic relationships within Schiedea, low selfing rates and high levels of inbreeding depression were found in S. membranacea. These results indicate that outcrossing is stable in this species and maintained by high levels of inbreeding depression.

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