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Heredity (Edinb). 2004 Mar;92(3):242-8.

The influence of floral display size on selfing rates in Mimulus ringens.

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Department of Biological Sciences, PO Box 413, University of Wisconsin-Milwaukee, Milwaukee, WI 53201, USA.


Pollinators often visit several flowers in sequence on plants with large floral displays. This foraging pattern is expected to influence the rate of self-fertilization in self-compatible taxa. To quantify the effects of daily floral display on pollinator movements and selfing, we experimentally manipulated flower number in four replicate (cloned) arrays of Mimulus ringens (Scrophulariaceae), each consisting of genets with unique combinations of homozygous marker genotypes. Four display classes (two, four, eight and 16 flowers) were present in each array. Pollinator visitation rate per flower and seed set per fruit were unaffected by display. However, flower number strongly influenced the frequency of within-plant pollinator movements, which increased from 13.8% of probes on two-flower displays to 77.6% of probes on 16-flower displays. The proportion of within-plant movements was significantly correlated with selfing (r = 0.993). The increase from 22.9% selfing on two-flower displays to 37.3% selfing on 16-flower displays reflects changes in the extent of geitonogamous self-pollination. We estimate that approximately half of all selfing on 16-flower displays resulted from geitonogamy. Selfing also varied dramatically among fruits within display classes. Nested ANOVA indicates that differences among flowers on two-flower ramets accounted for 45.4% of the variation in selfing, differences among genets accounted for 16.1% of the variation, and statistical and sampling error accounted for 38.5% of the variation. Differences among flowers within ramets may reflect the order of sequential floral probes on a display.

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