Evol Ecol Res 9: 1-19 (2007)     Full PDF if your library subscribes.

Evolution of sexually dimorphic flower production under sexual, fertility, and viability selection

Frank M. Frey,1* Lynda F. Delph,2 Brian Dinneen1 and Colin Twomey1

1Department of Biology, Colgate University, 13 Oak Drive, Hamilton, NY 13346 and  2Department of Biology, Indiana University, 1001 East Third Street, Bloomington, IN 47405, USA

Author to whom all correspondence should be addressed.
e-mail: ffrey@mail.colgate.edu


Question: How do different patterns of selection and constraint promote the evolution of sexually dimorphic flower production?

Mathematical methods: Simulation modelling. Key sets of assumptions are applied to individuals in the population and we determine whether alleles causing sexually dimorphic flower production can spread to fixation from a sexually monomorphic state.

Key assumptions: We model the evolution of sexually dimorphic flower production starting from a sexually monomorphic dioecious state (separate male and female plants that produce the same number of flowers) under different interactions of sexual, fecundity, and viability selection. Flower number and flower size trade off. Pollinator preferences are based on total flower production per plant.

Predictions: The relationship between flower size and pollen or ovule production critically determines whether sexual dimorphism can evolve from a monomorphic state. Fecundity selection can temper and sometimes reverse the evolution of sexual dimorphism predicted through sexual selection (i.e. pollinator preferences) alone.

Keywords: dioecious, flower number, life-history trade-off, model, sexual dimorphism.

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