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Abstract Detail

Ecological Section

Dorken, Marcel Eric [1], Van Drunen, Wendy [2], van Kleunen, Mark [3].

Clonality promotes sexual fitness under spatially-restricted dispersal of pollen and seeds.

The majority of perennial plants are capable of some form of asexual propagation. It has been argued that this form of propagation interferes with sexual fitness via the transfer of pollen among shoots (ramets) within clones (genets). Sexual interference occurs because the likelihood of pollen transfer among ramets within clones increases as genets become larger. This within-genet pollen transfer can reduce the fitness of plants through their female and male functions via pollen discounting and inbreeding depression. However, because the probability of successful pollen transfer decreases with distance, the magnitude of these fitness effects should depend on the spatial arrangement of ramets within genets. Moreover, because seed dispersal also decreases with distance, clonal expansion might also affect post-mating sexual fitness by changing patterns of sib competition among seedlings. Using mathematical and computer (simulation) models, we show that the spatial subdivision of reproductive investment among ramets counteracts the negative fitness effects of clonal propagation, particulary under (1) spatially restricted dispersal of seeds and pollen and (2) stronger outward growth of genets. Under these conditions, investment in clonal growth is heavily favoured over the non-clonal strategy even under direct trade-offs between allocations to clonality vs. sexual reproduction.

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1 - Trent University, Biology, 1600 West Bank Drive, Peterborough, ON, K9J 7B8, Canada
2 - University of Guelph, Integrative Biology, University of Guelph, Guelph, ON, N1G 2W1, Canada
3 - University of Konstanz, Ecology, Department of Biology, Konstanz, Germany

asexual reproduction

Presentation Type: Oral Paper:Papers for Sections
Session: 52
Location: Salon 6/The Shaw Conference Centre
Date: Tuesday, July 28th, 2015
Time: 2:00 PM
Number: 52002
Abstract ID:766
Candidate for Awards:None

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