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Abstract Detail

Ecological Section

Gehring, Janet [1].

Variation in seed mass among maternal plants of experimental Gentiana puberulenta .

Studies of many plant species have shown seed size is an ecologically important trait influenced by numerous environmental factors but theory predicts selection will result in a single, optimal seed size within populations. The goal of my research was to identify sources of seed mass variation in Gentiana puberulenta, a tallgrass prairie forb. Because G. puberulenta is a sub-canopy, short-statured species that flowers late in the growing season, I hypothesized maternal resource levels would be a major factor contributing to seed size variation. I collected seeds from 8-14 open-pollinated individuals in nine central-Illinois populations of G. puberulenta and transplanted the resulting seedlings into two experimental plots in October 2008. In July 2010, total stem length of surviving plants was determined and plants were assigned to one of three experimental groups (control, supplemental water, and supplemental water + fertilizer) based on their size and population of origin. Experimental treatments were initiated after the first plant began flowering. Flowers were open to pollinators and also received supplemental non-self pollen. Seed mass was determined in batches of 100 and analyzed based on either average seed mass in fruits or average seed mass of plants. The fruit-level analysis (N = 506) indicated seed mass varied significantly among populations, maternal parents (nested within populations), and node. Sources of variation that contributed significantly to average seed mass of plants (N = 138) were population, maternal parent (nested within population) and length of longest leaf of maternal plant. My results indicate genetic differences among maternal plants are an important source of seed mass variation in G. puberulenta.

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1 - BRADLEY UNIVERSTIY, Department Of Biology, 1501 W. Bradley Avenue, PEORIA, IL, 61625, USA

seed mass
maternal resources
genetic variation.

Presentation Type: Oral Paper:Papers for Sections
Session: 32
Location: Forsyth Room/Chase Park Plaza
Date: Tuesday, July 12th, 2011
Time: 11:45 AM
Number: 32007
Abstract ID:350

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