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Abstract Detail

Sexual selection in flowering plants: traits, processes, and estimation

Van Etten, Megan [1], Chang, Shumei [2].

The role of sexual selection in the evolution of gynodioecy.

While most plants gain fitness through both pollen and seed fitness, research has largely ignored the harder to measure pollen fitness. However, pollen fitness plays a key role in theories about the evolution of mating strategies, especially with regards to sexual selection. In this study, we focus on fitness gained through male function to explore how sexual selection can aid in explaining the evolution of separate sexes. One pathway to separate sexes is through gynodioecy, in which there are separate hermaphroditic and female plants. Sexual selection may help explain the benefit of increasingly male hermaphrodites that eventually results in purely male and female plants. To examine the predictions and consequences of sexual selection in this process, we created arrays of plants with varying proportions of females and measured both pollen and seed fitness of the hermaphrodites. From this data we then investigated how the proportion of females influences variation in male fitness, selection on traits through male vs female fitness, and the strength of sexual selection. We then apply these findings to determine whether sexual selection can help explain the evolution (or not) of separate sexes.

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1 - Pennsylvania State University, Biology, 120 Ridgeview Dr, Dunmore, PA, 18512, United States
2 - University Of Georgia, Plant Biology Department, 2502 Plant Sciences Bldg, Athens, GA, 30602, United States

Sexual selection
Male-Male competition
Geranium maculatum

Presentation Type: Colloquium Presentations
Session: CO08, Sexual Selection in Flowering Plants: Traits, Processes, and Estimation
Location: Tucson H/Starr Pass
Date: Tuesday, July 30th, 2019
Time: 4:30 PM
Number: CO08012
Abstract ID:572
Candidate for Awards:None

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