Evol Ecol Res 12: 269-278 (2010)     Full PDF if your library subscribes.

Higher dimorphism and lower phenotypic integration in reproductive traits compared with vegetative traits in a gynodioecious orchid

Yang Lu and Shuang-Quan Huang

College of Life Sciences, Wuhan University, Wuhan, China

Correspondence: S.-Q. Huang, College of Life Sciences, Wuhan University, Wuhan 430072, China.
e-mail: sqhuang@whu.edu.cn


Background: In sexually dimorphic species, vegetative traits often show minimal dimorphism compared with reproductive traits.

Hypothesis: Tight phenotypic integration for vegetative traits may constrain the evolution of dimorphism in those traits.

Organism: A gynodioecious orchid Satyrium ciliatum, which has one erect spike and (generally) two basal leaves without complex ramification.

Field site: Alpine areas in Yunnan Province, southwestern China.

Methods: We measured three reproductive traits and four vegetative traits in 15 hermaphroditic and seven gynodioecious populations to compare levels of trait dimorphism and phenotypic integration.

Conclusions: Vegetative traits exhibited less dimorphism and higher phenotypic integration than reproductive traits in this gynodioecious orchid. The level of dimorphism was negatively correlated with the level of phenotypic integration, supporting our hypothesis of constraints.

Keywords: gynodioecious orchid, phenotypic integration, ramification, reproductive traits, sexual dimorphism, vegetative traits.

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