Evol Ecol Res 15: 903-917 (2013)     Full PDF if your library subscribes.

An association between floral sex allocation and floral longevity in a non-sequentially blooming ladybell

Chang-Qiu Liu1 and Shuang-Quan Huang2

1Key Laboratory for Plant Diversity and Biogeography of East Asia, Kunming Institute of Botany, Chinese Academy of Sciences, Kunming, China and  2School of Life Sciences, Central China Normal University, Wuhan, China

Correspondence: S.-Q. Huang, School of Life Sciences, Central China Normal University, Wuhan 430079, China.
e-mail: sqhuang@whu.edu.cn or hsq@mail.ccnu.edu.cn


Background: Floral longevity has been assumed to reflect a balance between the fitness gain through increased pollination and the cost of flower maintenance.

Question: Is there variation in the amount of resources allocated to male and female functions within flowers? Does floral longevity vary with temporal variation in floral sex allocation?

Organism: Adenophora jasionifolia, a perennial species with flowers differing greatly in floral sex allocation.

Field site: Shangri-La Alpine Botanical Garden, Yunnan Province, southwest China.

Methods: Daily observations of flowers for floral longevity, counts of traits indicating resource allocation, bagging flowers to reveal the effect of pollinator visitation on floral longevity.

Results: Within a six-flowered inflorescence, the apical flower opened first followed by the middle flower, before two pairs of flowers in different spatial positions opened simultaneously. The patterns of floral sex allocation and floral longevity were strongly associated with the order of flower opening but not with the spatial arrangement of flowers within inflorescences. The shift to male-biased sex allocation in late-opening flowers corresponded with a decrease in floral longevity, and reduced female allocation.

Conclusion: There is a temporal decline of floral longevity and female sex allocation in A. jasionifolia. This positive relationship between floral longevity and floral sex allocation provides new insights into the evolution of floral longevity.

Keywords: Adenophora jasionifolia, Campanulaceae, dichogamy, floral longevity, floral sex allocation, mating-environment hypothesis, pollen–ovule ratio, pollen removal and receipt.

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