Absence of sex differential plasticity to light availability during seed maturation in Geranium sylvaticum

Varga, Sandra and Laaksonen, Ester and Siikamäki, Pirkko and Kytöviita, Minna-Maarit (2015) Absence of sex differential plasticity to light availability during seed maturation in Geranium sylvaticum. PLoS ONE, 10 (3). e0118981. ISSN 1932-6203

Full content URL: http://dx.doi.org/10.1371/journal.pone.0118981

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Abstract

Sex-differential plasticity (SDP) hypothesis suggests that since hermaphrodites gain fitness through both pollen and seed production they may have evolved a higher degree of plastici- ty in their reproductive strategy compared to females which achieve fitness only through seed production. SDP may explain the difference in seed production observed between sexes in gynodioecious species in response to resource (nutrients or water) availability. In harsh environments, hermaphrodites decrease seed production whereas females keep it relatively similar regardless of the environmental conditions. Light availability can be also a limiting resource and thus could theoretically affect differently female and hermaphrodite seed output even though this ecological factor has been largely overlooked. We tested whether the two sexes in the gynodioecious species Geranium sylvaticum differ in their tol- erance to light limitation during seed maturation in the field. We used a fully factorial block experiment exposing female and hermaphrodite plants to two different light environments (control and shade) after their peak flowering period. Specifically, we measured fruit and seed production in response to decreased light availability and compared it between the sexes. Shading reduced the number of fruits and seeds produced, but the decrease was similar between the sexes. Furthermore, shading delayed seed production by three days in both sexes, but did not affect seed mass, seed P content, or the probability of re-flowering the following year. Our results give no evidence for reproductive SDP in response to light during seed maturation.

Keywords:Geranium sylvaticum, sexual dimorphism, shade, bmjconvert, JCOpen
Subjects:C Biological Sciences > C180 Ecology
C Biological Sciences > C200 Botany
Divisions:College of Science > School of Life Sciences
ID Code:17295
Deposited On:26 Apr 2015 18:44

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