Differential competitive ability between sexes in the dioecious Antennaria dioica (Asteraceae)

Varga, S. and Kytoviita, M.-M. (2012) Differential competitive ability between sexes in the dioecious Antennaria dioica (Asteraceae). Annals of Botany, 110 (7). pp. 1461-1470. ISSN 0305-7364

Full content URL: http://dx.doi.org/10.1093/aob/mcs170

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† Background and Aims Differences in competitive ability between the sexes of dioecious plants are expected as a result of allocation trade-offs associated with sex-differential reproductive costs. However, the available data on competitive ability in dioecious plants are scarce and contradictory. In this study sexual competition was eval- uated using the dioecious plant Antennaria dioica in a common garden transplantation experiment.
† Methods Male and female plants were grown for 3 years either in isolation, or in competition with a plant of the same sex or the opposite sex. Flowering phenology, sexual and asexual reproduction, plant growth, nutrient content and arbuscular mycorrhizal colonization in the roots were assessed.
† Key Results Our results showed little evidence of sexual differences in competitive ability. Both sexes suffered similarly from competition, and competitive effects were manifested in some traits related to fitness but not in others. Survival was unaffected by competition, but competing plants reduced their vegetative growth and repro- ductive investment compared with non-competing plants. In addition, differences in sexual competitive ability were observed in relation to flowering frequency, an important life history trait not reported in previous studies.
† Conclusions The findings indicate that female and male A. dioica plants possess similar intersexual competitive abilities which may be related to the similar costs of reproduction between sexes in this species. Nevertheless, intrasexual competition is higher in females, giving support for asymmetric niche segregation between the sexes.

Additional Information:This article appears in:Special Issue: Plant Population Biology
Keywords:Antennaria dioica, competition, dioecy, niche segregation, sexual dimorphism.
Subjects:C Biological Sciences > C180 Ecology
C Biological Sciences > C220 Mycology
C Biological Sciences > C200 Botany
Divisions:College of Science > School of Life Sciences
ID Code:17284
Deposited On:25 Apr 2015 19:20

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