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Determinants of outcrossing rate in a predominantly self-fertilizing weed, Datura stramonium (Solanaceae)



Determinants of outcrossing rate in a predominantly self-fertilizing weed, Datura stramonium (Solanaceae)



American Journal of Botany 79(4): 419-427



We measured outcrossing rates of several North Carolina populations of the annual weed Datura stramonium including both natural populations and experimental populations in which we manipulated plant spatial arrangement. Because capsules of D. stramonium typically produce hundreds of seeds and we used an easily scored genetic marker for flower and hypocotyl color, we could measure outcrossing rates accurately for both individual plants and single flowers. The population-wide estimates of outcrossing rates were surprisingly low for a species with showy, entomophilous flowers and ranged from 1.9% in an experimental population with a "clumped" spatial arrangement to 8.5% in an experimental population with a "dispersed" arrangement. These low values were not produced by pollinator discrimination among flower color morphs, as determined by outcrossing measurements on test plants of different colors and by direct observations of pollinator behavior. For individual plants and single flowers in the experimental populations, variation in outcrossing rates was significantly affected by such population-wide characteristics as plant spatial arrangement and nightly fluctuations in total floral abundance. However, by far the most important factor was stigma position. Flowers with stigmas above the anthers had significantly higher outcrossing rates than did flowers with overlapping stigma and anthers. The strong effect of floral morphology suggests that the very low population-wide levels of outcrossing in D. stramonium may represent a persistent mixing mating system rather than a transition to complete selfing.

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Accession: 002341413

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DOI: 10.2307/2445154


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