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Selective Pressure along a Latitudinal Gradient Affects Subindividual Variation in Plants

AutorSobral, Mar; Guitián, José M.; Guitián, Pablo; Larrinaga, Asier R.
Fecha de publicación19-sep-2013
EditorPublic Library of Science
CitaciónPLoS ONE 8(9): e74356 (2013)
ResumenIndividual plants produce repeated structures such as leaves, flowers or fruits, which, although belonging to the same genotype, are not phenotypically identical. Such subindividual variation reflects the potential of individual genotypes to vary with micro-environmental conditions. Furthermore, variation in organ traits imposes costs to foraging animals such as time, energy and increased predation risk. Therefore, animals that interact with plants may respond to this variation and affect plant fitness. Thus, phenotypic variation within an individual plant could be, in part, an adaptive trait. Here we investigated this idea and we found that subindividual variation of fruit size of Crataegus monogyna, in different populations throughout the latitudinal gradient in Europe, was explained at some extent by the selective pressures exerted by seed-dispersing birds. These findings support the hypothesis that within-individual variation in plants is an adaptive trait selected by interacting animals which may have important implications for plant evolution. © 2013 Sobral et al.
Versión del editorhttp://dx.doi.org/10.1371/journal.pone.0074356
URIhttp://hdl.handle.net/10261/128022
DOI10.1371/journal.pone.0074356
Identificadoresdoi: 10.1371/journal.pone.0074356
issn: 1932-6203
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