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Fitness benefits and costs of floral advertising traits: insights from rayed and rayless phenotypes of Anacyclus (Asteraceae)

AuthorsCerca, J.; Agudo, Alicia B.; Castro, S. ; Afonso, A.; Alvarez, I.; Torices, R.
Issue Date2019
PublisherBotanical Society of America
CitationAmerican Journal of Botany 106: 231- 243 (2019)
AbstractPremise of the Study: Ray flowers commonly observed in daisies’ flowering heads are a well-known example of advertising structures for enhancing pollinator attraction. Despite this, ray loss has occurred in multiple lineages, which still rely on pollinators, suggesting that rayless phenotypes could also be adaptive for animal-pollination. Here, we investigate the benefits and costs of these specialized floral advertising structures by comparing rayed and rayless phenotypes in two hybridizing closely related species. Methods: We assessed the advantages and costs of ray production in terms of floral visitor's attraction, pollen limitation, and female reproductive success using the broad natural variation on ray size and number at the contact zone of A. clavatus (rayed) and A. valentinus (rayless). In addition, we experimentally explored the effect of rays under controlled neighborhoods and the effect of ray removal on fruit production. Key Results: In sympatry, rayed phenotypes attracted significantly more visitors than rayless plants, in which seed production was pollen limited. However, rayed phenotypes did not show higher fruit set or seed production than rayless phenotypes. Fruit set and seed production benefited from denser neighborhood displays and larger individual floral displays, respectively. The removal of ray florets did not appear to enable resource reallocation to fruit production. Conclusions: Rayless heads compensated their lower visitation rate by means of a higher number of flowers per head achieving similar fecundity levels to rayed plants. The larger size of rayless heads might thus indicate an inflorescence-level trade-off between attraction and fertility.
Publisher version (URL)http://dx.doi.org/10.1002/ajb2.1238
Identifiersdoi: 10.1002/ajb2.1238
issn: 0002-9122
Appears in Collections:(EEZA) Artículos
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