Advanced

Allocation to pollen competitive ability versus seed production in Viola tricolor as an effect of plant size, soil nutrients and presence of a root competitor

Lankinen, Åsa LU ; Larsson, Mattias LU and Fransson, Ann-Mari LU (2013) In Oikos 122(5). p.779-789
Abstract
In hermaphroditic plants, the effect of a social environment on sex allocation has not been studied to our knowledge, while in hermaphroditic animals such effects are known to be common. In recent years, studies on root competition beyond the effects of nutrients have shown that plants can respond to their conspecific root competitors (social environment), making it interesting to ask if these effects could also influence sex allocation in addition to more commonly studied factors, such as plant size or resources. In this study on hermaphroditic Viola tricolor, we investigated how plant size, soil nutrients and presence of a root competitor influenced allocation to pollen competitive ability versus seed production, i.e. male and female... (More)
In hermaphroditic plants, the effect of a social environment on sex allocation has not been studied to our knowledge, while in hermaphroditic animals such effects are known to be common. In recent years, studies on root competition beyond the effects of nutrients have shown that plants can respond to their conspecific root competitors (social environment), making it interesting to ask if these effects could also influence sex allocation in addition to more commonly studied factors, such as plant size or resources. In this study on hermaphroditic Viola tricolor, we investigated how plant size, soil nutrients and presence of a root competitor influenced allocation to pollen competitive ability versus seed production, i.e. male and female reproductive functions. We allowed plants to grow in pairs with partly intermingled or separate roots in the same amount of soil. In additional treatments with intermingled roots (as part of the same experiment) one of the two competitors was given combinations of nitrogen (N), phosphorous (P) and micro nutrients. We found that pollen performance but not seed production increased when plants were in contact in the soil. Additionally, pollen performance was negatively correlated to plant size across fertilisation treatments. For seed production, the opposite relation to plant size was seen, indicating that large, fertilized plants invest relatively more in the female function. In conclusion, in violets, sex allocation appears to be size-dependent and influenced by both the presence of a root competitor and by nutrients. These results suggest that social environment can influence sex allocation in plants as well as in animals, indicating that such effects are important to consider in sex allocation studies across taxa. (Less)
Please use this url to cite or link to this publication:
author
organization
publishing date
type
Contribution to journal
publication status
published
subject
in
Oikos
volume
122
issue
5
pages
779 - 789
publisher
Wiley-Blackwell
external identifiers
  • wos:000317981400014
  • scopus:84876426865
ISSN
1600-0706
DOI
10.1111/j.1600-0706.2012.00067.x
language
English
LU publication?
yes
id
538bb6b8-4e58-4858-91ad-7abe817e7f4d (old id 3853677)
date added to LUP
2016-04-01 11:05:38
date last changed
2019-12-04 01:58:19
@article{538bb6b8-4e58-4858-91ad-7abe817e7f4d,
  abstract     = {In hermaphroditic plants, the effect of a social environment on sex allocation has not been studied to our knowledge, while in hermaphroditic animals such effects are known to be common. In recent years, studies on root competition beyond the effects of nutrients have shown that plants can respond to their conspecific root competitors (social environment), making it interesting to ask if these effects could also influence sex allocation in addition to more commonly studied factors, such as plant size or resources. In this study on hermaphroditic Viola tricolor, we investigated how plant size, soil nutrients and presence of a root competitor influenced allocation to pollen competitive ability versus seed production, i.e. male and female reproductive functions. We allowed plants to grow in pairs with partly intermingled or separate roots in the same amount of soil. In additional treatments with intermingled roots (as part of the same experiment) one of the two competitors was given combinations of nitrogen (N), phosphorous (P) and micro nutrients. We found that pollen performance but not seed production increased when plants were in contact in the soil. Additionally, pollen performance was negatively correlated to plant size across fertilisation treatments. For seed production, the opposite relation to plant size was seen, indicating that large, fertilized plants invest relatively more in the female function. In conclusion, in violets, sex allocation appears to be size-dependent and influenced by both the presence of a root competitor and by nutrients. These results suggest that social environment can influence sex allocation in plants as well as in animals, indicating that such effects are important to consider in sex allocation studies across taxa.},
  author       = {Lankinen, Åsa and Larsson, Mattias and Fransson, Ann-Mari},
  issn         = {1600-0706},
  language     = {eng},
  number       = {5},
  pages        = {779--789},
  publisher    = {Wiley-Blackwell},
  series       = {Oikos},
  title        = {Allocation to pollen competitive ability versus seed production in Viola tricolor as an effect of plant size, soil nutrients and presence of a root competitor},
  url          = {http://dx.doi.org/10.1111/j.1600-0706.2012.00067.x},
  doi          = {10.1111/j.1600-0706.2012.00067.x},
  volume       = {122},
  year         = {2013},
}