|Title||Ecological and evolutionary consequences of plant breeding systems: Silene vulgaris (the bladder campion)|
|Publication Type||Journal Article|
|Year of Publication||1986|
|Journal||Journal of the Elisha Mitchell Scientific Society|
I summarize here work done on populations of this gynodioecious-gynomonecious taxon in northern Michigan begun in 1982. My objective was to determine whether there were any differences in adults or offspring of hermaphrodites and females which may explain the maintenance of male steriles among bisexuals. As reported elsewhere in greater detail, contrary to theoretical expectations, hermaphrodites had greater reproductive output than females, however, a greater proportion of female flowers set fruit. I hypothesized that this greater fruit set in females was due to genetic factors such as heterosis or decreased inbreeding depression and not differential pollinator activity. To date, there have been no observable differences in insect visitation frequencies between females and hermaphrodites although hermaphrodites appear to be more attractive in terms of nectar rewards measured using a hand refractometer and spectrophotometric assay of sugar content. From field- and greenhouse-based experiments of seed weight and seedling success, the offspring of females and outcrossed hermaphrodites are larger and more likely to survive their first growing season than are their inbred counterparts from selfed hermaphroditic parents.