Publication Date: 2016.
Background and Aims Floral integration is thought to be an adaptation to promote cross-fertilization, and it is often assumed that it increases morphological matching between flowers and pollinators, increasing the efficiency of pollen transfer. However, the evidence for this role of floral integration is limited, and recent studies have suggested a possible positive association between floral integration and selfing. Although a number of explanations exist to account for this inconsistency, to date there has been no attempt to examine the existence of an association between floral integration and mating system. This study hypothesized that if pollinator-mediated pollen movement among plants (outcrossing) is the main factor promoting floral integration, species with a predominantly outcrossing mating system should present higher levels of floral integration than those with a predominantly selfing mating system. Methods A phylogenetically informed meta-analysis of published data was performed in order to evaluate whether mating system (outcrossing vs. selfing) accounts for the variation in floral integration among 64 species of flowering plants. Morphometric floral information was used to compare intra-floral integration among traits describing sexual organs (androecium and gynoecium) and those corresponding to the perianth (calix and corolla). Key Results The analysis showed that outcrossing species have lower floral integration than selfing species. This pattern was caused by significantly higher integration of sexual traits than perianth traits, as integration of the latter group remained unchanged across mating categories. Conclusions The results suggest that the evolution of selfing is associated with concomitant changes in intra-floral integration. Thus, floral integration of sexual traits should be considered as a critical component of the selfing syndrome.
Author affiliation: Fornoni, Juan. Universidad Nacional Autónoma de México; México
Author affiliation: Ordano, Mariano Andrés. Consejo Nacional de Investigaciones Científicas y Técnicas; Argentina. Fundación Miguel Lillo; Argentina
Author affiliation: Pérez Ishiwara, Rubén. Universidad Nacional Autónoma de México; México
Author affiliation: Boege, Karina. Universidad Nacional Autónoma de México; México
Author affiliation: Domínguez, César A.. Universidad Nacional Autónoma de México; México
Keywords: FLORAL EVOLUTION; INTRA-FLORAL INTEGRATION; PHENOTYPIC INTEGRATION; PLANT MATING SYSTEM; SELFING SYNDROME; Otras Ciencias Biológicas; Ciencias Biológicas; CIENCIAS NATURALES Y EXACTAS; Otras Ciencias Biológicas; Ciencias Biológicas; CIENCIAS NATURALES Y EXACTAS; Otras Ciencias Biológicas; Ciencias Biológicas; CIENCIAS NATURALES Y EXACTAS.
Repository: CONICET Digital (CONICET). Consejo Nacional de Investigaciones Científicas y Técnicas