The games plants play: selection on traits that enhance male function
University of Lausanne, Switzerland
Plants display an extraordinary diversity in the way they construct and deploy their flowers for reproduction. Some of this diversity can be understood in terms of variation in the mating system, specifically rates of selfing versus outcrossing. However, floral diversity is most striking in species that avoid self-fertilisation altogether. In this seminar, I will explore the way selection on a plant’s male function in the evolution of floral strategies in both hermaphroditic species and those with separate sexes. I will draw on a number of case studies that illustrate the extent to which plants are sensitive to the spatial context of their mating opportunities, and how changes in this context can bring about transitions between contrasting sexual strategies.
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2. Tonnabel, J., David, P. Pannell, J.R. (2019). Do metrics of sexual selection conform to Bateman's principles in a wind-pollinated plant? Proceedings of the Royal Society B: 286.
3. Torices, R., Gomez, J.M. & Pannell, J.R. (2018). Kin discrimination allows plants to modify investment towards pollinator attraction. Nature Communications: 9, doi:10.1038/s41467-018-04378-3.