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Sex ratio and life history traits at reaching sexual maturity in the dioecious shrub Fuchsia parviflora: field and common garden experiments

Published online by Cambridge University Press:  08 April 2021

Jessica S. Ambriz
Affiliation:
Facultad de Biología, Universidad Michoacana de San Nicolás de Hidalgo, Av. Francisco J. Mújica S/N, Ciudad Universitaria, Morelia, Michoacán 58030, México
Clementina González
Affiliation:
Instituto de Investigaciones sobre los Recursos Naturales, Universidad Michoacana de San Nicolás de Hidalgo, Av. San Juanito Itzícuaro s/n, Col. Nueva Esperanza, Morelia Michoacán 58330, México
Eduardo Cuevas
Affiliation:
Facultad de Biología, Universidad Michoacana de San Nicolás de Hidalgo, Av. Francisco J. Mújica S/N, Ciudad Universitaria, Morelia, Michoacán 58030, México
Corresponding
E-mail address:

Abstract

Fuchsia parviflora is a dioecious shrub that depends on biotic pollination for reproduction. Previous studies suggest that the male plants produce more flowers, and male-biased sex ratios have been found in some natural populations. To assess whether the biased sex ratios found between genders in natural populations are present at the point at which plants reach sexual maturity, and to identify possible trade-offs between growth and reproduction, we performed a common garden experiment. Finally, to complement the information of the common garden experiment, we estimated the reproductive biomass allocation between genders in one natural population. Sex ratios at reaching sexual maturity in F. parviflora did not differ from 0.5, except in one population, which was the smallest seedling population. We found no differences between genders in terms of the probability of germination or flowering. When flowering began, female plants were taller than males and the tallest plants of both genders required more time to reach sexual maturity. Males produced significantly more flowers than females, and the number of flowers increased with plant height in both genders. Finally, in the natural population studied, the investment in reproductive biomass was seven-fold greater in female plants than in male plants. Our results showed no evidence of possible trade-offs between growth and reproduction. Despite the fact that female plants invest more in reproductive biomass, they were taller than the males after flowering, possibly at the expense of herbivory defence.

Type
Research Article
Copyright
© The Author(s), 2021. Published by Cambridge University Press

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Sex ratio and life history traits at reaching sexual maturity in the dioecious shrub Fuchsia parviflora: field and common garden experiments
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Sex ratio and life history traits at reaching sexual maturity in the dioecious shrub Fuchsia parviflora: field and common garden experiments
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