Title

Pollen Production in the Androdioecious Datisca Glomerata (Datiscaceae): Implications for Breeding System Equilibrium

Document Type

Article

Publication Date

2-2005

Abstract

Androdioecy (the presence of males and hermaphrodites in a breeding population) is a rare reproductive system in plants, with Datisca glomerata (Datiscaceae) representing the only well-documented example. Recent reports of high outcrossing rates, inbreeding depression, and high male pollen production satisfy theoretical predictions for the continued maintenance of androdioecy in populations of this species. However, in prior studies pollen production was measured indirectly in terms of numbers of anthers per flower—based on the assumption that male and hermaphroditic plant have equal numbers of flowers and that anthers from the two sexual morphs produce equivalent amounts of pollen. Herein, we demonstrate that male and hermaphrodite plants do not differ significantly in terms of flower number, but that pollen production in anthers from hermaphroditic plants is 12.6% higher than in anthers from male plants, thus refining the estimate of relative pollen fecundity of male versus hermaphrodite plants. The differential lowers the frequency of males predicted by theory, but is still consistent with the maintenance of androdioecy in this species.