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Research article - Peer-reviewed, 2021

Evolution of floral scent in relation to self-incompatibility and capacity for autonomous self-pollination in the perennial herb Arabis alpina

Petren, Hampus; Torang, Per; Agren, Jon; Friberg, Magne

Abstract

Background and Aims The transition from outcrossing to selfing is a frequent evolutionary shift in flowering plants and is predicted to result in reduced allocation to pollinator attraction if plants can self-pollinate autonomously. The evolution of selfing is associated with reduced visual floral signalling in many systems, but effects on floral scent have received less attention. We compared multiple populations of the arctic-alpine herb Arabis alpina (Brassicaceae), and asked whether the transition from self-incompatibility to self-compatibility has been associated with reduced visual and chemical floral signalling. We further examined whether floral signalling differ between self-compatible populations with low and high capacity for autonomous self-pollination, as would be expected if benefits of signalling decrease with reduced dependence on pollinators for pollen transfer.Methods In a common garden we documented flower size and floral scent emission rate and composition in eight self-compatible and nine self-incompatible A. alpina populations. These included self-compatible Scan-dinavian populations with high capacity for autonomous self-pollination, self-compatible populations with low capacity for autonomous self-pollination from France and Spain, and self-incompatible populations from Italy and Greece.Key Results The self-compatible populations produced smaller and less scented flowers than the self-incompatible populations. However, flower size and scent emission rate did not differ between self-compatible populations with high and low capacity for autonomous self-pollination. Floral scent composition differed between self-compatible and self-incompatible populations, but also varied substantially among populations within the two categories.Conclusions Our study demonstrates extensive variation in floral scent among populations of a geographically widespread species. Contrary to expectation, floral signalling did not differ between self-compatible populations with high and low capacity for autonomous self-pollination, indicating that dependence on pollinator attraction can only partly explain variation in floral signalling. Additional variation may reflect adaptation to other aspects of local environments, genetic drift, or a combination of these processes.

Keywords

Arabis alpina; floral scent; intraspecific variation; mating system; self-incompatibility; selfing syndrome; volatile organic compound (VOC)

Published in

Annals of Botany
2021, volume: 127, number: 6, pages: 737-747
Publisher: OXFORD UNIV PRESS

Authors' information

Petren, Hampus
Uppsala University
Petren, Hampus
Lund University
Swedish University of Agricultural Sciences, Swedish Species Information Centre
Uppsala University
Agren, Jon
Uppsala University
Friberg, Magne
Lund University

UKÄ Subject classification

Botany
Evolutionary Biology

Publication Identifiers

DOI: https://doi.org/10.1093/aob/mcab007

URI (permanent link to this page)

https://res.slu.se/id/publ/112672