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Research article2009Peer reviewed

Pollinator-mediated selection on floral display and floral time in the perennial herb Arabidopsis lyrata

Sandring Saskia, Ågren Jon


The evolution of floral display and flowering time in animal-pollinated plants is commonly attributed to pollinator-mediated selection. Yet, the causes of selection on flowering phenology and traits contributing to floral display have rarely been tested experimentally in natural populations. We quantified phenotypic selection on morphological and phenological characters in the perennial, outcrossing herb Arabidopsis lyrata in two years using female reproductive success as a proxy of fitness. To determine whether selection on floral display and flowering phenology can be attributed to interactions with pollinators, selection was quantified both for open-pollinated controls and for plants receiving supplemental hand-pollination. We documented directional selection for many flowers, large petals, late start of flowering, and early end of flowering. Seed output was pollen-limited in both years and supplemental hand-pollination reduced the magnitude of selection on number of flowers, and reversed the direction of selection on end of flowering. The results demonstrate that interactions with pollinators may affect the strength of selection on floral display and the direction of selection on phenology of flowering in natural plant populations. They thus support the contention that pollinators can drive the evolution of both floral display and flowering time


Floral display; flower size; flowering phenology; natural selection; pollen limitation; selection gradients

Published in

2009, Volume: 63, number: 5, pages: 1292-1300

    UKÄ Subject classification

    Evolutionary Biology

    Publication identifier


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