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Sex related colour polymorphism in Antennaria dioica

Plants & Ecology
Plants & Ecology
Журнал с антэкологическими публикациями.

, 2007. No. 6. P. 1–22.
Insect pollinated plants often use flower colour to attract pollinators. Colour polymorphism, where flower colour varies between individuals of the same population, occurs in many species throughout the angiosperms. One is Antennaria dioica, which is often described as having white male flowers and pink or red female flowers. However, field observations of the species indicate that all three colour morphs occur in both sexes. Having two or more colour morphs within one population could invoke strong selective pressure. Based on floral reward or other morphological differences, pollinators may prefer one colour morph to another, affecting its relative fitness within a population. The aim of this project was to study colour morph distribution and to examine possible factors maintaining colour polymorphism in A. dioica. There was a similar pattern of colour morph distribution in all studied areas, with the white morph generally dominating among male individuals and the pink morph dominating among female individuals. There was no notable difference regarding the frequency of pollinator visits to male and female flowers. Nor was there any significant difference in seed production or pollen limitation between the two morphs. However, pink females had more ovules per flower head than white females.

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