Experimental evidence that selection favors character displacement in the ivyleaf morning glory.

Journal Article (Journal Article)

While there is abundant evidence to suggest that pollinators influence the evolution of plant floral traits, there is little direct evidence that interactions between plant species shape the evolution of such characteristics. The purpose of this study was to determine whether the presence of the morning glory Ipomoea purpurea alters patterns of selection on floral traits of its congener, Ipomoea hederacea. We show that while selection on I. hederacea floral traits is effectively neutral when I. purpurea flowers are absent, selection acts to increase clustering of anthers about the stigma when I. purpurea flowers are present. Our results provide direct experimental evidence that the presence of flowers of a co-occurring congener can influence patterns of natural selection on floral traits that influence the mating system and contribute to prezygotic isolation. To the extent that this result is general, it also lends support to the claim that distributional patterns interpreted as ecological and reproductive character displacement in other plant species have been caused by natural selection generated by interactions among plant species.

Full Text

Duke Authors

Cited Authors

  • Smith, RA; Rausher, MD

Published Date

  • January 2008

Published In

Volume / Issue

  • 171 / 1

Start / End Page

  • 1 - 9

PubMed ID

  • 18171146

Electronic International Standard Serial Number (EISSN)

  • 1537-5323

International Standard Serial Number (ISSN)

  • 0003-0147

Digital Object Identifier (DOI)

  • 10.1086/523948


  • eng