, Volume 22, Issue 3, pp 299-312
Date: 23 Aug 2007

A meta-analysis of the relation between mating system, growth form and genotypic diversity in clonal plant species

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Next to its well-described ecological advantages, clonal growth in plants may incur fitness costs, which are associated with the effects of typically large clonal individuals on the patterns of pollen dispersal. These fitness costs include increased selfing and inbreeding depression in self-compatible species, and reduced mate availability in self-incompatible species. Although fitness costs may affect mating system evolution, there is currently no strong evidence available that either self-compatibility or self-incompatibility is associated with clonality. One reason for this may be the variety in growth forms (from guerrilla to phalanx habits) within clonal species, and the fact that growth form may strongly affect mating patterns. We present the results of a formal meta-analysis of 72 published studies, aiming at reporting genotypic diversities across studies and at relating mating system with clonal growth form and genotypic diversity. We found lower genotypic diversities in clonal self-incompatible species compared to self-compatible species, suggesting that mate availability may indeed be reduced in clonal self- incompatible species. We also cannot confirm that mating system is associated with clonal growth form.