Consequences of clonal growth for plant mating
- Cite this article as:
- Charpentier, A. Evolutionary Ecology (2001) 15: 521. doi:10.1023/A:1016057503722
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By affecting the number and the spatial distribution of flowering units (i.e., ramets), clonal growth can influence pollen transfer between plants and thus affect mating opportunities. In this paper I review some recent work that attests the importance of clonal growth for pollination patterns. A major aspect concerns the increase in floral display through the multiplication of flowering ramets. Although large floral displays can enhance pollinator attraction and may thus promote outcrossing, they can also increase rates of geitonogamy (i.e., pollination between flowers in the same plant). However, the latter aspect will depend on clonal architecture, a feature that greatly varies among clonal plant species. Future experimental studies and comparative analyses of rates of geitonogamy in species with clumped and intermingled distribution may allow for the evaluation of evolutionary interaction between clonal growth and floral traits that regulate mating patterns.