Plant Systematics and Evolution

, Volume 221, Issue 1–2, pp 69–76 | Cite as

Variation in breeding system among populations of the common woodland herbAnemone nemorosa (Ranunculaceae)

  • N. Müller
  • J. J. Schneller
  • R. Holderegger


Recent studies of germination in natural habitats, of genetic variation within populations and of the relative proportion of vegetative and sexual reproduction in the clonal plant speciesAnemone nemorosa suggest that sexual recruitment by seeds from outcrossed flowers is important for the maintenance of this species' populations. Because published reports on its breeding system are controversial, pollination experiments were performed in five natural populations ofA. nemorosa. Differences in ovule number per flower were recorded among populations, but they were not related to obvious habitat differences. Seed/ovule-ratios were significantly higher after open pollination and artificial crossing than after either artificial or spontaneous selfing. Populations had no effect on seed/ovuleratios. Different breeding indices indicated thatA. nemorosa is mainly self-incompatible. Nevertheless, some seed set also occurred after selfing, and both artificial and spontaneous selfing exhibited higher variation in seed/ovule-ratios than open pollination and artificial crossing. Continuous variation in seed/ovule-ratios after selfing suggested that the expression and effectiveness of the self-incompatibility system ofA. nemorosa is influenced by both genetic variation and phenotypic plasticity.

Key words

Anemone nemorosa breeding system pollination experiments self-incompatibility woodland species 


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Copyright information

© Springer-Verlag 2000

Authors and Affiliations

  • N. Müller
    • 1
  • J. J. Schneller
    • 1
  • R. Holderegger
    • 1
  1. 1.Institute of Systematic BotanyUniversity of ZurichZurichSwitzerland

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