Biologia Plantarum

, Volume 53, Issue 1, pp 175–178 | Cite as

Different levels of inbreeding depression between outcrossing and selfing Serapias species

  • F. Bellusci
  • G. PellegrinoEmail author
  • A. Musacchio
Brief Communication


We quantified inbreeding depression for fruit production, embryo vitality and seed germination in three deceptive orchids, Serapias vomeracea, S. cordigera and S. parviflora, which do not provide any reward to their pollinators, and are predicted to experience high outcrossing. Of the three species examined only S. parviflora was autonomously selfing. Both S. vomeracea and S. cordigera showed highly significant differences in fitness between selfed and outcrossed progenies, resulting in high levels of inbreeding depression, which increased in magnitude from seed set to seed germination. Inbreeding depression may promote outcrossing in Serapias by acting as a post-pollination barrier to selfing. Cumulative inbreeding depression across three stages in S. parviflora was lower that in both outcrossing species. The large difference in germination between selfed and outcrossed seeds is an important issue in conservation biology.

Additional key words

autogamy orchids reproductive success 


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Copyright information

© Springer Science+Business Media B.V. 2009

Authors and Affiliations

  1. 1.Dipartimento di EcologiaUniversità della CalabriaRendeItaly

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