Advertisement

Evolutionary Ecology

, Volume 24, Issue 2, pp 433–445 | Cite as

Environmental context drives seed predator-mediated selection on a floral display trait

  • Annette KolbEmail author
  • Johan Ehrlén
Original Paper

Abstract

Linking trait selection to environmental context is necessary to move beyond the simple recognition that selection is spatially variable and to understand what ultimately drives this variation. Natural selection acts through differences among individuals in lifetime fitness and information about effects on fitness components is therefore often not sufficient to gain such an understanding. We investigated how environmental context influenced intensity of seed predation, flower abortion and selection on floral display traits in 44–52 populations of the perennial herb Primula veris over 2 years. Phenotypic selection on both inflorescence height and flower number varied among populations and was mediated partly by pre-dispersal seed predation and flower abortion in one of the years. Among-population variation in selection on inflorescence height, but not flower number, was linked to variation in canopy cover via its effects on seed predation. Lifetime fitness was less sensitive to seed predator damage in shaded environments but estimates of selection based on lifetime fitness agreed qualitatively with those based on seed output. Our results demonstrate that seed predators constitute an important link between environmental conditions and trait evolution in plants, and that selection on plant traits by seed predators can depend on environmental context.

Keywords

Environment Flower abortion Flower number Inflorescence height Lifetime fitness Phenotypic selection Pre-dispersal seed predation 

Notes

Acknowledgments

We thank Camilla Niklasson and Jessica Honkakangas for lab assistance, Johan Dahlgren for statistical advice and Dirk Enters for help with programming. We thank the Swedish Research Council (VR to J.E.), the German Academic Exchange Service (DAAD) and the Swedish Foundation for International Cooperation in Research and Higher Education (STINT) for supporting our work.

References

  1. Ågren J (1996) Population size, pollinator limitation, and seed set in the self-incompatible herb Lythrum salicaria. Ecology 77:1779–1790CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  2. Ashman T-L, Morgan MT (2004) Explaining phenotypic selection on plant attractive characters: male function, gender balance or ecological context? Proc R Soc Lond B 271:553–559CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  3. Beirne BP (1954) British pyralid and plume moths. Frederick Warne, LondonGoogle Scholar
  4. Benkman CW (1999) The selection mosaic and diversifying coevolution between crossbills and lodgepole pine. Am Nat 153(Suppl.):S75–S91CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  5. Benton TG, Grant A (2000) Evolutionary fitness in ecology: comparing measures of fitness in stochastic, density-dependent environments. Evol Ecol Res 2:769–789Google Scholar
  6. Cariveau D, Irwin RE, Brody AK, Garcia-Mayeya LS, von der Ohe A (2004) Direct and indirect effects of pollinators and seed predators to selection on plant and floral traits. Oikos 104:15–26CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  7. Caruso CM (2000) Competition for pollination influences selection on floral traits of Ipomopsis aggregata. Evolution 54:1546–1557PubMedGoogle Scholar
  8. Caruso CM, Peterson SB, Ridley CE (2003) Natural selection on floral traits of Lobelia (Lobeliaceae): spatial and temporal variation. Am J Bot 90:1333–1340CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  9. Caswell H (2001) Matrix population models: construction, analysis, and interpretation, 2nd edn. Sinauer, Sunderland, MassachusettsGoogle Scholar
  10. Courtney SP (1982) Coevolution of pierid butterflies and their cruciferous food plants. IV. Crucifer apparency and Anthocharis cardamines (L.) oviposition. Oecologia 52:258–265CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  11. de Kroon H, van Groenendael J, Ehrlén J (2000) Elasticities: a review of methods and model limitations. Ecology 81:607–618CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  12. Donnelly SE, Lortie CJ, Aarssen LW (1998) Pollination in Verbascum thapsus (Scrophulariaceae): the advantage of being tall. Am J Bot 85:1618–1625CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  13. Ehrlén J (1996) Spatiotemporal variation in predispersal seed predation intensity. Oecologia 108:708–713CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  14. Ehrlén J, Käck S, Ågren J (2002) Pollen limitation, seed predation and scape length in Primula farinosa. Oikos 97:45–51CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  15. Ehrlén J, Syrjänen K, Leimu R, Begoña Garcia M, Lehtilä K (2005) Land use and population growth of Primula veris: an experimental demographic approach. J Appl Ecol 42:317–326CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  16. Endler JA (1986) Natural selection in the wild.. Princeton University Press, PrincetonGoogle Scholar
  17. Fernandez MR, Clarke JM, DePauw RM (2002) The effect of plant height on tan spot on durum wheat in southern Saskatchewan. Crop Sci 42:159–164PubMedGoogle Scholar
  18. Gómez JM, Zamora R (2000) Spatial variation in the selective scenarios of Hormathophylla spinosa (Cruciferae). Am Nat 155:657–668CrossRefPubMedGoogle Scholar
  19. Groom MJ (2001) Consequences of subpopulation isolation for pollination, herbivory, and population growth in Clarkia concinna concinna (Onagraceae). Biol Conserv 100:55–63CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  20. Hainsworth FR, Wolf LL, Mercier T (1984) Pollination and pre-dispersal seed predation: net effects on reproduction and inflorescence characteristics in Ipomopsis aggregata. Oecologia 63:405–409CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  21. Hultén E, Fries M (1986) Atlas of north European vascular plants—north of the tropic of cancer. Koeltz Scientific Books, KönigsteinGoogle Scholar
  22. Johnson MTJ, Stinchcombe JR (2007) An emerging synthesis between community ecology and evolutionary biology. Trends Ecol Evol 22:250–257CrossRefPubMedGoogle Scholar
  23. Kelly CA (1992) Spatial and temporal variation in selection on correlated life-history traits and plant size in Chamaecrista fasciculata. Evolution 46:1658–1673CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  24. Kindvall O (1995) The impact of extreme weather on habitat preference and survival in a metapopulation of the bush cricket Metrioptera bicolor in Sweden. Biol Conserv 73:51–58CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  25. Knight TM, Steets JA, Vamosi JC, Mazer SJ, Burd M, Campbell DR, Dudash MR, Johnston MO, Mitchell RJ, Ashman T-L (2005) Pollen limitation of plant reproduction: pattern and process. Annu Rev Ecol Evol Syst 36:467–497CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  26. Kolb A, Ehrlén J, Eriksson O (2007a) Ecological and evolutionary consequences of spatial and temporal variation in pre-dispersal seed predation. Perspect Plant Ecol Evol Syst 9:79–100CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  27. Kolb A, Leimu R, Ehrlén J (2007b) Environmental context influences the outcome of a plant-seed predator interaction. Oikos 116:864–872Google Scholar
  28. Lande R (1982) A quantitative genetic theory of life history evolution. Ecology 63:607–615CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  29. Lande R, Arnold SJ (1983) The measurement of selection on correlated characters. Evolution 37:1210–1226CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  30. Lehtilä K, Syrjänen K, Leimu R, Begoña Garcia M, Ehrlén J (2006) Habitat change and demography of Primula veris: identification of management targets. Conserv Biol 20:833–843CrossRefPubMedGoogle Scholar
  31. Leimu R, Syrjänen K, Ehrlén J, Lehtilä K (2002) Pre-dispersal seed predation in Primula veris: among-population variation in damage intensity and selection on flower number. Oecologia 133:510–516CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  32. McGraw JB, Caswell H (1996) Estimation of individual fitness from life-history data. Am Nat 147:47–64CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  33. Molau U, Eriksen B, Knudsen JT (1989) Predispersal seed predation in Bartsia alpina. Oecologia 81:181–185Google Scholar
  34. O’Connell LM, Johnston MO (1998) Male and female pollination success in a deceptive orchid, a selection study. Ecology 79:1246–1260Google Scholar
  35. R Development Core Team (2008) R: a language and environment for statistical computing. R Foundation for Statistical Computing, Vienna, Austria. Available from http://www.r-project.org/ (Accessed December 2008)
  36. Rey PJ, Herrera CM, Guitián J, Cerdá X, Sánchez-Lafuente AM, Medrano M, Garrido JL (2006) The geographic mosaic in predispersal interactions and selection on Helleborus foetidus (Ranunculaceae). J Evol Biol 19:21–34CrossRefPubMedGoogle Scholar
  37. Scheines R, Spirtes P, Glymour C, Meek C, Richardson T (2008) Tetrad 3: tools for causal modeling. User’s manual. Available from http://www.phil.cmu.edu/projects/tetrad/tet3/master.htm (Accessed January 2008)
  38. Schemske DW, Horvitz C (1989) Temporal variation in selection on a floral character. Evolution 43:461–465CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  39. Shipley B (2000) Cause and correlation in biology: a user’s guide to path analysis, structural equations and causal inference. Cambridge University Press, CambridgeGoogle Scholar
  40. Sletvold N, Grindeland JM (2008) Floral herbivory increases with inflorescence size and local plant density in Digitalis purpurea. Acta Oecol 34:21–25CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  41. Stephenson AG (1981) Flower and fruit abortion: proximate causes and ultimate functions. Annu Rev Ecol Syst 12:253–279CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  42. Strauss SY, Irwin RE (2004) Ecological and evolutionary consequences of multispecies plant-animal interactions. Annu Rev Ecol Evol Syst 35:435–466CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  43. Tamm CO (1972) Survival and flowering of perennial herbs III. The behaviour of Primula veris on permanent plots. Oikos 23:159–166CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  44. Thompson JN (2005) The geographic mosaic of coevolution. University of Chicago Press, ChicagoGoogle Scholar
  45. Totland Ø (2001) Environment-dependent pollen limitation and selection on floral traits in an alpine species. Ecology 82:2233–2244CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  46. Valverde T, Silvertown J (1998) Variation in the demography of a woodland understorey herb (Primula vulgaris) along the forest regeneration cycle: projection matrix analysis. J Ecol 86:545–562CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  47. Vaughton G, Ramsey M (1998) Floral display, pollinator visitation and reproductive success in the dioecious perennial herb Wurmbea dioica (Liliaceae). Oecologia 115:93–101CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  48. Wedderburn F, Richards AJ (1990) Variation in within-morph incompatibility inhibition sites in heteromorphic Primula L. New Phytol 116:149–162CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  49. Zangerl AR, Berenbaum MR (2003) Phenotype matching in wild parsnip and parsnip webworms: causes and consequences. Evolution 57:806–815PubMedGoogle Scholar

Copyright information

© Springer Science+Business Media B.V. 2009

Authors and Affiliations

  1. 1.Vegetation Ecology and Conservation Biology, Institute of EcologyUniversity of BremenBremenGermany
  2. 2.Department of BotanyStockholm UniversityStockholmSweden

Personalised recommendations