Although rarely tested, it is often assumed that interspecific competition results in the divergence of traits related to resource use. Using a plant-pollinator system as a model, I tested the prediction the presence of a competitor for pollination influences the strength and/or direction of pollinator-mediated selection on floral traits. I measured phenotypic selection via female fitness on five floral traits of Ipomopsis aggregata in seven populations. Four contained only conspecifics (I only) and three also contained the competitor Castilleja linariaefolia (C I). Directional selection via fruits/plant and conspecific pollen deposited/flower on corolla length was positive and significantly stronger in C I populations. This difference in selection was apparently driven by interpopulation variation in the degree to which reproduction of I. aggregata was pollen limited. Consistent with expectations of interspecific competition, I. aggregata plants in C I populations received less conspecific pollen per flower and set fewer seeds per fruit and fruits per plant than those in I only populations. Ipomopsis aggregata's corollas were also significantly longer in C I populations, suggesting that there had been a response to a similar selective regime in past generations. Phenotypic correlations between corolla length and width, which determine the variation in I. aggregata's flower shape, were significantly weaker in C I populations. These data suggest that competition for pollination can influence the strength of selection on and patterns of correlations among floral traits of I. aggregata. If I. aggregata populations with and without competitors for pollination are linked by gene flow, then measuring selection in competitive and noncompetitive environments maybe necessary to accurately predict how floral traits will evolve.
Corresponding Editor: D. Waller