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1 June 2008 Variation in life history characteristics between asexual and sexual populations of marchantia inflexa
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Dioicous bryophytes often exist in isolated populations with low rates of sexual reproduction. While most populations contain individuals of both sexes, some species have single-sex populations that depend solely on asexual reproduction for population expansion and persistence. Life history trade-offs can constrain population divergence and the relative investment in growth, asexual and sexual reproduction may differ in single-sex and both-sex populations. A common garden experiment and field observations were used to assess trait variation and determine genetic differences among single-sex and both-sex populations of Marchantia inflexa, a dioicous liverwort. Populations were significantly genetically differentiated, and plants from single-sex and both-sex populations differed in their life history strategies. Plants from single-sex populations invested more in growth than asexual production, and although they produced as many sexual structures, they produced fewer gametangia per gametophore than plants from both-sex populations. Characteristics of female plants were positively correlated with geographic, nearest-neighbor distance, whereas characteristics exhibited by male plants showed no relation to geographic distance. Single-sex populations of M. inflexa in Oklahoma and populations from Florida form a distinct phenotypic group within the species that deserves further study.

Linda Fuselier "Variation in life history characteristics between asexual and sexual populations of marchantia inflexa," The Bryologist 111(2), (1 June 2008).[248:VILHCB]2.0.CO;2
Received: 26 November 2006; Accepted: 1 September 2007; Published: 1 June 2008

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