Pollen limitation affects plants with diverse reproductive systems and ecologies. In self-incompatible (SI) species, pollen limitation may preclude full reproductive compensation for prezygotic rejection of pollen. We present a model designed to explore the effects of incomplete reproductive compensation on evolutionary changes at a modifier locus that regulates the level of SI expression. Our results indicate that incomplete reproductive compensation greatly increases the evolutionary costs of SI, particularly in populations with low S-allele diversity. The evolutionary fate of modifiers of SI expression depends on the rate at which they are transmitted to future generations as well as the effects of SI on offspring number and quality. Partial SI expression can represent a stable condition rather than an evolutionarily transient state between full expression and full suppression. This unanticipated result provides the first theoretical support for the evolutionary stability of such mixed mating systems, the existence of which has recently been documented.
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Vol. 58 • No. 9