Seed production in many plants is pollen limited, likely because of unpredictable variation in the pollinator environment. One way for plants to escape the consequences of pollinator variability is to evolve mating systems, such as autonomous selfing, that assure reproduction without relying on pollinators. We explore this hypothesis through the construction and analysis of heuristic models of plant population dynamics in seed- or site-limited populations. Our analysis suggests several important points: the familiar rule that inbreeding depression greater than 0.5 maintains outcrossing significantly underestimates the threshold required under pollen limited conditions with prior selfing; variability in the pollination environment erodes the ability of inbreeding depression to maintain outcrossing; and variable pollination environments can result in stable intermediate rates of prior selfing. The results reflect the importance of geometric mean fitness (which in a variable environment is less than the arithmetic mean) in the face of temporal variation.
You have requested a machine translation of selected content from our databases. This functionality is provided solely for your convenience and is in no way intended to replace human translation. Neither BioOne nor the owners and publishers of the content make, and they explicitly disclaim, any express or implied representations or warranties of any kind, including, without limitation, representations and warranties as to the functionality of the translation feature or the accuracy or completeness of the translations.
Translations are not retained in our system. Your use of this feature and the translations is subject to all use restrictions contained in the Terms and Conditions of Use of the BioOne website.
Vol. 59 • No. 5