Genetic Allee effects on performance, plasticity and developmental stability in a clonal plant

Citation
M. Fischer et al., Genetic Allee effects on performance, plasticity and developmental stability in a clonal plant, ECOL LETT, 3(6), 2000, pp. 530-539
Citations number
53
Language
INGLESE
art.tipo
Article
Categorie Soggetti
Environment/Ecology
Journal title
ECOLOGY LETTERS
ISSN journal
1461-023X → ACNP
Volume
3
Issue
6
Year of publication
2000
Pages
530 - 539
Database
ISI
SICI code
1461-023X(200011)3:6<530:GAEOPP>2.0.ZU;2-1
Abstract
Negative effects of small population size on fitness, so-called Allee effec ts, may threaten population persistence even in intact habitat remnants. We studied genotypes of 14 isolated populations of the clonal plant Ranunculu s reptans, for which molecular genetic (RAPD-) variability is higher for la rge than for small populations. In a competition-free greenhouse environmen t vegetative offspring of genotypes from large populations produced more ro settes and flowers, indicating higher fitness. Within-genotype coefficients of variation in performance traits, indicating developmental instability, were lower for genotypes from populations with higher RAPD-variability. In competition with a taller grass, we found relative reduction in leaf length less pronounced for plants from large populations, suggesting higher adapt ive plasticity. Our experimental study of a plant with predominantly vegeta tive reproduction suggests, that negative genetic effects of recent. habita t fragmentation, which so far rather were expected in plants with frequent sexual reproduction, are more severe and more common than previously acknow ledged.