Pollen profile, spatial structure, and access to sex in asexual hermaphrodites

Michael Mogie

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8 Citations (SciVal)


Classical cost-of-sex models predict the rapid fixation of asexual reproduction. Coexistence of sexuals and asexuals is common among hermaphrodite plants, however, providing asexuals with access to sex via their male function; some of the sexually reproduced progeny they sire will be asexual. The ability of asexuals to sire progeny is often hindered by the production of poor quality pollen. Using cellular automata, it is shown that decreases in pollen quality in asexuals can greatly increase the period of coexistence of sexuals and asexuals and, consequently, the cumulative contribution of sex to asex. Extensive periods of coexistence are only likely, however, if pollen and seed are dispersed locally, in which case coexistence over thousands of generations can be achieved. It is argued that, with local dispersal, the negative relationship between pollen quality and the period of coexistence of sex and asex will result in patterns of geographic parthenogenesis in which asexuals that coexist with sexuals will exhibit a poor male function, whereas asexuals with a very efficient male function will occur in exclusively asexual populations
Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)954-966
Number of pages13
JournalBiological Journal of the Linnean Society
Issue number4
Early online date13 Jun 2011
Publication statusPublished - Aug 2011


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