Empirical assessment of the reproductive fitness components of the hybrid pine Pinus densata on the Tibetan Plateau
2009 (English)In: Evolutionary Ecology, ISSN 0269-7653, Vol. 23, no 3, 447-462 p.Article in journal (Refereed) Published
Pinus densata is distributed on the Tibetan Plateau, where it forms extensive forests at high elevations. Genetic studies have provided evidence that P. densata originated through hybridization between P. yunnanensis and P. tabuliformis. To clarify the relationships among these pines, and assess their reproductive fitness in their respective habitats, we conducted a comparative analysis of eight cone and seed morphometric traits and six reproductive traits in them. Among the eight morphometric traits examined, six appeared to be intermediate in P. densata between those of P. yunnanensis and P. tabuliformis. There were significant differences among the three pines in all of the morphometric traits, and P. densata showed greater variability in these traits than the other two pines. In contrast to the morphometric traits, the reproductive traits (including the proportions of filled and empty seeds, ovule abortion rate, seed efficiency, meiotic abnormalities during microsporogenesis and pollen viability) differed little among the three pines, indicating that they have similar overall rates of effective pollination and fertilization in their respective natural environments. Despite their location on the high plateau, natural populations of P. densata appeared to have normal levels of reproductive success, comparable to those of the two parental species in their natural habitats. This study provides empirical data characterizing the reproductive success and adaptation of a stabilized homoploid hybrid in a novel habitat that is ecologically and spatially inaccessible to its parental species.
Place, publisher, year, edition, pages
2009. Vol. 23, no 3, 447-462 p.
IdentifiersURN: urn:nbn:se:umu:diva-22918DOI: 10.1007/s10682-008-9244-6OAI: oai:DiVA.org:umu-22918DiVA: diva2:218541