Understanding the fitness of plants with inflorescences requires examining variation in sex allocation among flowers within inflorescences. We examined whether differences in the duration of the male and female phases of flowering lead to variation in sex allocation and reproductive success among flowers within inflorescences. In 2002 and 2003, we quantified floral longevity, floral sex allocation, and reproductive success between the first and the second flowers within inflorescences in a protandrous species, Aquilegia buergeriana var. oxysepala. Floral longevity was greater in the first flowers than in the second ones in both years. The male phase lasted longer, and the initial number of pollen grains and the number of pollen grains removed were greater in the first flowers than in the second ones in both years. Within first flowers, the number of pollen grains removed was greater in flowers that had longer male phases, thus duration of the male phase may positively affect male reproductive success in the first flowers. The female phase lasted longer and the number of ovules was greater in the first flowers than in the second only in 2002. However, seed production per flower and female phase duration in both years were not significantly related. The variation in the number of pollen grains among flowers in this species may be caused by the variation in male phase duration.
ASJC Scopus subject areas
- Ecology, Evolution, Behavior and Systematics
- Plant Science