Sexual dimorphism in bryophytes: Patterns and consequences
McLetchie, Nicholas .
An integrative approach to understand patterns and consequences of sexual dimorphisms in clonal plants.
Bryophyte species exhibit a wide range of adult population sex ratios, from all-female to all-male species, populations, and patches. Extreme sex ratio variations result in low levels or a lack sexual reproduction. An integrative approach, incorporating several species, molecular biology, laboratory studies, field studies, and mathematical models, is used to link sex specific dimorphisms to adult population sex ratios. The key to this linkage is the life graph of species that interconnects the two sexes and the different stages in the life cycle. Thus far, identified sexual dimorphic traits range from DNA sequences to life history traits (growth, sexual and asexual reproduction rates). Using mathematical models, the latter explains the occurrence of single sex patches due to sex specific clonal expansion traits and disturbance levels. Currently, sex specific DNA sequences are used to study sex specific expression patterns. Early findings suggest that male plants, relative to female plants, are more common among non-sex expressing plants. Additionally, associations occur between morphological variations and life history variations. Information from these and other studies on bryophyte reproduction is applicable to other taxa characterized by genetically fixed sex on separate individuals and where both sexes can clonally expand.
1 - University of Kentucky, Department of Biology, 101 Morgan Bldg, Lexington, Kentucky, 40506, USA
Presentation Type: Symposium
Location: Ballroom 3 (Cliff Lodge)
Date: Tuesday, August 3rd, 2004
Time: 9:00 AM