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Project status update: mating compatibility in remnants

In 2015, we continued the study of mating compatibility in the remnants that began in 2014. This experiment is designed to assess population level compatibility and to investigate whether difference in flowering phenology and distance between plants predict whether or not a cross will be compatible. We do this by randomly selecting focal plants from remnant populations and then choosing pollen donors which are representative of the ‘extremes’ of these variables–early flowering, late flowering, nearest to focal plant, and furthest from the focal plant.

Bracts are painted to identify the pollen donor for each style of the focal plant that is being crossed

Bracts are painted to identify the pollen donor for each style of the focal plant that is being crossed

This past summer we conducted this study in six of our largest remnant populations with approximately ten focal plants at each for a total of 228 pairwise crosses. Occasionally we were unable to collect pollen from the most ‘extreme’ individuals because they flowered asynchronously with the focal plant, and in those cases we chose the most ‘extreme’ individual available. Excluding all other pollinators, we performed hand-crosses between the focal plants and their pollen donors and assessed style persistence the following day to evaluate the compatibility of each cross.

Read more posts about this experiment here.

Start year: 2014

Location: large remnant populations

Overlaps with: comprehensive compatibility

Products: The 2015 data from this experiment has been combined with the 2014 dataset and awaits analysis.

Team members who have worked on this project include: Danny Hanson (2015), Amy Waananen (2015), and Claire Ellwanger (2014). Flog posts authored by these team members may provide additional detail about day-to-day activities associated with this experiment.

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