2023 Update: Interremnant crosses

In summer 2023, Amy continued the interremnant crosses experiment to understand how the distance between plants in space and their timing of flowering influences the fitness of their offspring. This experiment builds on her study of gene flow and pollen movement in the remnants, asking the question of how pollen movement patterns affect offspring establishment and fitness. If plants that are located close together or flower at the same time are closely related, their offspring might be more closely related and inbred, and have lower fitness than plants that are far apart and/or flower more asynchronously. In other words, if distance in space or time is correlated with relatedness, we’d expect mating between more distant or asynchronous individuals to result in more fit offspring.

To test this hypothesis, Amy performed crosses between plants across a range of spatial isolation (within the same population, in adjacent populations, and in far-apart populations) in 2020. With the team’s help, she also kept track of the individuals’ flowering time to assess whether reproductive synchrony is associated with reduced offspring fitness, suggesting that individuals that flower at the same time are more closely related.

In 2021, Amy repeated the same hand crossing methods to assess the fitness consequences of outcrossing, this year on 44 focal plants.

In spring 2022, she planted the seedlings as plugs into exPt01 and measured the seedlings throughout the summer. Amy measured plants again in summer 2023!

Amy’s two batches of plants (that were alive this year) were assigned cg plaids and are now integrated in the p01 workflow. They are named as integers from 29001 – 29319 and are referred to as “Amy’s Annex”.

A young Echinacea Plant in Amy’s Annex
  • Start year: 2020
  • Location: On27, SGC, GC, NGC, EELR, KJ, NNWLF, NWLF, LF
  • Overlaps with:  phenology in the remnantsgene flow in the remnants
  • Data collected: Style shriveling and seed set and weight from crosses, start and end date of flowering, coordinates of all individuals in the populations listed above. Leaf count and height of seedlings at three points during the summer (two weeks after planting, mid-summer, and late summer). Summer 2023 measure data can be found here: “~/Dropbox/CGData/125_measure/measure2023/measure2023_out”
  • Samples or specimens collected: NA
  • Products: Amy wrote up a related analysis using parentage data from P2 to look at interparent distance and asynchrony in relation to offspring fitness. That manuscript is in prep now.

You can read more about the interremnant crosses experiment here.


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