Indirect genetic effects from competition in the clonal herb Sedum album (Crassulaceae)

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Recent years have seen increasing interest in indirect genetic effects, i.e. influences on the phenotype that depend on the genotype of other conspecific individuals; however, the empirical evidence for such effects is still limited, especially in wild plant species. The present study of the clonal herb Sedum album assessed direct and indirect genetic effects on performance-related traits in a 4-year experiment with clonally replicated genotypes, grown in pairs and differing in anthocyanin pigmentation to allow separation of individuals during data collection. In agreement with the existence of indirect genetic effects, the experimentally-paired plants not only expressed their own genotype but were also affected by the genotype of their pair mate. The effect of neighbour genotype explained up to one-fourth of the variation in performance and most likely resulted from competition, imposed by the close physical contact between paired individuals and the limiting conditions used in the garden environment. Indirect genetic effects from competition have the potential to enhance the efficacy of group-level selection relative to individual selection, given the nutrient-poor and spatially-confined substrate available to plants of S. album in the natural habitat.


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Ämnesklassifikation (UKÄ) – OBLIGATORISK

  • Ekologi
TidskriftPLoS ONE
StatusPublished - 2014
Peer review utfördJa