Demographic and reproductive schedules were compared among five populations of a cleistogamous annual, Impatients noli-tangere L., occurring in habitats with contrasting moisture and/or light environments. In all populations, flowering extended for 2-3 months during which light environment and mortality changed. Seasonal patterns of growth and mortality were significantly different among the five populations studied. The beginning and duration of flowering and the ratio of chasmogamous flowers to cleistogamous ones were also significantly different among populations. An experiment was conducted under different light conditions (open and closed) to separate the genetic and environmental components of the variation in reproductive traits observed among populations of I. noli-tangere. Transplanted plants showed significant among-population variation in flowering time, as is observed in natural populations, suggesting genetic differentiation among populations of this species. On the other hand, the ratio of chasmogamous flowers did not differ among plants transplanted from three populations. Based on these results, the authors suggest that facultative cleistogamy is a conditional strategy under seasonally changing environments.
All Science Journal Classification (ASJC) codes
- Ecology, Evolution, Behavior and Systematics