Floral plasticity in an iteroparous plant: The interactive effects of genotype, environment, and ontogeny in Campanula rapunculoides (Campanulaceae)

Donna W. Vogler, Shani Peretz, Andrew G. Stephenson

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

78 Scopus citations


Phenotypic variation in 11 floral and reproductive traits was studied in cloned plants of Campanula rapunculoides replicated in three discrete environments. Using an ANOVA approach, we determined the relative influence of genotype (G), environment (E), G x E interaction, and ontogeny (position on the raceme) on the 11 traits. Two traits, duration of flowering and pollen size, showed no significant variation. All nine remaining traits had significant genotypic variation, accounting for 21-38% of the total phenotypic variation. Correlations among variant traits in seven genotypes were predominantly positive, but several significant correlations in one environment changed sign or were nonsignificant in another environment. Ovule number was negatively correlated with most male function traits: the negative correlation between ovule and pollen number was particularly strong and consistent across environments. Six traits varied significantly across environments, including number of flowers, number of ovules per flower, and duration of the male phase, but pollen traits did not show a significant environmental main effect. The G x E interaction was significant for flower number, corolla size, nectar quality, duration of the male phase, pollen viability, and ovule number. The contribution of interaction variance to the total phenotypic variation (5-14%) was comparable to that of the environment alone (7-21%). Ovule number decreased in flowers on the upper part of the raceme by nearly 25%, but other traits did not vary significantly by floral position. These results suggest that (1) pollen traits are buffered against environmental change more than ovule number or other floral characters, (2) a male-female trade-off exists and is complicated by ontogenic factors, (3) G x E interactions are common but may have small effects, and (4) specific correlation patterns among floral traits can be dependent upon the environment under which they develop.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)482-494
Number of pages13
JournalAmerican journal of botany
Issue number4
StatePublished - 1999

All Science Journal Classification (ASJC) codes

  • Ecology, Evolution, Behavior and Systematics
  • Genetics
  • Plant Science


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