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Hanna Makowski of the Galloway Lab Publishes Paper in American Journal of Botany



Hanna Makowski of the Galloway lab just published a paper in the American Journal of Botany. The paper entitled "Support for Baker's law: Facultative self-fertilization ability decreases pollen limitation in experimental colonization" can be found here.


To summarize: Plant mating system theory suggests that the ability to self-fertilize confers an advantage in the colonization of new habitats. Models and geographic patterns of mating system variation support this idea, so the Galloway Lab added to this rich history with experimental tests, conducted at Mountain Lake Biological Station! They used known mating system variation in the American bellflower (Campanula americana) to explore how a plant’s ability to self-fertilize can mitigate density-dependent reproduction and impact colonization success. They found that high selfing ability plants were not sensitive to the density of potential mates, but low selfing ability plants were, suggesting that there is selection for self-fertilization ability during colonization. As range shifts are expected in many taxa as a response to global climate change, this work suggests that mate limitation during colonization will likely select for increased self-fertilization, which has implications for future genetic diversity and adaptation.

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