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Wednesday, April 26 • 10:55am - 11:15am
Reproductive Effort And Output In Two Species Of Sarracenia (Pitcher Plant) And Their Hybrids

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Sarracenia jonesii (Wherry) (mountain sweet pitcher plant) and Sarracenia purpurea var. montana (D. E. Schnell & Determann) (mountain purple pitcher plant) are two morphologically distinct species of carnivorous plant endemic to the Appalachian region of North and South Carolina. Like other Sarraceniaceae, these species are known to hybridize in sympatry, but fitness differences among the taxa remain uncharacterized. In this study, we examined reproductive effort and reproductive output of S. purpurea var. montana in sites where it is the only member of its genus, and in sites where it co-occurs and hybridizes with S. jonesii. In summer 2015, ovaries, anthers, and later seeds were collected from 8 western North Carolina sites: 7 with only S. purpurea var. montana, and 1 with both parental species and their hybrids. All ovules were enumerated with light microscopy under 10X magnification, and a subset of pollen grains were counted in a hemocytometer under 40X magnification. Seeds were tested for viability using tetrazolium, or stratified and then germinated in a controlled climate growth chamber. Data were transformed to ensure normality, then analyzed using ANOVA with Tukey’s studentized range test (ovule and pollen counts) or Kruskal-Wallis tests followed by Dunn’s tests (seed counts, seed viability, and seed germination). While seed production varied significantly among sites, viability and germination did not. Ovule counts varied significantly among parent species and hybrids, with hybrids producing more ovules than S. jonesii. Pollen counts also varied significantly, with S. purpurea var. montana producing more pollen than S. jonesii. However, seed counts, viability, and germination did not vary significantly among parental species or hybrids. Future experiments will examine the genetic composition of hybrid plants, to determine their generation. Abiotic and biotic reasons for differences in seed production among sites but not species are also being explored.


Wednesday April 26, 2017 10:55am - 11:15am
038 Karpen Hall

Attendees (5)