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Sexual selection in plants: pros and cons

Grant, V.
Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences of the United States of America 1995 v.92 no.5 pp. 1247-1250
sexual selection, plant morphology
Sexual selection has long been regarded as a special mode of selection in animals. Various authors have argued in a growing number of publications since 1979 that sexual selection is also operative in plants, and consequently, two divergent concepts of sexual selection are now being stated in the literature, the original Darwinian concept and the new plant-centered concept. An essential feature of the Darwinian concept is the distinction between primary and secondary sexual characters. Sexual selection is a process producing secondary sexual characters in males; such characters are well known in animals but are unknown in plants. Proponents of sexual selection in plants do not mention the subject of primary and secondary sexual characters, and they make no effort to establish the existence of secondary sexual characters in plants. The evidence they do present for sexual selection in plants consists of primary sexual characters and other reproductive traits that are products of selection modes other than sexual selection.