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New insights into secondary sexual dimorphic traits in monoecious Jatropha curcas L. (Euphorbiaceae) in Quintana Roo, Mexico
- Hernández-Ramírez, Angélica María
- Plant ecology 2019 v.220 no.4-5 pp. 433-440
- Jatropha curcas, breeding, dioecy, female flowers, females, male flowers, males, monoecy, nectar secretion, prediction, sex ratio, sexual dimorphism, tropics, Mexico
- The production of unisexual flowers may favor an adjustment of floral traits to gender at plant level. In this research, the secondary sexual dimorphic traits in a native population of monoecious Jatropha curcas in Mexico were studied. Specifically, the extent and direction of the bias in sexual dimorphism of flower number and size, as well as nectar production were studied (15–20 plants). In the native population of the species, the male: female flower ratio was 7:1, whereas operational sex ratio was 2:1. Female flowers had longer and wider corollas than male flowers. Nectar-rewarding male flowers and non-rewarding female ones were observed. The extent and direction of the bias in sexual dimorphism of flower number and size, as well as nectar production were consistent with predictions based on dioecious and monoecious species in tropical region. This study highlights the important influence that population-level variation can have on variants of sexual dimorphic traits and its potential adaptive significance when viewed in the light of monoecious breeding system.