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Sexual dimorphism in bryophytes: Patterns and consequences

Fuselier, Linda [2], Stark, Lloyd [1].

Sexual dimorphism in bryophytes: patterns and consequences.

Sexual dimorphism in life history traits may influence the distribution of the sexes, population sex ratios, the maintenance of sexual reproduction in populations, and the evolutionary potential of a species. Bryophytes may be sexually dimorphic in traits related to growth, asexual and sexual reproduction, stress response, morphology, physiology and biotic interactions. The expression of sexual dimorphism in bryophytes ranges from subtle differences in growth to the extreme of dwarf males that live epiphytically on females. The consequences of sexual dimorphism in bryophytes may have far reaching effects. Bryophytes often have female-biased population sex ratios despite sex determination via chromosomes, and some dioicous populations are single-sex and never reproduce sexually. Patterns of sexual dimorphism in bryophytes have been used to explain biased sex ratios and examine whether models based on angiosperms are appropriate to explain the evolution of sexual dimorphism in clonal plants. In our symposium, speakers review patterns of sexual dimorphism across taxa and explore the evolution and implications of sexual dimorphism in bryophytes. Recent research presented by our symposium speakers will address the evolution of dwarf males in mosses, how sexually dimorphic characters translate into female-biased sex ratios and whether natural selection promotes sexual dimorphism and the coexistence of the sexes of dioicous bryophytes. Our broad-based examination of sexual dimorphism in bryophytes will spark interest in sex-specific life history strategies and the evolution of mating systems and underline the need for further research on the patterns and consequences of sexual dimorphism in bryophytes.

1 - University of Nevada, Department of Biological Sciences, 4505 Maryland Parkway, Las Vegas, Nevada, 89154-4004
2 - University of Kentucky, Department of Biology, 101 Morgan Bldg, Lexington, Kentucky, 40506, USA

dwarf males
sex dimorphism

Presentation Type: Symposium
Session: 27-1
Location: Ballroom 3 (Cliff Lodge)
Date: Tuesday, August 3rd, 2004
Time: 8:15 AM
Abstract ID:117

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