How natural selection shapes syndromes of dispersal and mating system in plants?

Pierre-Olivier Cheptou
(CNRS, France)

12/9/25, 15:00 - 16:00 at the 2nd meeting room (5th floor of building 3 of the Faculty of Sciences)

The question of how dispersal traits and mating system traits are associated in organisms has been central in evolutionary ecology, especially in plants. Baker’s Law states that colonization by self-compatible organisms is more likely to be successful than colonization by self-incompatible organisms because of the ability for self-compatible organisms to produce offspring without pollination agents. This model has been very influential in plant ecology and has been applied to various ecological contexts. Data have however not established a general pattern for the association of traits. In this talk, I will discuss and clarify several aspects of Baker’s Law and focus on discrepancies with population genetics theory of mating systems. I will finally present a general adaptive dynamics metapopulation model analysing the joint evolution of seed dispersal and self- fertilisation. The model reveals that evolutionary processes do not necessarily lead to Baker’s predictions. I will discuss the reasons for such discrepancies and how the model may explain several empirical observations.

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