Testing the predictions of an evolutionary trade-off model using Iris pumila plants from an open and a shaded habitat
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In current quantitative genetic models, the trade-off is viewed as a dynamic relationship between competing fitness components, which will evolve as a consequence of selection. Selection can change both the intercept and slope of the trade-off function, although it changes the former more strongly than the latter. We tested these predictions by examining two relationships among three clonal life-history traits (ramet number per plant and ramet production rate as a function of leaf number per ramet) in Iris pumila plants originating from an open and a shaded habitat. Our results support the hypothesis that the trade-off function will vary over environments, but not the expectation that the changes in the intercept are more likely than in the slope.