We grew inbred and outcrossed Cucurbita pepo ssp. texana plants and measured inbreeding depression for several male and female fitness traits 4 years in a row in adjacent fields at the same field station under the same cultivation conditions. We found that the magnitude of inbreeding depression varied from 0.16 to 0.53 from year to year and that those traits which were most affected tended to vary with year. We also grew inbred and outcrossed C. pepo ssp. texana plants in two adjacent fields differing only in the presence of nitrogen fertilizer to examine the effect of nutrient limitation as a form of environmental stress on the magnitude of inbreeding depression. We found that inbreeding depression was more severe in the unfertilized field. Overall, this study illustrates the notion that any estimate of inbreeding depression represents a single point in a cluster of possible estimates that can vary (often dramatically) with growing conditions.
All Science Journal Classification (ASJC) codes
- Ecology, Evolution, Behavior and Systematics