Lisa Wyse

Date Approved


Date Posted


Degree Type

Open Access Senior Honors Thesis

Department or School


First Advisor

Gary Hannan

Second Advisor

Kristin Judd


A plant has limited resources to invest in growth and reproduction. A plant's inflorescence architecture and mating system are predicted to influence investment in sexual function. Investment in male and female function (pollen and ovules) represents one measure of such balance. However, few studies have considered architecture and mating system in combination. P:O ratio, as well as information regarding inflorescence structure and lifespan was assembled and analyzed to test the hypothesis that pollen: ovule ratio is contingent upon combined plant architecture and mating system. Across different mating systems, xenogamous species had significantly larger P:O ratios than autogamous and facultative species. We found no significant differences in P:O across lifespan and inflorescence type; however, analysis of plant architecture suggests that larger inflorescences shift the allocation of reproductive resources favoring increased male function. This analysis indicates that both mating system and inflorescence size should be considered when investigating relationships between P:O ratio and plant adaptations.

Included in

Biology Commons