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1.  Similar Gender Dimorphism in the Costs of Reproduction across the Geographic Range of Fraxinus ornus 
Annals of Botany  2006;99(1):183-191.
Background and Aims
The reproductive costs for individuals with the female function have been hypothesized to be greater than for those with the male function because the allocation unit per female flower is very high due to the necessity to nurture the embryos until seed dispersal occurs, while the male reproductive allocation per flower is lower because it finishes once pollen is shed. Consequently, males may invest more resources in growth than females. This prediction was tested across a wide geographical range in a tree with a dimorphic breeding system (Fraxinus ornus) consisting of males and hermaphrodites functioning as females. The contrasting ecological conditions found across the geographical range allowed the evaluation of the hypothesis that the reproductive costs of sexual dimorphism varies with environmental stressors.
Methods
By using random-effects meta-analysis, the differences in the reproductive and vegetative investment of male and hermaphrodite trees of F. ornus were analysed in 10 populations from the northern (Slovakia), south-eastern (Greece) and south-western (Spain) limits of its European distribution. The variation in gender-dimorphism with environmental stress was analysed by running a meta-regression between these effect sizes and the two environmental stress indicators: one related to temperature (the frost-free period) and another related to water availability (moisture deficit).
Key Results
Most of the effect sizes showed that males produced more flowers and grew more quickly than hermaphrodites. Gender differences in reproduction and growth were not minimized or maximized under adverse climatic conditions such as short frost-free periods or severe aridity.
Conclusions
The lower costs of reproduction for F. ornus males allow them to grow more quickly than hermaphrodites, although such differences in sex-specific reproductive costs are not magnified under stressful conditions.
doi:10.1093/aob/mcl241
PMCID: PMC2802980  PMID: 17098751
Costs of reproduction; Fraxinus ornus; meta-analysis; sexual dimorphism

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