Perfect (hermaphrodite) flowers can, assuming no other constraints, self-pollinate, and fertilize their own ovules. This guaranteed sexual reproduction gives self-pollinating plants the ability to colonize new habitats, and it is a common trait in weedy species. However, self-fertilization does carry a disadvantage relative to outcrossing, which is that the genetic variability produced, although greater than in an asexual population, is considerably less than that seen in an outbreeding population. The balance between the relative importance of assured reproduction and genetic variability differs in different species, largely as a result of their habitats, lifecycles, and the niches that they occupy. This chapter considers the ways in which self-fertilization can be reduced or prevented through dichogamy, herkogamy, monoecy, dioecy, and biochemical self-incompatibility.
Oxford Scholarship Online requires a subscription or purchase to access the full text of books within the service. Public users can however freely search the site and view the abstracts and keywords for each book and chapter.
If you think you should have access to this title, please contact your librarian.