R code and data for “Offspring emergence, but not survival, increases with maternal mating opportunity

  • Amy M Waananen (Creator)
  • Lea Richardson (Creator)
  • Riley D Thoen (Creator)
  • Scott W Nordstrom (Creator)
  • Erin G Eichenberger (Creator)
  • Gretel K Kiefer (Creator)
  • Amy B. Dykstra (Creator)
  • Ruth G Shaw (Creator)
  • Stuart Wagenius (Creator)



An individual’s fitness depends not only on its fecundity, but also on the viability of its offspring. Plant ecologists typically equate fecundity, or seed yield, with reproductive fitness, but fecundity might not correspond to offspring survival. Furthermore, individual fecundity and survival of the offspring might respond differently to external factors affecting fitness. One factor that may influence reproductive fitness through effects on both fecundity and offspring survival is mating opportunity, e.g., an individual’s access to potential mates. We investigated the relationship between maternal mating opportunity and both fecundity and offspring survival in populations of a long-lived herbaceous perennial, Echinacea angustifolia. Across seven years and 14 sites, we quantified the mating opportunity of 1279 plants and followed the progeny from these mating bouts over eight subsequent years. We used aster models to evaluate the relationship between mating opportunity and both the number of seedlings emerging and the number of progeny alive after 8 years. Seedling emergence increased strongly with mating opportunity, but we did not detect a significant relationship between progeny count after eight years and mating opportunity. These results show that mating opportunity increases fecundity, but its benefit to overall fitness may be weak.

Data describing maternal mating opportunity, seedling surveys, subsequent annual surveys of narrow-leaved purple coneflower (Echinacea angustifolia) in Douglas and Grant County, MN. Also, code to perform aster analyses of the data to assess the relationship between maternal mating opportunity and progeny abundance at emergence and after eight years.

Funding information
Sponsorship: NSF awards 2051562, 2050455, 1557075, 1555997, 1052165, 1051791, 0545072, and 0544970; Dayton Bell Museum Fund
Date made availableApr 29 2022
PublisherData Repository for the University of Minnesota

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