Bryophytes with their dominant haploid stage conform poorly to the life cycles generally treated in population genetical models. Here we make a detailed analysis of what effective sizes bryophyte model populations have as a function of their breeding system. It is found that the effective size is rarely much smaller than the scored number of haploid gametophytic individuals, even when the limited number of diploids (sporophytes) formed is taken into account. The most severe decrease in effective size occurs when unisexual gametophytic females produce only a small number of fertile diploid sporophytes in male biased populations; this effect is due to the restricted sampling of male gametophytic individuals that then occurs. It is shown that the harmonic mean of diploid sporophytes formed per haploid gametophytic individuals is the relevant measure in these calculations and not the standard (and generally larger) arithmetic mean.
Breeding system Intragametophytic selfing Asexuality Coalescence