Section 37
Chapter 36,121

Factors affecting pollinator movement and plant fitness in a specialized pollination system

Julieta Nattero; Romina Malerba; Rodrigo Medel; Andrea Cocucci

Plant Systematics and Evolution 296(1-2): 77-85


ISSN/ISBN: 0378-2697
DOI: 10.1007/s00606-011-0477-4
Accession: 036120805

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The rate of pollen exchange within and among flowers may depend on pollinator attraction traits such as floral display size and flowering plant density. Variations in these traits may influence pollinator movements, pollen receipt, and seed number. To assess how floral display size and flowering plant density affect parameters of pollinator visitation rate, pollen receipt per flower, seed number per fruit and the between-plant pollinator movements, we studied the self-incompatible plant, Nierembergia linariifolia. Per-flower pollinator visitation rate and bout length increased linearly with increasing floral display size. Pollen receipt per flower increased linearly with increasing flowering plant density. For seed number per fruit, a polynomial model describing an increased seed number per fruit at low density and a decreased seed number per fruit at high density provided a significant fit. Per-flower pollinator visitation rate was not associated with pollen receipt per flower and seed number per fruit. Bees visited plants located near to the center of the population more frequently than plants located at the periphery. Increases in both floral display size and flowering plant density led to an increased chance of a plant being chosen as the center of the pollinator foraging area. These results suggest that even though large floral displays and high flowering plant density are traits that attract more pollinators, they may also reduce potential mate diversity by restricting pollen movement to conspecific mates that are closely located.

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