Pollen limitation is uncommon in an endangered oak savannah ecosystem

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Authors: Gielens, G; Gillespie, S; Neame, L; Elle, E
Year: 2014
Journal: Botany 92: 743-748   Article Link (DOI)
Title: Pollen limitation is uncommon in an endangered oak savannah ecosystem
Abstract: Pollen receipt limits reproduction in many plants, potentially affecting population viability and trait evolution. Despite considerable research, there is little consensus on the causes of pollen limitation (PL). Reviews suggest spatial and temporal variation in PL may be important for plant reproductive fitness, yet few studies have examined PL in multiple species across sites and years. We examined how pollinator communities affected PL in six wildflower species across six sites and 2 years. Although our study was conducted in a fragmented ecosystem and on perennial species (both are associated with PL in meta-analyses), we found that PL was uncommon. The degree of PL was highly variable among years, sites, and species, with no species or site showing consistent PL. Variation in PL among sites and years was not explained by variation in diversity or visit rate of the pollinating fauna. The rarity of PL in this study may limit our assessment of the importance of pollinators, but our results do suggest that PL is highly context-dependent, which should be a focus for future work.
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