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Acknowledgement to Reviewers of Diversity in 2019
Open AccessArticle

Direct and Indirect Effects of Overstory Canopy and Sex-Biased Density Dependence on Reproduction in the Dioecious Shrub Shepherdia canadensis (Elaeagnaceae)

Department of Renewable Resources, University of Alberta, Edmonton, AB T6G 2H1, Canada
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Diversity 2020, 12(1), 37; https://doi.org/10.3390/d12010037
Received: 24 November 2019 / Revised: 16 January 2020 / Accepted: 17 January 2020 / Published: 19 January 2020
(This article belongs to the Section Plant Diversity)
This study assessed the reproductive success of a temperate dioecious shrub, Canada buffaloberry, Shepherdia canadensis (L.) Nutt., in central Alberta, Canada, by examining the effects of spatial patterns and overstory canopy on flower and fruit production. S. canadensis is more abundant and productive (more fruit) at forest edges and in forest gaps, suggesting a dependence on higher light conditions than is typical of late-seral forests. We used path analysis to demonstrate that flower and fruit production exhibited density-dependent effects at a scale of 50 m2 around focal female plants. Fruit production was positively affected by male intraspecific density (pollen supply) and negatively affected by female intraspecific density (pollen competition), but not correlated with overall intraspecific density. The effects of sex-differentiated density are partly due to pollinator responses to male plant density. Flower production was positively affected by overall intraspecific density. A pollen supplementation trial doubled fruit production relative to a control, demonstrating that local male density (pollen availability) and pollinator activity can limit fruit production in S. canadensis. Canopy cover was negatively related to both flower and total fruit production, with approximately one-third (34%) of the total effect of canopy on fruit production due to the effect of canopy on flower production. The commonly observed negative association between canopy cover and fruit production in buffaloberry, therefore, is partly a result of the reduction first in flower number and second in fruit set. This study clarifies the mechanisms associated with the often-noted observation, but not previously assessed at the level of individuals, that reproductive output in S. canadensis is density dependent, limited by canopy cover through reductions in both flowering and fruit set, and pollinator limited. These findings hold implications for managing animal species that depend on the fruit of S. canadensis and suggest future directions for research on dioecious and actinorhizal species. View Full-Text
Keywords: pollen supplementation experiment; pollination syndrome; seed set; temperate; wild berries; brown bear (Ursus arctos); Diptera pollen supplementation experiment; pollination syndrome; seed set; temperate; wild berries; brown bear (Ursus arctos); Diptera
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Bateman, T.J.; Nielsen, S.E. Direct and Indirect Effects of Overstory Canopy and Sex-Biased Density Dependence on Reproduction in the Dioecious Shrub Shepherdia canadensis (Elaeagnaceae). Diversity 2020, 12, 37.

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