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Are Reproductive Traits Related to Pollen Limitation in Plants? A Case Study from a Central European Meadow

1
Institute of Botany, The Czech Academy of Sciences, 37981 Třeboň, Czech Republic
2
Department of Ecology, Faculty of Science, Charles University, 12843 Praha, Czech Republic
3
Faculty of Science, University of South Bohemia, 37005 České Budějovice, Czech Republic
4
Biology Centre, Institute of Entomology, The Czech Academy of Sciences, 37005 České Budějovice, Czech Republic
*
Author to whom correspondence should be addressed.
Plants 2020, 9(5), 640; https://doi.org/10.3390/plants9050640
Received: 14 April 2020 / Revised: 7 May 2020 / Accepted: 16 May 2020 / Published: 19 May 2020
(This article belongs to the Section Plant Ecology)
The deficiency of pollen grains for ovule fertilization can be the main factor limiting plant reproduction and fitness. Because of the ongoing global changes, such as biodiversity loss and landscape fragmentation, a better knowledge of the prevalence and predictability of pollen limitation is challenging within current ecological research. In our study we used pollen supplementation to evaluate pollen limitation (at the level of seed number and weight) in 22 plant species growing in a wet semi-natural meadow. We investigated the correlation between the pollen limitation index (PL) and floral traits associated with plant reproduction or pollinator foraging behavior. We recorded significant pollen limitation for approximately 41% of species (9 out of 22 surveyed). Seven species had a significant positive response in seed production and two species increased in seed weight after pollen supplementation. Considering traits, PL significantly decreased with the number of pollinator functional groups. The relationship of PL with other examined traits was not supported by our results. The causes of pollen limitation may vary among species with regard to (1) different reproductive strategies and life history, and/or (2) temporary changes in influence of biotic and abiotic factors at a site. View Full-Text
Keywords: pollen limitation; supplemental hand-pollination; seed number; seed weight; floral traits; wet meadow pollen limitation; supplemental hand-pollination; seed number; seed weight; floral traits; wet meadow
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Bartoš, M.; Janeček, Š.; Janečková, P.; Chmelová, E.; Tropek, R.; Götzenberger, L.; Klomberg, Y.; Jersáková, J. Are Reproductive Traits Related to Pollen Limitation in Plants? A Case Study from a Central European Meadow. Plants 2020, 9, 640.

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