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Microgametophyte population sizes and plant reproductive output in the insect-pollinated Prunella grandiflora (Lamiaceae).


Bernasconi, G; Lang, D J; Schmid, B (2007). Microgametophyte population sizes and plant reproductive output in the insect-pollinated Prunella grandiflora (Lamiaceae). New Phytologist, 173(2):393-400.

Abstract

Intraspecific variation in pollen deposition and number of pollen tubes per style is rarely quantified, but is essential for assessing the occurrence of pollen limitation and pollen competition and their evolutionary implications. Moreover, pollen deposition, pollen tube growth, and the fate of fertilized ovules are rarely distinguished in field studies. Here we present such a study in eight natural populations of Prunella grandiflora. We quantified microgametophyte population sizes and inferred pollen limitation when the number of fertilizable ovules exceeded pollen tubes, and assessed seed set and fate after open pollination. Two and three populations had on average significantly fewer pollen grains and pollen tubes per flower, respectively, than the fixed number of fertilizable ovules per fruit, while one population experienced significant pollen competition. Style length was positively correlated with the number of pollen tubes. While pollen availability was very variable, seed abortion was significantly less frequent in denser populations, and in one population the proportion of well-developed seeds was significantly, positively correlated with the number of pollen tubes in the style. Less pollen deposition, lower numbers of pollen tubes reaching the base of the style, lower pollen quality and therefore increased abortion of fertilized ovules can all reduce seed set in natural P. grandiflora stands. Substantial intraspecific variability implies that microgametophyte competition also occurs in this species. Finally, style morphology may affect pollen receipt.

Intraspecific variation in pollen deposition and number of pollen tubes per style is rarely quantified, but is essential for assessing the occurrence of pollen limitation and pollen competition and their evolutionary implications. Moreover, pollen deposition, pollen tube growth, and the fate of fertilized ovules are rarely distinguished in field studies. Here we present such a study in eight natural populations of Prunella grandiflora. We quantified microgametophyte population sizes and inferred pollen limitation when the number of fertilizable ovules exceeded pollen tubes, and assessed seed set and fate after open pollination. Two and three populations had on average significantly fewer pollen grains and pollen tubes per flower, respectively, than the fixed number of fertilizable ovules per fruit, while one population experienced significant pollen competition. Style length was positively correlated with the number of pollen tubes. While pollen availability was very variable, seed abortion was significantly less frequent in denser populations, and in one population the proportion of well-developed seeds was significantly, positively correlated with the number of pollen tubes in the style. Less pollen deposition, lower numbers of pollen tubes reaching the base of the style, lower pollen quality and therefore increased abortion of fertilized ovules can all reduce seed set in natural P. grandiflora stands. Substantial intraspecific variability implies that microgametophyte competition also occurs in this species. Finally, style morphology may affect pollen receipt.

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10 citations in Web of Science®
10 citations in Scopus®
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Additional indexing

Item Type:Journal Article, refereed
Communities & Collections:07 Faculty of Science > Institute of Evolutionary Biology and Environmental Studies
Dewey Decimal Classification:570 Life sciences; biology
590 Animals (Zoology)
Uncontrolled Keywords:fertilization, intraspecific variation, Lamiaceae, seed abortion, reproduction, pollen limitation
Language:English
Date:2007
Deposited On:11 Feb 2008 12:28
Last Modified:05 Apr 2016 12:21
Publisher:Wiley-Blackwell
ISSN:0028-646X
Additional Information:The definitive version is available at www.blackwell-synergy.com
Publisher DOI:10.1111/j.1469-8137.2006.01920.x
PubMed ID:17204085
Permanent URL: http://doi.org/10.5167/uzh-2121

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