Pollen limitation and reproductive assurance in a fragmented landscape

Humans have transformed landscapes, leaving remnant habitats embedded within a complex matrix. For many plants, the associated factors of decreased population size and increased land-use intensity surrounding them are expected to disrupt plant-pollinator interactions, limiting seed production unless plants can compensate through self-pollination.


Spigler shows that increased reliance on self-pollination is predicted in small populations surrounded by intense development in the biennial Sabatia angularis (Gentianaceae). The roles of pollinators vs. antagonists are considered, together with heterospecific pollen transfer, and the resources that contribute to shaping this pattern. The results point toward self-pollen limitation and resource availability influencing the ability to rely on reproductive assurance.

Further reading

Spigler, R. B. (2018). Small and surrounded: population size and land use intensity interact to determine reliance on autonomous selfing in a monocarpic plant. Annals of Botany, 121(3), 513–524. https://doi.org/10.1093/aob/mcx184