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  • Experimental set up used in the study
    in ,

    A review of European studies on pollination networks and pollen limitation, and a case study designed to fill in a gap

    Europe has a long history of human use of grassland ecosystems as hay meadows, yet these ecosystems have very high biodiversity. These ecosystems have recently become threatened by changing land use patterns and agricultural intensification, and are now considered a priority for global conservation efforts. The relationship between plants and their animal pollinators can be […] More

  • Pollination

    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 […] More

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    Plant biotic interactions and fitness in habitat edges

    Habitat variations influence the richness and composition of insect guilds. This affects plant reproduction, which depends upon functional relationships with insects involving both pollination and predation. The impact of changes in insect fauna can be seen in composite landscapes, where forest fragmentation produces transition habitats showing great heterogeneity over small spatial scales. In a recent […] More

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    Stigmatic limitations on reproductive success in a paleotropical tree

    Success in reproduction is subject to the successful initiation as well as successful completion of a chain of consecutive events starting from flower formation and ending with viable seed production. A recent article published by Raina et al. in AoB PLANTS focuses on how thigmotropic stigmas, which open, close and re-open in response to touch, […] More

  • Effect of pollination and herbivory treatments on the strength and direction of selection on several floral and inflorescence architecture traits in Lythrum salicaria

    The role of herbivory in the selection of floral traits

    Pollinators are often given precedence as the primary drivers behind the evolution of floral traits. Yet a growing body of research is beginning to stress the importance of other significant selective agents, particularly the role of herbivores that damage flower and fruit structures. By experimentally manipulating a population of Lythrum salicaria, Thomsen and Sargent demonstrate […] More

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    Species-environment interactions changed by introduced herbivores

    Summit areas of oceanic islands constitute some of the most isolated ecosystems on earth and are highly vulnerable to climate change and introduced species. Within the unique high-elevation communities of Tenerife (Canary Islands), reproductive success and thus the long-term survival of species may depend on environmental suitability as well as threat by introduced herbivores. In […] More

  • toadflax Linaria cavanillesii

    Mixed mating after the loss of self-incompatibility in a long-living perennial herb

    Flowering plants display an extensive range of adaptive floral forms, which are often correlated with their mating systems. The maintenance of contrasting strategies such as those adopted by obligate outcrossers compared to populations that have evolved a selfing system is one of the most studied topics in reproductive evolution. Voillemot and Pannell study variation in […] More

  • Floral longevity measured as time (d) until wilt of stigma (grey bars) and corolla (white bars), under different pollination conditions.

    Plasticity of key floral traits influences pollinator attraction

    Examining the effects of multiple components of pollen deposition (varying according to quantity, source and timing) and pollen removal on key floral traits in Sabatia angularis, Spigler demonstrates the highly modulated responses of floral display and longevity to pollen deposition. Longevity is shown to be influenced by the timing and amount of pollen deposited, but […] More

  • Kowhai photos

    Pollinator decline, high pollen limitation and low progeny quality

    Interactions between species are especially sensitive to environmental changes. The interaction between plants and pollinators is of particular interest given the potential current global decline in pollinators. Reduced pollinator services can be compensated for in some plant species by self-pollination. However, if inbreeding depression is high, selfed progeny could die prior to reaching adulthood, leading […] More

  • Avoidance of interspecific pollen transfer in Pedicularis

    Avoidance of interspecific pollen transfer in Pedicularis

    Plants surrounded by individuals of other co-flowering species may attract more pollinators but can suffer a reproductive cost from interspecific pollen transfer. Yang et al. compare pollination and reproduction in Pedicularis densispica (lousewort) when occurring alone or together with co-flowering Astragalus pastorius. They find that mixed populations attract many more nectar-seeking bumble-bees, which move frequently […] More

  • Pollen receipt and quality in endemic-rich communities

    Pollen receipt and quality in endemic-rich communities

    The magnitude of pollen limitation is highly variable among habitats, species and differing plant communities. Alonso et al. analyse natural variability in pollen receipt and tube formation, and compare pollen quality and quantity between co-flowering endemics and non-endemics at three biodiversity hotspots in Andalusia, California and Yucatan. They find that only a combination of abundant […] More

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