The effects of local variation in light availability on pollinator visitation, pollen and resource limitation of female reproduction in hosta ventricosa

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Abstract

Background: Light availability may have direct effects on reproduction through resource availability, and indirect effects on female reproduction by influencing plant-pollinator interactions. Floral display size, pollinator visitation per flower, resource and pollen limitation of fruit and seed production were quantified in a forested patch and an adjacent open patch of two populations of the perennial herb Hosta ventricosa. Results: Plants in the open patch produced significantly larger floral displays than those in the forested patch in both populations. Floral display size had a positive effect on pollinator visitation rate per flower in one population, but no effect in the other. Plants in the open patch received approximately 8–11 times more visitation rates and produced significantly more fruit and seeds per flower than those in the forested patch. However, supplemental pollination resulted in significantly more fruit and seed production per flower compared to natural pollination in the forested patch but not in the open patch in one population, and did not enhance fruit and seed production in either the forested or the open patch in the other. In both populations, supplementally pollinated plants in the open patch produced significantly more fruit and seeds per flower than supplementally pollinated plants in the forested patch. Conclusions: In H. ventricosa, local variation in light conditions could affect pollinator activity and influence female reproduction through resource availability; however differences in the degree of pollen limitation between local habitats were found to be population-specific.

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Cao, G. X., Wu, B. X., Xu, X. J., Wang, X., & Yang, C. P. (2017). The effects of local variation in light availability on pollinator visitation, pollen and resource limitation of female reproduction in hosta ventricosa. Botanical Studies, 58(1), 1–7. https://doi.org/10.1186/s40529-017-0180-z

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