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Maternal plant responses to high pollen loads
Stockholm University, Faculty of Science, Department of Botany.
2007 (English)In: International journal of plant sciences, ISSN 1058-5893, Vol. 168, no 7, 1013-1019 p.Article in journal (Refereed) Published
Abstract [en]

Maternal plant responses to different levels of pollination vary and are of importance for the total fitness of the plant. We studied how varying pollen load affects late flowering, reproduction, and growth of maternal plants. Raphanus raphanistrum, Sinapis arvensis, and Brassica napus were used as study species. We conducted hand‐pollination experiments with different pollen loads for early flowers in the inflorescence and measured responses on vegetative traits, floral traits of late flowers, and seed production. There were no effects on vegetative traits, but floral traits were affected by treatments in two of the study species. The high pollen load treatment in S. arvensis resulted in longer petals on late flowers compared with the low pollen load treatment. In R. raphanistrum, the high pollen load treatment resulted in a higher number of flowers, with narrower petals, than the low pollen load treatment. Total seed production was similar in both treatments in all species. Our results suggest that plants that received a high pollen load were able to allocate resources to high seed production of early flowers and to increased pollen dispersal of late flowers, thereby achieving higher total fitness than plants that received a lower pollen load.

Place, publisher, year, edition, pages
2007. Vol. 168, no 7, 1013-1019 p.
Keyword [en]
pollination, pollen load, maternal plant responses, resource allocation, Brassicaceae.
National Category
URN: urn:nbn:se:su:diva-24165DOI: 10.1086/518869ISI: 000249073400004OAI: diva2:196912

Part of urn:nbn:se:su:diva-6709

Available from: 2007-03-08 Created: 2007-03-02 Last updated: 2012-12-10Bibliographically approved
In thesis
1. Pollination processes - maternal and offspring performance
Open this publication in new window or tab >>Pollination processes - maternal and offspring performance
2007 (English)Doctoral thesis, comprehensive summary (Other academic)
Abstract [en]

Pollination is one of the most important factors determining the reproductive success of plants. This thesis examines processes associated to varying pollination, with focus on plant responses. The first aim was to examine the possibility and constraints for short-term evolution of flower size in Raphanus raphanistrum. The results showed that there exists a possibility for pollinator-mediated short-term evolution of flower size in the study species. Flower size was strongly correlated to plant size. Since flower size cannot evolve separately from plant size, this correlation may constitute a constraint to the evolution of flower size. The second aim was to determine how varying pollen load affects later flowering, reproduction and growth of maternal plants. High pollen load treatment resulted in larger or more flowers on late flowers, which may enhance pollen dispersal and reproductive success, while the total seed mass was the same between treatments. The results indicate that the study species R. raphanistrum, Sinapis arvensis and Brassica napus have plastic responses in floral traits according to the present pollination level. The third aim was to determine how varying pollen load affects seed quality and offspring vigor. The results suggest that high pollen load had no positive effects on seed quality or offspring vigor due to pollen competition. Instead, seed mass determined seed quality and offspring vigor in the three study species and low pollen load treatment resulted in highquality offspring due to heavier seeds. The fourth aim was to examine causes and consequences of variation in reproductive success of Succisa pratensis on a regional scale. The results suggest that the most important variables, on a regional scale, for reproductive success were population size and habitat quality. The results showed that seed weight variation might be important when assessing reproductive success. In this study, seed weight variation did not seem to be adaptive.

Place, publisher, year, edition, pages
Stockholm: Botaniska institutionen, 2007. 37 p.
Pollination, Sinapis arvensis, Brassica napus, Raphanus raphanistrum, Succisa pratensis, Evolution of flower size, Maternal plant responses, Resource allocation, Reproductive success
National Category
Research subject
Plant Ecology
urn:nbn:se:su:diva-6709 (URN)91-7155-400-9 (ISBN)
Public defence
2007-03-29, Föreläsningssalen, Botanicum, Lilla Frescativägen 5, Stockholm, 10:00
Available from: 2007-03-08 Created: 2007-03-02Bibliographically approved

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