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Dust seed production and dispersal in Swedish Pyroleae species
Stockholm University, Faculty of Science, Department of Ecology, Environment and Plant Sciences.
Stockholm University, Faculty of Science, Department of Ecology, Environment and Plant Sciences.
2014 (English)In: Nordic Journal of Botany, ISSN 0107-055X, E-ISSN 1756-1051, Vol. 32, no 2, 209-214 p.Article in journal (Refereed) Published
Abstract [en]

Dust seeds are the smallest seeds in angiosperms weighing just about a few micrograms. These seeds are characteristic of most orchids, and several studies have been performed on seed features, fecundity and dispersal of orchid dust seeds. In this study we examine seed features, seed production and seed dispersal in another plant group with dust seeds, the Pyroleae (Monotropoideae, Ericaceae), focusing on six species: Pyrola chlorantha, P. minor, P. rotundifolia, Chimaphila umbellata, Moneses uniflora and Orthilia secunda. Seed production per capsule among these species was in the range between ca 1000 and 7800, and seed production per capsule bearing shoot was in the range between ca 7000 and 60 000. Combining our results with published information on pollen-ovule ratios suggests that these Pyroleae species have a generally efficient pollination system. The most fecund species was P. minor, the only species among the investigated that is probably largely self-pollinating. The investigated Pyroleae species have a seed production comparable to the less fecund orchid species. We studied seed dispersal in the field in one of the species, P. chlorantha. Despite the extremely small and potentially buoyant seeds, the vast majority of seeds are deposited close to the seed source, within a few meters. Further studies on the recruitment ecology of the investigated Pyroleae species are currently under way.

Place, publisher, year, edition, pages
2014. Vol. 32, no 2, 209-214 p.
National Category
Botany
Identifiers
URN: urn:nbn:se:su:diva-103971DOI: 10.1111/j.1756-1051.2013.00307.xISI: 000334799300015OAI: oai:DiVA.org:su-103971DiVA: diva2:721821
Funder
Swedish Research Council
Note

AuthorCount:3;

Available from: 2014-06-05 Created: 2014-05-27 Last updated: 2017-12-05Bibliographically approved
In thesis
1. Recruitment ecology and fungal interactions in mycoheterotrophic Ericaceae
Open this publication in new window or tab >>Recruitment ecology and fungal interactions in mycoheterotrophic Ericaceae
2014 (English)Doctoral thesis, comprehensive summary (Other academic)
Abstract [en]

There are generally two contrasting alternatives to what limits recruitment in plants, namely the availability of seeds (seed limitation) or the quality or quantity of suitable sites (microsite limitation). Dust seeds, the smallest existing seeds, lack or have minimal nutrient reserves. During germination and initial development they consequently parasitize on mycorrhizal fungi. This is called mycoheterotrophy, and can vary in degree of fungal dependency in adult plants from full, partial or initial mycoheterotrophy.

The aim of this thesis was to investigate the recruitment ecology of mycoheterotrophic Ericaceae (tribe Pyroleae) species with dust seeds, and to determine what limits their recruitment. The investigated species were: Chimaphila umbellata, Moneses uniflora, Orthilia secunda, Pyrola chlorantha, P. minor and P. rotundifolia. This aim was achieved by combining field experiments (seed sowing) with isotope analysis and fungal host pyrosequencing.

Results provide evidence that the species in Pyroleae are heterogeneous, not only with regard to their degree of mycoheterotrophy, but also concerning germination and early seedling development. A combination of microsite and seed limitation is thus likely to be of importance for all studied species, but the relative importance of these limitations varies among species. Despite having adaptations for wind dispersal the majority of the seeds were deposited in close vicinity of the seed source. But with high seed production at least some seeds should be able to disperse long-distance. Seedlings of all studied species were found to associate with a wide range of ectomycorrhizal fungi, at least during their initial developmental stages. There seems to be a tendency for host narrowing in some Pyroleae species, but not as strict as the host specialization seen in fully mycoheterotrophic Monotropa hypopitys, supporting the hypothesis of geographical and developmental host shifts.

Place, publisher, year, edition, pages
Stockholm: Department of Ecology, Environment and Plant Sciences, Stockholm University, 2014. 46 p.
Keyword
454 Pyrosequencing, Dispersal limitation, Dust seeds, Ectomycorrhiza, Ericaceae, Microsite limitation, Monotropa hypopitys, Mycoheterotroph, Pyroleae, Seed limitation, Stable isotopes, Subterranean seedling, Symbiotic germination, Tricholoma
National Category
Ecology
Research subject
Plant Ecology
Identifiers
urn:nbn:se:su:diva-109160 (URN)978-91-7649-061-7 (ISBN)
Public defence
2015-01-30, föreläsningssalen, Institutionen för ekologi, miljö och botanik, Lilla Frescativägen 5, Stockholm, 10:00 (English)
Opponent
Supervisors
Note

At the time of the doctoral defense, the following papers were unpublished and had a status as follows: Paper 3: In press. Paper 4: Manuscript.

Available from: 2015-01-08 Created: 2014-11-14 Last updated: 2015-01-07Bibliographically approved

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