Are mismatches the norm? Timing of flowering, fruiting, dispersal and germination and their fitness effects in Frangula alnus (Rhamnaceae)
Number of Authors: 2
2015 (English)In: Oikos, ISSN 0030-1299, E-ISSN 1600-0706, Vol. 124, no 5, 639-648 p.Article in journal (Refereed) Published
The close morphological and temporal links between phases of plant growth and reproduction call for integrated studies incorporating several reproductive phases from flowering to recruitment, and associated plant-animal interactions. Phenological strategies, as well as plastic phenological response to climate change, incorporate complex interactions between developmental constraints, pollination and seed dispersal. Relationships between reproductive phenology and components of fitness were studied for two years in the north-temperate, self-incompatible, insect-pollinated, and bird-dispersed shrub Frangula alnus (Rhamnaceae). Fruit set, dispersal, germination and juvenile survival, as well as seed mass and juvenile size were measured in relation to flowering, fruiting and germination time. The results suggest that effects of flowering and fruiting time prevailed in subsequent phases, to some extent as far as to the juvenile phase, but effects of timing were complex and had partly opposing effects on different fitness components. Early flowers had higher fruit-set and experiments indicated that synchronous peak flowering increased fruit-set, but later flowers had higher seed mass. Peak fruiting was not associated with peak dispersal. Late fruits derived from late flowers promoted dispersal. Juvenile recruitment was enhanced by increasing seed size. We conclude that the phenology of flowering and fruiting in F. alnus comprises several features, each with different and sometimes counteracting effects on fitness components. From a general perspective, this result implies that we should not expect to find finely tuned matches in timing specifically between flowering and pollinators, and fruiting and seed dispersing birds.
Place, publisher, year, edition, pages
2015. Vol. 124, no 5, 639-648 p.
IdentifiersURN: urn:nbn:se:su:diva-119078DOI: 10.1111/oik.01491ISI: 000356010300012OAI: oai:DiVA.org:su-119078DiVA: diva2:843410