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Plant patch structure influences plant fitness via antagonistic and mutualistic interactions but in different directions
Stockholm University, Faculty of Science, Department of Ecology, Environment and Plant Sciences.
Stockholm University, Faculty of Science, Department of Ecology, Environment and Plant Sciences.
Stockholm University, Faculty of Science, Department of Ecology, Environment and Plant Sciences.
Number of Authors: 3
2016 (English)In: Oecologia, ISSN 0029-8549, E-ISSN 1432-1939, Vol. 180, no 4, 1175-1182 p.Article in journal (Refereed) Published
Abstract [en]

Plant patch structure and environmental context can influence the outcome of antagonistic and mutualistic plant-insect interactions, leading to spatially variable fitness effects for plants. We investigated the effects of herbivory and pollen limitation on plant reproductive performance in 28 patches of the self-compatible perennial herb Scrophularia nodosa and assessed how such effects varied with plant patch size, plant density and tree cover. Both antagonistic and mutualistic interactions had strong effects on plant reproductive performance. Leaf feeding from herbivores reduced both fruit production and seed germination, and leaf herbivory increased with plant patch size. Experimentally hand-pollinated flowers produced more seeds than open-pollinated flowers, and pollen limitation was more severe in patches with fewer plants. Our study on S. nodosa is one of few which documents that plant patch structure influences the outcome of both antagonistic and mutualistic plant-insect interactions. The results thus provide an example of how variation in plant patch structure and environmental factors can lead to spatially variable fitness effects from mutualistic and antagonistic interactions.

Place, publisher, year, edition, pages
2016. Vol. 180, no 4, 1175-1182 p.
Keyword [en]
Habitat context, Patch size, Plant density, Plant-insect interactions, Pollen limitation
National Category
Biological Sciences
Identifiers
URN: urn:nbn:se:su:diva-129910DOI: 10.1007/s00442-015-3532-yISI: 000373186100024PubMedID: 26714828OAI: oai:DiVA.org:su-129910DiVA: diva2:925784
Available from: 2016-05-03 Created: 2016-05-03 Last updated: 2016-05-03Bibliographically approved

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Ehrlén, JohanHambäck, Peter A.
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