Relationships between population size and pollen fates in a moth-pollinated orchid
2009 (English)In: Biology Letters, ISSN 1744-9561, E-ISSN 1744-957X, Vol. 5, no 2, 282-285 p.Article in journal (Refereed) Published
Management of small plant populations requires an understanding of their reproductive ecology, particularly in terms of sensitivity to Allee effects. To address this issue, we explored how components of pollen transfer and pollination success of individual plants varied among 36 populations of the self-compatible moth-pollinated orchid Satyrium longicauda in South Africa. Mean fruit set, seed production, proportion of flowers with pollen deposited or removed and proportion of removed pollen that reached stigmas (approx. 8% in this species) were not significantly related to population size (range: 1–450 flowering individuals), density or isolation. Plants in small populations did, however, have significantly higher levels of pollinator-mediated self-pollination (determined using colour-labelled pollen) than those in larger populations. Our results suggest that small populations of this orchid species are resilient to Allee effects in terms of overall pollination success, although the higher levels of pollinator-mediated self-pollination in small populations may lead to inbreeding depression and long-term erosion of genetic diversity.
Place, publisher, year, edition, pages
2009. Vol. 5, no 2, 282-285 p.
Allee effects, pollen transfer efficiency, pollination, population ecology, Satyrium, self-pollination
Research subject Population Biology
IdentifiersURN: urn:nbn:se:uu:diva-120485DOI: 10.1098/rsbl.2008.0702ISI: 000264371900040OAI: oai:DiVA.org:uu-120485DiVA: diva2:303417