Материал из Антэкология /// Anthecology
Pollination Ecology and Patch-Dependent Reproductive Success of the Rare Perennial Gentiana pneumonanthe L.
The reproductive behaviour of Gentiana pneumonanthe L., a rare plant species in The Netherlands, was studied in a relatively large wet heathland population during summer 1989. The species co-occurred with the grass Molinia caerulea and co-flowered with Erica tetralix and Calluna vulgaris. The flowering period lasted from July to October, peaking in late August to late September. Flowers are protandrous. The species appeared to be self-compatible, but spontaneous self-pollination was strongly limited. Hand-crossing and hand-selfing resulted in the same amount of seed set as in natural pollination. Reproductive success was dramatically reduced late in the season. Pollination was achieved sternotribically by the species Bombus pascuorum, which visited the flowers for nectar. In the study area, three patch types were distinguished: co-dominated by Erica, by Calluna and Erica, and by Molinia, respectively. Frequency of visits to Gentiana was highest in the Erica-patch. However, this did not result in a higher seed set. In the Molinia-patch seed set was reduced. However, in the Molinia-patch the mean number of ovules was greater than in the others (as high as in plants raised indoors and in cross-pollinated plants). Fruits from the Calluna-patch had less ovules than those from the Erica-patch. We conclude that, in this remnant population, Gentiana is not pollination-limited. However, it is likely that in the Molinia-patch geitonogamy is frequent, which may lead to inbreeding depression. The greater number of ovules observed in Molinia-patches may reflect an excess of nutrients available there, relative to the Calluna-patch where there may be reduced water availability.