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Pollination Ecology of Silene acutifolia (Caryophyllaceae): Floral Traits Variation and Pollinator Attraction
Annals of Botany
, 2006. V. 97. No. 2. P. 289–297
Журнал с антэкологическими публикациями.
Oxford University Press · firstname.lastname@example.org
Background and Aims The floral display influences the composition of pollinators interacting with a plant species. Geographic and temporal variation in pollinator composition complicates the understanding of the evolutionary consequences of floral display variation. This paper analyses the relationships between Silene acutifolia, a hermaphroditic perennial herb, and its pollinators, based on field studies in the north-west of Spain. Methods Studies were conducted over three years (1997–1999). Firstly, the main pollinators of this species were determined for two years in one population. Secondly, pollen limitation in fruit and seed production was analysed by supplementary hand pollinations, and counting the pollen grains and tubes growing in styles for two different-sized populations. Finally, the effect of flower size and number on the rate of visitation and total seed number was examined for 15 marked plants. Results and Conclusions The primary pollinators were long-tongued insects, including Hymenoptera, Lepidoptera and Diptera, but the composition and visitation frequencies differed between years. Pollen limitation occurred in one of the years of study. There was between-population variation in the number of pollen grains and pollen tubes found in styles, suggesting pollen limitation in one population. Overall, pollinators visited plants with more open flowers more frequently, and pollinated more flowers within these plants. Conversely, petal and calyx sizes had no effect on insect visitation. Plants with higher rates of visits produced higher number of seeds, suggesting that pollinator-mediated limitation of seed and fruit production may be important in some years.