Pollen diversity matters: revealing the neglected effect of pollen diversity on fitness in fragmented landscapes

Martin F. Breed, Maria Marklund, Kym Ottewell, Michael Gardner, Berton Harris, Andrew Lowe

    Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

    44 Citations (Scopus)

    Abstract

    Few studies have documented the impacts of habitat fragmentation on plant mating patterns together with fitness. Yet, these processes require urgent attention to better understand the impact of contemporary landscape change on biodiversity and for guiding native plant genetic resource management. We examined these relationships using the predominantly insect-pollinated Eucalyptus socialis. Progeny were collected from trees located in three increasingly disturbed landscapes in southern Australia and were planted out in common garden experiments. We show that individual mating patterns were increasingly impacted by lower conspecific density caused by habitat fragmentation. We determined that reduced pollen diversity probably has effects over and above those of inbreeding on progeny fitness. This provides an alternative mechanistic explanation for the indirect density dependence often inferred between conspecific density and offspring fitness.

    Original languageEnglish
    Pages (from-to)5955-5968
    Number of pages14
    JournalMolecular Ecology
    Volume21
    Issue number24
    DOIs
    Publication statusPublished - Dec 2012

    Keywords

    • density dependence
    • global change
    • plant genetic resources
    • plant mating systems
    • revegetation

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