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Are reproductive traits related to pollen limitation in plants? A case study from a Central European meadow
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  • Michael Bartoš,
  • Štepán Janeček,
  • Petra Janeckova,
  • Eliška Padyšáková,
  • Robert Tropek,
  • Lars Gotzenberger,
  • Yannick Klomberg,
  • Jana Jersáková
Michael Bartoš
Institute of Botany Czech Academy of Sciences
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Štepán Janeček
Charles University
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Petra Janeckova
Charles University Faculty of Science
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Eliška Padyšáková
Biology Centre, Institute of Enthomology, Czech Academy of Sciences
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Robert Tropek
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Lars Gotzenberger
Institute of Botany Czech Academy of Sciences
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Yannick Klomberg
Charles University
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Jana Jersáková
University of South Bohemia, Faculty of Science
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Abstract

The deficiency of pollen grains for ovule fertilization can be the main factor limiting plant reproduction and fitness. Due to ongoing global changes, such as biodiversity loss and landscape fragmentation, a better knowledge of the prevalence and predictability of pollen limitation is challenging within current ecological research. In our study we used pollen supplementation to evaluate pollen limitation (at the level of seed number and weight) in 22 plant species growing in a wet semi-natural meadow. We investigated the correlation between the Pollen Limitation index (PL) and floral traits associated with plant reproduction or pollinator foraging behaviour. We recorded significant pollen limitation for approximately 41% of species (9 out of 22 surveyed). Seven species had a significant positive response in seed production and two species increased in seed weight after pollen supplementation. Considering traits, PL significantly decreased with the number of pollinator functional groups. The relationship of PL with other examined traits was not supported by our results. The causes of pollen limitation may vary among species with regard to 1) different reproductive strategies and life history, and/or 2) temporary changes in influence of biotic and abiotic factors at a site.