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How do pollinator visitation rate and seed set relate to species' floral traits and community context?

AuthorsLázaro, Amparo ; Jakobsson, Anna; Totland, Orjan
KeywordsInter-specific comparison
Pollinator abundance
Heterospecific flower density
Conspecific flower density
Display traits
Issue Date2013
CitationOecologia 173(3): 881-893 (2013)
AbstractDifferences among plant species in visitation rate and seed set within a community may be explained both by the species' floral traits and the community context. Additionally, the importance of species' floral traits vs. community context on visitation rate and seed set may vary among communities. In communities where the pollinator-to-flower ratio is low, floral traits may be more important than community context, as pollinators may have the opportunity to be choosier when visiting plant species. In this study we investigated whether species' floral traits (flower shape, size and number, and flowering duration) and community context (conspecific and heterospecific flower density, and pollinator abundance) could explain among-species variation in visitation rate and seed set. For this, we used data on 47 plant species from two Norwegian plant communities differing in pollinator-to-flower ratio. Differences among species in visitation rate and seed set within a community could be explained by similar variables as those explaining visitation rate and seed set within species. As expected, we found floral traits to be more important than community context in the community with a lower pollinator-to-flower ratio; whereas in the community with a higher pollinator-to-flower ratio, community context played a bigger role. Our study gives significant insights into the relative importance of floral traits on species' visitation rate and seed set, and contributes to our understanding of the role of the community context on the fitness of plant species. © 2013 Springer-Verlag Berlin Heidelberg.
Identifiersdoi: 10.1007/s00442-013-2652-5
issn: 0029-8549
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