, Volume 83, Issue 2, pp 191-196

Pollen limitation and distance-dependent fecundity in females of the clonal gynodioecious herb Glechoma hederacea (Lamiaceae)

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Summary

Pollen movement is often restricted in natural populations, and insufficient pollination is a potential constraint on sexual reproduction in outcrossing species. Seed-set should decrease with increased distance from the pollen source in outcrossing plants. This prediction was tested using females of the clonal, gynodioecious herb Glechoma hederacea in three natural populations. In controlled pollinations, both hermaphrodites and females had similar high percentages of fruit-set and seed-set. In a natural population where a female clone was isolated from the nearest hermaphroditic clone by c. 100 m, fruit-set was low (1%). In another population where hemaphroditic clones were rare and female clones had a patchy distribution, fruit-and seed-set in females were pollen-limited and decreased with increased distance from the nearest pollen source. The estimated mean pollen dispersal distance was 5.9 m when calculated on fruit-set and 5.3 m when calculated on seed-set. The most frequent pollinators were bumblebees. The mean and median distances moved by pollinators between ramets were 0.13 m and 0.05 m. In a third population where female clones were isolated from the nearest hermaphrodites by more than 200 m, fruit-set was 0%. After introduction of 16 hermaphroditic ramets in the center of the female clone, fruit-set varied between 0% and 100% in individual female ramets. Fruit-set decreased with increased distance from the pollen source. The mean and median pollen movement distances were 1.06 m and 0.54 m.