, Volume 155, Issue 2, pp 247–255

Reproductive success in varying light environments: direct and indirect effects of light on plants and pollinators

Plant-Animal Interactions - Original Paper

DOI: 10.1007/s00442-007-0903-z

Cite this article as:
Kilkenny, F.F. & Galloway, L.F. Oecologia (2008) 155: 247. doi:10.1007/s00442-007-0903-z


Plant populations often exist in spatially heterogeneous environments. Light level can directly affect plant reproductive success through resource availability or by altering pollinator behavior. It can also indirectly influence reproductive success by determining floral display size which may in turn influence pollinator attraction. We evaluated direct and indirect effects of light availability and measured phenotypic selection on phenological traits that may enhance pollen receipt in the insect-pollinated herb Campanulastrum americanum. In a natural population, plants in the sun had larger displays and received 7 times more visits than plants in the shade. Using experimental arrays to separate the direct effects of irradiance on insects from their response to display size, we found more visits to plants in the sun than in the shade, but no association between number of visits each flower received and display size. Plants in the sun were not pollen limited but pollen-augmented shade flowers produced 50% more seeds than open-pollinated flowers. Phenological traits, which may influence pollen receipt, were not under direct selection in the sun. However, earlier initiation and a longer duration of flowering were favored in the shade, which may enhance visitation in this pollen-limited habitat.


Light availability Pollinator behavior Pollen limitation Phenotypic selection Reproductive phenology 

Copyright information

© Springer-Verlag 2007

Authors and Affiliations

  1. 1.Department of BiologyUniversity of VirginiaCharlottesvilleUSA

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