, Volume 109, Issue 4, pp 530–534

Evidence for widespread pollen limitation of fruiting success in Cape wildflowers

  • S. D. Johnson
  • W. J. Bond

DOI: 10.1007/s004420050113

Cite this article as:
Johnson, S. & Bond, W. Oecologia (1997) 109: 530. doi:10.1007/s004420050113


We used spot checks of stigmatic pollen deposition and hand-pollination experiments to test whether fruit production in Cape wildflower populations is limited by pollen availability. Natural levels of stigmatic pollen deposition were very low (median = 30.0% of flowers) in populations of 33 orchid species. We found similarly low levels of fruit set (median = 32% of flowers per plant) in six Orchidaceae and four Amaryllidaceae species. Experimental hand pollination at the whole plant level caused significant increases in fruit production in 11 of the 12 study populations. These results indicate that pollen limitation of fruit set may occur frequently among some plant families in the Cape flora.

Key words Cape flora  Fruit-set  Fire ecology Pollination ecology  Pollen limitation

Copyright information

© Springer-Verlag Berlin Heidelberg 1997

Authors and Affiliations

  • S. D. Johnson
    • 1
  • W. J. Bond
    • 1
  1. 1.Department of Botany, University of Cape Town, Rondebosch 7700, South AfricaZA