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Oecologia

, Volume 179, Issue 2, pp 509–518 | Cite as

Effects of landscape composition and configuration on pollination in a native herb: a field experiment

  • Johan EkroosEmail author
  • Anna Jakobsson
  • Joel Wideen
  • Lina Herbertsson
  • Maj Rundlöf
  • Henrik G. Smith
Plant-microbe-animal interactions - Original research

Abstract

Bumble bee abundance in agricultural landscapes is known to decrease with increasing distance from seminatural grasslands, but whether the pollination of bumble-bee-pollinated wild plants shows a similar pattern is less well known. In addition, the relative effects of landscape composition (landscape heterogeneity) and landscape configuration (distance from seminatural grassland) on wild plant pollination, and the interaction between these landscape effects, have not been studied using landscape-level replication. We performed a field experiment to disentangle these landscape effects on the pollination of a native herb, the sticky catchfly (Lychnis viscaria), while accounting for the proportion of oilseed rape across landscapes and the local abundance of bee forage flowers. We measured pollen limitation (the degree to which seed set is pollen-limited), seed set, and seed set stability using potted plants placed in landscapes that differed in heterogeneity (composition) and distance from seminatural grassland (configuration). Pollen limitation and seed set in individual plants did not respond to landscape composition, landscape configuration, or proportion of oilseed rape. Instead, seed set increased with increasing local bee forage flower cover. However, we found within-plant variability in pollen limitation and seed set to increase with increasing distance from seminatural pasture. Our results suggest that average within-plant levels of pollen limitation and seed set respond less swiftly than the within-plant variability in pollen limitation and seed set to changes in landscape configuration. Although landscape effects on pollination were less important than predicted, we conclude that landscape configuration and local habitat characteristics play larger roles than landscape composition in the pollination of L. viscaria.

Keywords

Pollen limitation Source habitats Landscape heterogeneity Seed set Sexual reproduction 

Notes

Acknowledgments

We thank Christoffer du Riez, Sofie Sandin, and Benigno Padrón for assisting in the field and collecting capsules from the experimental plants, and Honor C. Prentice and Stefan Andersson for valuable discussions on wild plant pollination. Jennifer Lau and three anonymous reviewers provided valuable comments on an earlier version of our manuscript. This study was supported by the strategic research environment BECC (J.E.), the EU in the FP7 project ‘‘STEP—Status and Trends of European Pollinators’’ (Grant Agreement No. 244090; M.R. and H.G.S.), and grants from Formas (H.G.S. and A.J.). All experiments comply with the current laws of Sweden, where the field experiments were done. The authors declare that they have no conflicts of interest.

Supplementary material

442_2015_3370_MOESM1_ESM.docx (45 kb)
Supplementary material 1 (DOCX 45 kb)

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Copyright information

© Springer-Verlag Berlin Heidelberg 2015

Authors and Affiliations

  • Johan Ekroos
    • 1
    Email author
  • Anna Jakobsson
    • 2
  • Joel Wideen
    • 1
  • Lina Herbertsson
    • 1
  • Maj Rundlöf
    • 3
  • Henrik G. Smith
    • 1
    • 3
  1. 1.Centre for Environmental and Climate Research, Lund UniversityLundSweden
  2. 2.Department of Plant Ecology and EvolutionUppsala UniversityUppsalaSweden
  3. 3.Department of BiologyLund UniversityLundSweden

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