Pollen performance of Raphanus sativus (Brassicaceae) declines in response to elevated [CO2]
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- Marshall, D.L., Tyler, A.P., Abrahamson, N.J. et al. Sex Plant Reprod (2010) 23: 325. doi:10.1007/s00497-010-0146-8
Although increases in atmospheric [CO2] are known to affect plant physiology, growth and reproduction, understanding of these effects is limited because most studies of reproductive consequences focus solely on female function. Therefore, we examined the effects of CO2 enrichment on male function in the annual Raphanus sativus. Pollen donors grown under elevated [CO2] initially sired a higher proportion of seeds per fruit than ambient [CO2]-grown plants when each was tested against two different standard competitors; however, by the end of the 5-month experiment, these pollen donors sired fewer seeds than ambient [CO2]-grown plants and produced a lower proportion of viable pollen grains. The results of this experiment confirm that elevated [CO2] can alter reproductive success. Additionally, the change in response to elevated [CO2] over time varied among pollen donor families; thus, changes in [CO2] could act as a selective force on this species.