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Plant Systematics and Evolution

, Volume 295, Issue 1–4, pp 73–82 | Cite as

Shift towards autogamy in the extremely narrow endemic Aquilegia paui and comparison with its widespread close relative A. vulgaris (Ranunculaceae)

  • M. Carmen MartinellEmail author
  • Ana Rovira
  • Cèsar Blanché
  • Maria Bosch
Original Article

Abstract

Aquilegia paui is an extremely narrowly endemic species from the northeastern Iberian Peninsula. It is restricted to a few populations with a reduced number of individuals living in summit rock cliffs. It is studied and compared to the widespread Aquilegia vulgaris to assess differences in their breeding system and pollination ecology, expected by their differences in flower morphology and by their habitat divergence. Pollinator exclusion experiments showed the capacity of A. paui to reach a full seed set in the absence of pollinators, whereas A. vulgaris notably reduced its reproductive success under these conditions. At the same time, no insect visits were detected in A. paui, whereas A. vulgaris was frequently visited, mainly by bumblebees and flies. Thus, an evolutionary shift toward autogamy in A. paui is discussed in relation to enhanced reproductive assurance. Additionally, we address reproductive isolation mechanisms that nowadays keep A. paui and A. vulgaris separated in spite of their ability to intercross and the existence of contact areas.

Keywords

Columbine Ecological differentiation Pollination Endemic species Reproductive isolation Self-pollination Reproductive assurance 

Notes

Acknowledgments

We thank Dr. Julià Molero, Dr. Llorenç Sáez, Joan Carles Baiges and Marta Melé for their assistance in field work as well as Maria Navarro for her aid in the sample analysis. The staff of Els Ports Natural Park helped in the development of this research and partially financed it. This work was also supported by projects FBG-303608 (Generalitat de Catalunya) and CGL2007-60475/BOS (Ministerio de Educación y Ciencia), and by a BRD fellowship (Univeristat de Barcelona) awarded to M. Carmen Martinell.

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Copyright information

© Springer-Verlag 2011

Authors and Affiliations

  • M. Carmen Martinell
    • 1
    Email author
  • Ana Rovira
    • 1
  • Cèsar Blanché
    • 1
  • Maria Bosch
    • 1
  1. 1.BioC, GReB, Laboratori de Botànica, Facultat de FarmàciaUniversitat de BarcelonaBarcelonaSpain

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