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The impact of Solanum elaeagnifolium, an invasive plant in the Mediterranean, on the flower visitation and seed set of the native co-flowering species Glaucium flavum

Abstract

We examined the effect of the invasive Solanum elaeagnifolium (Solanaceae) on flower visitation patterns and seed set of the co-flowering native Glaucium flavum (Papaveraceae). We observed flowering G. flavum plants in invaded and uninvaded sites and found that G. flavum flowers in uninvaded sites received significantly more total visits. In addition, we hand-pollinated flowers on plants of G. flavum with (i) pure conspecific pollen, (ii) pure S. elaeagnifolium pollen and (iii) three different mixtures of the two types of pollen (containing 25, 50 and 75% invasive pollen). As a control, flowers were left unmanipulated or were permanently bagged. Seed set did not differ significantly between flowers receiving pollen mixtures and pure conspecific pollen. However, in the open pollination treatment, seed set was significantly lower than in the 100% conspecific pollen treatment, which suggests pollen limitation. Bagged flowers had very low seed set. G. flavum was generally resilient against the deposition of S. elaeagnifolium pollen.

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Acknowledgements

This research project is financed by the E.U.-European Social Fund (80%), and the Greek Ministry of Development-GSRT (20%). Financial support was also received from the Helmholtz Centre for Environmental Research (UFZ) and the FP 6 Integrated Project “ALARM” (Assessing LArge scale environmental Risks for biodiversity with tested Methods; GOCE-CT-2003-506675; www.alarmproject.net; Settele et al. 2005). We thank Christina Zografou for help with collecting field data, Ioannis Bazos for help with locating the Solanum elaeagnifolium populations on Lesvos, Andrew Grace for bee identifications and Ben Woodcock for statistical advice.

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Correspondence to Thomas Tscheulin.

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Tscheulin, T., Petanidou, T., Potts, S.G. et al. The impact of Solanum elaeagnifolium, an invasive plant in the Mediterranean, on the flower visitation and seed set of the native co-flowering species Glaucium flavum . Plant Ecol 205, 77–85 (2009). https://doi.org/10.1007/s11258-009-9599-y

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Keywords

  • Silverleaf nightshade
  • Yellow-horned poppy
  • Invasive
  • Alien
  • Seed set
  • Pollination
  • Heterospecific pollen deposition