We examined the influence of pollen competitive environment on pollen performance in Mirabilis jalapa. We used the number of pollen grains and the number of pollen tubes per pistil as measures of pollen competition. Pollen germination, pollen tube penetration into the style, and pollen tube growth rates were used as measures of pollen performance. All three measures of pollen performance were affected by the competitive environment. Pollen germination was greatest at intermediate pollen load sizes. The percentage of germinated pollen grains that penetrated the stigma and grew into the style decreased with pollen load size. Pollen tube growth rate in the style was greater and more variable with larger numbers of pollen tubes in the style. Controlling for the degree of selection at the stigma indicated that pollen-pollen or pollen-style interactions were the likely causes of increased growth rates.
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Received: 28 October 1996 / Revision accepted: 24 January 1997
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Niesenbaum, R., Schueller, S. Effects of pollen competitive environment on pollen performance in Mirabilis jalapa (Nyctaginaceae). Sex Plant Reprod 10, 101–106 (1997). https://doi.org/10.1007/s004970050074