Biological Invasions

, Volume 15, Issue 2, pp 385–393 | Cite as

The presence of the invasive plant Solanum elaeagnifolium deters honeybees and increases pollen limitation in the native co-flowering species Glaucium flavum

  • T. Tscheulin
  • T. Petanidou
Original Paper


Invasive plants can impact biodiversity and ecosystem functioning by displacing native plants and crop species due to competition for space, nutrients, water and light. The presence of co-flowering invasives has also been shown to affect some native plants through the reduction in pollinator visitation or through the deposition of heterospecific pollen on the native’s stigmas leading to stigma clogging. We examined the impact of the invasive plant Solanum elaeagnifolium Cavanilles (silver-leafed nightshade), native to South and Central America and South-western parts of North America, on the seed set of the native Glaucium flavum Crantz (yellow-horned poppy) on Lesvos Island, Greece. To do this we measured seed set and visitation rates to G. flavum before and after the placement of potted individuals of the invasive near the native plants. In addition, we hand-crossed G. flavum flowers with super-optimal amounts of conspecific pollen, bagged flowers to measure the rate of spontaneous selfing, and applied self-pollen to measure self-compatibility of G. flavum. The hand-selfing treatment resulted in very low seed set, which indicates that G. flavum is to a large degree self-incompatible and highlights the plant’s need for insect-mediated outcrossing. We show that the presence of the invasive significantly enhanced pollen limitation, although the overall visitation rates were not reduced and that this increase is due to a reduction in honeybee visitation in the presence of the invasive resulting in reduced pollination.


Pollination Pollen limitation Alien Pollination services Lesvos Mediterranean 



This research project was 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).


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Copyright information

© Springer Science+Business Media B.V. 2012

Authors and Affiliations

  1. 1.Laboratory of Biogeography and Ecology, Department of GeographyUniversity of the AegeanMytileneGreece

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