Pollination processes - maternal and offspring performance

Detta är en avhandling från Stockholm : Botaniska institutionen

Sammanfattning: Pollination is one of the most important factors determining the reproductive success of plants. This thesis examines processes associated to varying pollination, with focus on plant responses. The first aim was to examine the possibility and constraints for short-term evolution of flower size in Raphanus raphanistrum. The results showed that there exists a possibility for pollinator-mediated short-term evolution of flower size in the study species. Flower size was strongly correlated to plant size. Since flower size cannot evolve separately from plant size, this correlation may constitute a constraint to the evolution of flower size. The second aim was to determine how varying pollen load affects later flowering, reproduction and growth of maternal plants. High pollen load treatment resulted in larger or more flowers on late flowers, which may enhance pollen dispersal and reproductive success, while the total seed mass was the same between treatments. The results indicate that the study species R. raphanistrum, Sinapis arvensis and Brassica napus have plastic responses in floral traits according to the present pollination level. The third aim was to determine how varying pollen load affects seed quality and offspring vigor. The results suggest that high pollen load had no positive effects on seed quality or offspring vigor due to pollen competition. Instead, seed mass determined seed quality and offspring vigor in the three study species and low pollen load treatment resulted in highquality offspring due to heavier seeds. The fourth aim was to examine causes and consequences of variation in reproductive success of Succisa pratensis on a regional scale. The results suggest that the most important variables, on a regional scale, for reproductive success were population size and habitat quality. The results showed that seed weight variation might be important when assessing reproductive success. In this study, seed weight variation did not seem to be adaptive.