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Low Outcrossing Rates and Shift in Pollinators in New Zealand Pohutukawa (Metrosideros excelsa; Myrtaceae)

Gabriele Schmidt-Adam, Andrew G. Young and Brian G. Murray
American Journal of Botany
Vol. 87, No. 9 (Sep., 2000), pp. 1265-1271
Stable URL: http://www.jstor.org/stable/2656719
Page Count: 7
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Since scans are not currently available to screen readers, please contact JSTOR User Support for access. We'll provide a PDF copy for your screen reader.
Low Outcrossing Rates and Shift in Pollinators in New Zealand Pohutukawa (Metrosideros excelsa; Myrtaceae)
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Abstract

New Zealand pohutukawa (Metrosideros excelsa), a member of the Myrtaceae, is a large, mass-flowering tree endemic to northern New Zealand coastlines. Mainland populations have been reduced to fragmented stands, and the original suite of bird pollinators has been largely replaced by introduced species. The native pollinator fauna on several offshore islands is largely intact and includes three species of the New Zealand honeyeaters (Meliphagidae) and native, solitary bees. We estimated multilocus outcrossing rates for three mainland and two island populations and found that they were among the lowest in the Myrtaceae (tm = 0.22-0.53). The shift in pollinators had no measurable effect on the mating system. Mass-flowering facilitates geitonogamous selfing, and inbreeding depression in seedling height was detectable at 6 mo of growth. Fs [Wright's (1965) Fixation Index] was consistently higher than Fm in all populations, indicating that selection may eliminate selfed offspring from populations prior to achieving reproductive maturity. Results suggest that increased selfing in mainland populations due to pollinator changes is not responsible for current patterns of poor regeneration of this species.

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