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Pollination Biology, Seed Dispersal, and Recruitment in Rudbeckia auriculata (Perdue) Kral, a Rare Southeastern Endemic

Alvin R. Diamond, Jr., Debbie R. Folkerts and Robert S. Boyd
Castanea
Vol. 71, No. 3 (Sep., 2006), pp. 226-238
Published by: Allen Press on behalf of the Southern Appalachian Botanical Society
Stable URL: http://www.jstor.org/stable/4034145
Page Count: 13
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Pollination Biology, Seed Dispersal, and Recruitment in Rudbeckia auriculata (Perdue) Kral, a Rare Southeastern Endemic
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Abstract

Managing rare endemic plants often requires an understanding of their reproductive ecology. We investigated pollination biology, seed set, seed dispersal, and seedling recruitment of Rudbeckia auriculata (Asteraceae), a species endemic to the Southeastern United States. Based on observations of pollinator abundance and pollen load on floral visitors, the most likely pollinators are primarily native bees, particularly Andrena aliciae Robertson in medium and large populations of R. auriculata, and Halictids in small populations. Seed set varied from 0.24% to 16.9% in small populations (<40 flowering stems) and from 26.5% to 31.4% in medium (40-999 flowering stems) and large (1000+ flowering stems) populations, with significantly lower seed set in the small populations. Exclusion of visitors from inflorescences showed that, like many members of the Asteraceae, R. auriculata is probably self-incompatible. Seed dispersal appears to be highly localized and dependent upon gravity. Seedling recruitment is poor, particularly when the soil is covered with litter or when the species is in competition with others.

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