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Effects of anthropogenic disturbance on the reproductive ecology and pollination service of Plymouth gentian (Sabatia kennedyana Fern.), a lakeshore plant species at risk

Andrew J. Trant, Thomas B. Herman and Sara V. Good-Avila
Plant Ecology
Vol. 210, No. 2 (OCTOBER 2010), pp. 241-252
Published by: Springer
Stable URL: http://www.jstor.org/stable/40802519
Page Count: 12
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Effects of anthropogenic disturbance on the reproductive ecology and pollination service of Plymouth gentian (Sabatia kennedyana Fern.), a lakeshore plant species at risk
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Abstract

This study examines anthropogenic impacts on the pollination ecology oí Sabatia kennedyana Fern. (Gentianaceae), aprotandrous, insect-pollinated species at risk. Pollination processes were explored in disturbed and non-disturbed sites in both high and low density patches on each of three lakes in southwest Nova Scotia, Canada. The primary pollinators were Syrphid flies (Díptera: Syrphidae) and Halictid bees (Hymenoptera: Halictidae). Pollinator diversity was not significantly different among lakes or sites. High flowering density plots were visited significantly more frequently than low density plots in all site types; pollination rates and handling time were significantly lower in disturbed compared to non-disturbed sites, such that pollinators both visited and spent less time handling flowers in disturbed sites. The reproductive success of openpollinated flowers was significantly different among lakes; there was also a disturbance by lake interaction with higher reproductive success on disturbed sites in two of the lakes. Thus, this study finds evidence of reduced pollination service together with a beneficial reproductive effect of disturbance. The significance of these results and the possibility that the spatial genetic structure of disturbed sites is reduced are discussed. We conclude that reduced pollination service and changes in the genetic structure of populations demonstrate the potentially negative impact of human associated activities on pollinator activity and plant reproductive strategy.

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