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Size-Dependent Pollination Efficiency in Anchusa officinalis (Boraginaceae): Causes and Consequences

Stefan Andersson
Oecologia
Vol. 76, No. 1 (1988), pp. 125-130
Published by: Springer in cooperation with International Association for Ecology
Stable URL: http://www.jstor.org/stable/4218645
Page Count: 6
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Size-Dependent Pollination Efficiency in Anchusa officinalis (Boraginaceae): Causes and Consequences
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Abstract

Bumblebees foraging on the self-incompatible Anchusa officinalis fly between near neighbour plants and between near neighbour inflorescences within plants. Although many-flowered plants attracted most bumblebees these plants received fewer visits on a per flower basis than smaller plants, and each bumblebee visited a smaller proportion of the flowers. The calculated effective visitation rate per flower was highest on plants of an intermediate size. If pollen-carryover was assumed to be limited the most efficient plant was predicted to be smaller since the proportion of fertilized flowers per bumblebee visit is expected to decrease further on the largest plants in relation to the total flower number. These predictions were tested by measuring fruit-set in the field. The percentage fruit-set decreased with plant size at all sizes that were investigated. That the most efficient plant was small indicates that pollen-carryover was indeed limited. However, the low percentage fruit-set associated with large size did not present a serious problem since the total estimated seed production per plant still increased with size. Selection favoring smaller plants may be low or absent in Anchusa.

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