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Population-level plant pollination mode is influenced by Quaternary climate and pollinators

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  • André Rodrigo Rech, Universidade Federal dos Vales do Jequitinhonha e Mucuri
  • ,
  • Jeff Ollerton, University of Northampton
  • ,
  • Bo Dalsgaard, Københavns Universitet
  • ,
  • Leonardo Ré Jorge, Czech Academy of Sciences
  • ,
  • Brody Sandel, Santa Clara University
  • ,
  • Jens Christian Svenning
  • Gudryan J. Baronio, Universidade Federal dos Vales do Jequitinhonha e Mucuri
  • ,
  • Marlies Sazima, Universidade Estadual de Campinas

Patterns in ecology are the products of current factors interacting with history. Nevertheless, few studies have attempted to disentangle the contribution of historical and current factors, such as climate change and pollinator identity and behavior, on plant reproduction. Here, we attempted to separate the relative importance of current and historical processes on geographical patterns of the mating system of the tree species Curatella americana (Dilleniaceae). Specifically, we asked the following: (a) How do Quaternary and current climate affect plant mating system? (b) How does current pollinator abundance and diversity relate to plant mating system? (c) How does mating system relate to fruit/seed quantity and quality in C. americana? We recorded pollinators (richness, frequency, and body size) and performed pollination tests in ten populations of C. americana spread over 3,000 km in the Brazilian savannah. The frequency of self-pollination in the absence of pollinators was strongly influenced by historical climatic instability and not by present-day pollinators. In contrast, seed set from hand-cross and natural pollination were affected by pollinators (especially large bees) and temperature, indicating the importance of current factors on out-cross pollination. Two populations at the Southern edge of the species’ distribution showed high level of hand-cross-pollination and high flower visitation by large bees, but also a high level of autogamy resulting from recent colonization. Our results indicate that historical instability in climate has favored autogamy, most likely as a reproductive insurance strategy facilitating colonization and population maintenance over time, while pollinators are currently modulating the level of cross-pollination.

Sider (fra-til)632-642
Antal sider11
StatusUdgivet - mar. 2021

Bibliografisk note

Funding Information:
ARR was supported by FAPESP (Proc. 2009/54591‐0), CAPES, CNPq, Unicamp, and Santander Universities. BD was supported by the Carlsberg Foundation and thanks the Danish National Research Foundation for its support of the Center for Macroecology, Evolution and Climate. GJB is grateful for a postdoctoral fellowship awarded by CAPES/PNPD/UFVJM (process number 88887.352134/2019‐00). JCS considers this work a contribution to his VILLUM Investigator project “Biodiversity Dynamics in a Changing World” funded by VILLUM FONDEN (grant 16549). JO is grateful to FAPESP for a visiting researcher grant (Proc. 2013/14442‐5). We also thank a huge number of people that helped with fieldwork logistics when covering large distances in Brazil. This study was financed in part by the Coordenação de Aperfeiçoamento de Pessoal de Nível Superior—Brasil (CAPES)—Finance Code 001. MS thanks CNPq for the support (grant 302781/2016‐1).

Publisher Copyright:
© 2021 The Association for Tropical Biology and Conservation

Copyright 2021 Elsevier B.V., All rights reserved.

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