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13 August 2019 Pollen Limitation and Self-Compatibility in Three Pine Savanna Herbs
Melissa A. Burt, Lars A. Brudvig
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There is substantial interest in the restoration of the Pinus palustris (Longleaf Pine) savannas in the southeastern US Coastal Plain, one of the most endangered ecosystems in the world and also home to a diverse plant assemblage. Better understanding of the pollination ecology of these plants is necessary for their successful conservation and restoration. In this study, we assessed the rates of self-compatibility and pollen limitation in Carphephorus bellidifolius (Sandywoods Chaffhead), Liatris squarrulosa (Appalachian Blazing Star), and Aristida beyrichiana (Wiregrass)—3 perennial understory herbaceous species of conservation interest. We measured self-compatibility with a pollination-exclusion–bag experiment and pollen limitation with a pollen-supplementation experiment within South Carolina populations. We found no evidence of pollen limitation in any of these 3 species. This result is surprising given the high incidence of pollen limitation typically found in other study systems. Our pollination-exclusion bag experiment showed that Sandywoods Chaffhead likely requires out-cross pollen for successful pollination, whereas both Appalachian Blazing Star and Wiregrass appear to exhibit at least low levels of self-compatibility. Taken together, our results may indicate that the active management of the Longleaf Pine ecosystem with prescribed fire and overstory tree removal has supported sufficient pollination in these plant populations.

Melissa A. Burt and Lars A. Brudvig "Pollen Limitation and Self-Compatibility in Three Pine Savanna Herbs," Southeastern Naturalist 18(3), 405-418, (13 August 2019).
Published: 13 August 2019
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