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Title: Large population sizes mitigate negative effects of variable weather conditions on fruit set in two spring woodland orchids
Authors: Jacquemyn, Hans ×
Brys, R
Honnay, Olivier #
Issue Date: Aug-2009
Publisher: The Royal Society
Series Title: Biology Letters vol:5 issue:4 pages:495-498
Abstract: Global circulation models predict increased climatic variability, which could increase variability in demographic rates and affect long-term population viability. In animal-pollinated species, pollination services, and thus fruit and seed set, may be highly variable among years and sites, and depend on both local environmental conditions and climatic variables. Orchid species may be particularly vulnerable to disruption of their pollination services, as most species depend on pollinators for successful fruit set and because seed germination and seedling recruitment are to some extent dependent on the amount of fruits and seeds produced. Better insights into the factors determining fruit and seed set are therefore indispensable for a better understanding of population dynamics and viability of orchid populations under changing climatic conditions. However, very few studies have investigated spatio-temporal variation in fruit set in orchids. Here, we quantified fruit production in eight populations of the orchid Orchis purpurea that does not reward pollinators and 13 populations of the rewarding Neottia (Listera) ovata during five consecutive years (2002-2006). Fruit production in large populations showed much higher stability than that in small populations and was less affected by extreme weather conditions. Our results highlight the potential vulnerability of small orchid populations to an increasingly variable climate through highly unpredictable fruit-set patterns.
ISSN: 1744-9561
Publication status: published
KU Leuven publication type: IT
Appears in Collections:Plant Systematics and Ecology Section - miscellaneous
× corresponding author
# (joint) last author

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