Title: Sex in the city: Reproductive success of Digitalis purpurea in a gradient from urban to rural sites
Authors: Verboven, Hans A.F. ×
Brys, Rein
Hermy, Martin #
Issue Date: 30-May-2012
Publisher: Elsevier
Series Title: Landscape and Urban Planning vol:106 issue:2 pages:158-164
Abstract: Urbanization of natural habitats is considered to have large impacts on local plant populations and their
associated pollinator faunas, which are expected to cause changes in both plant-pollinator interactions
and increased pollen limitation. This study investigated the effects of increasing intensity of urban land
use on pollinator diversity, flower visitation rates and reproductive success in Digitalis purpurea. To this
end, we set up experimental populations of D. purpurea in three urban–rural gradients and contrasted
these against two large, natural populations. In the experimental populations we quantified the number
of flower visits per 20 min and applied supplemental hand-pollinations to determine the impact of pollen
limitation on fruit-level seed set. We found no impact of urbanization intensity on pollinator diversity
at all locations studied, and also the number of flower visits did not differ significantly between urban
and rural populations. Reproductive success appeared, however, pollen limited in all sites, even in the
large and optimal reference populations. This led us to conclude that the pollen limitation was caused by
a bet-hedging strategy of the species rather than by insufficient pollination.
ISSN: 0169-2046
Publication status: published
KU Leuven publication type: IT
Appears in Collections:Division Forest, Nature and Landscape Research
Laboratory for Plant Ecology (-)
× corresponding author
# (joint) last author

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