J Integr Plant Biol. ›› 2006, Vol. 48 ›› Issue (12): -.DOI: 10.1111/j.1744-7909.2006.00383.x

• Research Articles •    

Pollen and Resource Limitation in Veratrum nigrum L. (Liliaceae), an Andromonoecious Herb

Wan-Jin Liao, Qing-Fa Song and Da-Yong Zhang   

Abstract: Pollen limitation and resource limitation were invoked to account for the pattern that flowering plants produce more flowers and ovules than fruits and seeds. This study aimed to determine their relative importance in Veratrum nigrum, a self-compatible, perennial, andromonoecious herb. In order to determine whether female production was limited by pollen grains on stigmas or by available resources, we performed supplemental hand pollination in three populations, male-flower-bud removal in three other populations, and emasculation of hermaphroditic flowers in still another population , resulting in a total of seven populations experimentally manipulated. Across the three populations, supplemental hand pollination did not significantly increase fruit set, seed number per fruit, and total seed production per individual, nor did emasculation of hermaphroditic flowers. Taken together, our results suggest that pollen grains deposited on stigmas were abundant enough to fertilize all the ovules. Male-flower-bud removal significantly increased the mean size of hermaphroditic flowers in all three populations. Female reproductive success was increased in one population, but not in the other two populations possibly due to heavy flower/seed predation. We concluded that the female reproductive success of V. nigrum was not limited by pollen grains but by available resources, which is consistent with Bateman’s principle. Furthermore, the female reproduction increase of male-flower-bud removal individuals might suggest a trade-off between male and female sexual functions.(Author for correspondence. Tel: +86 (0)10 5880 5081; Fax: +86 (0)10 5880 7721; E-mail: liaowj@bnu.edu.cn)

Key words: andromonoecy, pollen limitation, resource limitation, trade-off, Veratrum nigrum.

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