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2013 | 61 | 3 |
Tytuł artykułu

Pollination strategy of Hedysarum scoparium Fisch et Mey (Fabaceae) in a dry habitat measured with pollination effectiveness and pollinator importance

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Anastatica hierochuntica is a monocarpic desert annual whose dry skeletons, enclosing mature fruits, often persist for a number of years. The aerial seed bank in these hygrochastic ‘resurrection plants’ therefore persists too. Life tables and fecundity schedules were constructed for A. hierochuntica populations raised under four water treatments, equivalent to 100, 200, 500 and 1000 mm rainfall. Seedling survivorship showed a Deevey type III curve for 100 mm, and a type II curve for 200 mm, while 500 and 1000 mm treatments produced Deevey type I curves. Fewer seeds germinated and seedling survivorship was lower in the low water treatments. The stage-specific mortality rate reached 0.75 under the 100 mm treatment in the seed germination stage, compared to 0.08 under the 1000 mm treatment. Increased water availability resulted in greater plant growth and reproductive output, in terms of both number of seeds per individual and reproductive value. In field studies, aerial seed banks of small plant sizeclasses (from 1 to 32 cm³) were depleted within 3-to-7 years. For the large size-classes, > 32 cm³, only a portion (79.7-44.4%) of the seeds produced were dispersed during the observational experiment (the rest remaining within the tumbleweed ball, available for subsequent germination). The projected seed bank life-time for populations raised under different water treatments increased more than fivefold (from 3 to 17 years) for the 100 mm compared to the 1000 mm rainfall treatments. Local persistence of populations was thus likely to be reduced by water stress. Populations of A. hierochuntica characterized by weak plant growth and a preponderance of small size-classes will be more vulnerable to extinction due to their low reproductive output and reduced aerial seed bank reserve.
Opis fizyczny
  • Cold and Arid Regions Environment and Engineering Institute, Chinese Academy of Sciences, Lanzhou, Gansu, 730000, China
  • School of Life Sciences, Ludong University, Yantai, Shandong, 264039, China
  • Cold and Arid Regions Environment and Engineering Institute, Chinese Academy of Sciences, Lanzhou, Gansu, 730000, China
  • School of Life Sciences, Ludong University, Yantai, Shandong, 264039, China
  • School of Life Sciences, Ludong University, Yantai, Shandong, 264039, China
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