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Estimating pollinator performance of visitors to the self-incompatible crop-plant Brassica rapa by single visit deposition and pollen germination: a comparison of methods

Patchett, Robert; Ballantyne, Gavin; Willmer, Pat

Authors

Robert Patchett

Pat Willmer



Abstract

Estimating the pollen-deposition effectiveness of flower visitors is fundamental to understanding their performance as pollinators. While estimates of visitation rates, pollen loads, and single visit deposition (SVD) are all useful proxies for performance, and so help to reveal the relative effectiveness of different visitors, none take into account the breeding system of the plants, or the quality of pollen deposited. Here we compare the performance of visitors to the self-incompatible plant Brassica rapa (turnip) using SVD and pollen germination. We also report the first use of the staining of Brassica rapa stigma papilla cells (known to reveal a specific reaction to self-pollen) to compare self-pollen deposition between insect visitors. We found that most of the pollen grains deposited by insect visitors (and therefore counted by SVD methods) were non-germinating self-pollen. A smaller proportion of grains were outcrossed and so germinated. There was also a significant positive relationship between environmental conditions (wind speed) and pollen deposition, but not pollen germination.
Both methods identified Bombus spp. as the best-performing visitors on turnip flowers, followed by Eristalis spp., whereas performance estimates for Episyrphus balteatus and ‘other hoverflies’ were no higher than controls for both methods. This study provides further insight into the methodology for estimating pollinator performance, especially in plants when only cross-pollen can germinate.

Journal Article Type Article
Acceptance Date Aug 9, 2017
Publication Date 2017-12
Deposit Date Oct 11, 2017
Publicly Available Date Dec 5, 2017
Journal Journal of Pollination Ecology
Print ISSN 1920-7603
Publisher Enviroquest Ltd
Peer Reviewed Peer Reviewed
Volume 21
Issue 3
Pages 78-85
Keywords Pollination, Pollinator effectiveness, Pollen deposition, Pollen germination, Brassicaceae
Public URL http://researchrepository.napier.ac.uk/Output/996252
Contract Date Dec 5, 2017

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Estimating pollinator performance of visitors to the self-incompatible crop-plant Brassica rapa by single visit deposition and pollen germination: a comparison of methods (1.2 Mb)
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http://creativecommons.org/licenses/by/3.0/

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This work is licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution 3.0 License.









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