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Mating patterns and pollinator mobility are critical traits in forest fragmentation genetics

Breed, M.F., Ottewell, K.M., Gardner, M.G., Marklund, M.H.K., Dormontt, E.E. and Lowe, A.J. (2014) Mating patterns and pollinator mobility are critical traits in forest fragmentation genetics. Heredity, 115 . pp. 108-114.

Link to Published Version: http://dx.doi.org/10.1038/hdy.2013.48
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Abstract

Most woody plants are animal-pollinated, but the global problem of habitat fragmentation is changing the pollination dynamics. Consequently, the genetic diversity and fitness of the progeny of animal-pollinated woody plants sired in fragmented landscapes tend to decline due to shifts in plant-mating patterns (for example, reduced outcrossing rate, pollen diversity). However, the magnitude of this mating-pattern shift should theoretically be a function of pollinator mobility. We first test this hypothesis by exploring the mating patterns of three ecologically divergent eucalypts sampled across a habitat fragmentation gradient in southern Australia. We demonstrate increased selfing and decreased pollen diversity with increased fragmentation for two small-insect-pollinated eucalypts, but no such relationship for the mobile-bird-pollinated eucalypt. In a meta-analysis, we then show that fragmentation generally does increase selfing rates and decrease pollen diversity, and that more mobile pollinators tended to dampen these mating-pattern shifts. Together, our findings support the premise that variation in pollinator form contributes to the diversity of mating-pattern responses to habitat fragmentation

Publication Type: Journal Article
Publisher: Nature Publishing Group
URI: http://researchrepository.murdoch.edu.au/id/eprint/22610
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