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Degree of fragmentation and population size do not adversely affect reproductive success of a rare shrub species, Banksia nivea (Proteaceae), in a naturally fragmented community

Thavornkanlapachai, R., Byrne, M., Yates, C.J. and Ladd, P.G.ORCID: 0000-0002-7730-9685 (2019) Degree of fragmentation and population size do not adversely affect reproductive success of a rare shrub species, Banksia nivea (Proteaceae), in a naturally fragmented community. Botanical Journal of the Linnean Society, 191 (2). pp. 261-273.

Link to Published Version: https://doi.org/10.1093/botlinnean/boz041
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Abstract

Fragmentation of plant communities is generally considered to be detrimental to the survival of the constituent species, especially those that are rare. We investigated the effects of fragmentation on reproductive biology in nine populations of the rare taxon Banksia nivea subsp. uliginosa, differing in size and habitat context. Small mammals were the main pollinator, with lower contributions from honeybees and birds (honeyeaters). There was no significant relationship between population size, fruit set and seed germinability. Fruit set was marginally highest (25.5 ± 3.4) in medium size populations and was variable over years. Lower fruit set (1.0 ± 0.6) in the smallest population may be due to inbreeding depression or lack of pollinators in a degraded habitat, but low fruit set was also observed in the largest population despite high levels of gene flow, possibly due to low pollinator visitation rate in a low-density population. Seeds from all populations had high germination success (>93.4%). Predation occurred in up to 56% of fruit and increased with increasing population size, but was not significantly different between populations of different size. Our study provided evidence that the reproductive output in species in a naturally fragmented landscape system may be resilient to reduced population size and other influences of anthropogenic fragmentation.

Item Type: Journal Article
Murdoch Affiliation: Environmental and Conservation Sciences
Publisher: Blackwell Publishing
Copyright: © 2019 Oxford University Press
URI: http://researchrepository.murdoch.edu.au/id/eprint/52445
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