Symbioses: Plant, Animal, and Microbe Interactions
Munguia-Rosas, Miguel Angel , Abdala-Roberts, Luis , Victor, Parra .
Effects of pollen load, parasitoids and the environment on predispersal seed predation in the cleistogamous Ruellia nudiflora.
Predispersal seed predation (PSP) is influenced by many biotic and abiotic factors. Pollinators, by determining how much pollen is received by flowers, influence fruit or seed size and, therefore, may influence seed predator foraging preferences. Similarly, for cleistogamous plants, PSP may be biased towards fruits from chasmogamous (CH) flowers, because these are larger and have more seeds than cleistogamous (CL) fruits. Also, natural enemies of herbivores reduce PSP, resulting in larger seed output for the plant. In turn, all interaction may be affected by the abiotic environment. Here, we studied PSP in the cleistogamous Ruellia nudiflora using an split-plot experimental design and asked: (a) Is PSP biased towards CH fruits? (b) Is there an effect of pollen load on PSP? (c) Do parasitoids reduce PSP and is this effect influenced by pollen load and fruit type? And (d), do microhabitat abiotic conditions modify these effects? As expected, overall PSP considering all fruits was higher for CH fruits; however, PSP was lower for pollen-supplemented CH fruits relative to open-pollinated CH fruits. Interestingly, the overall lower PSP observed for pollen-supplemented CH fruits (relative to open-pollinated CH fruits) disappeared when water availability was high. Parasitoids reduced PSP in damaged fruits and, although it was not influenced by environmental conditions, we found that parasitoids increased on seed crop of pollen-supplemented CH fruits. These findings show that PSP is influenced by multiple, interacting biotic and abotic factors with this having relevant implications for the quantity and perhaps the quality of offspring produced by the plant.
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1 - CINVESTAV-IPN, Km 6 Antigua Carretera A Progreso, Cordemex, Mérida Yucatán, ME, 97310, Mexico
2 - University of California, Irvine, Ecology and evolutionary Biology, Irvine CA 92697, Irvine, California, 92697, USA
3 - Km 15.5 Carretera Merida Xtmakkuil, FMVZ, UADY De, MERIDA, YUC, 97000, México
Predispersal seed predation.
Presentation Type: Poster:Posters for Topics
Location: Battelle South/Convention Center
Date: Monday, July 9th, 2012
Time: 5:30 PM