Effects of natural and artificial pollination on fruit and offspring quality

2012 | journal article. A publication with affiliation to the University of Göttingen.

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​Effects of natural and artificial pollination on fruit and offspring quality​
Chauta-Mellizo, A.; Campbell, S. A.; Argenis Bonilla, M.; Thaler, J. S. & Poveda, K.​ (2012) 
Basic and Applied Ecology13(6) pp. 524​-532​.​ DOI: https://doi.org/10.1016/j.baae.2012.08.013 

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Authors
Chauta-Mellizo, Alexander; Campbell, Stuart A.; Argenis Bonilla, Maria; Thaler, Jennifer S.; Poveda, Katja
Abstract
Worldwide, many crops rely on insect pollination. Insufficient pollination can reduce fruit and seed set by directly reducing pollen deposition, and can also affect offspring quality, such as growth rate and resistance to herbivores, by limiting outcrossing opportunities. Both effects are important in fruit agroecosystems where fruit size and the quality of seeds for re-planting are dependent on sufficient pollination. We experimentally manipulated pollination of the cape gooseberry, Physalis peruviana L. (Solanaceae), to test the effects of honey and bumble bee pollination compared to manual outcrossing and autonomous self-pollination on fruit and offspring characteristics. Compared to manual and self-pollination, bee pollination increased fruit size, seed set and germination rates, supporting the hypothesis that sufficient pollination increases plant fitness. Interestingly, plant growth rate and herbivore resistance were significantly and marginally greater in manually outcrossed plants compared to self-pollinated offspring, suggesting that inbreeding reduces offspring quality. Herbivore resistance and plant growth did not differ between one honeybee visit and self-pollination suggesting that multiple pollinator visits are needed to prevent inbreeding events. Our data suggest that the quantity and quality of pollen deposited by bee visitation can significantly alter ecologically and economically relevant traits in this agroecosystem.
Issue Date
2012
Status
published
Publisher
Elsevier Gmbh, Urban & Fischer Verlag
Journal
Basic and Applied Ecology 
ISSN
1439-1791

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