Depressed pollination of Lapageria rosea Ruiz et Pav. (Philesiaceae) in the fragmented temperate rainforest of southern South America

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Abstract

We studied the pollination and reproductive success in continuous and fragmented populations of Lapageria rosea, a self-compatible plant endemic to temperate forests of Chile. Pollinator abundance, visitation rates, flower abundance, nectar volume and concentration, pollen germination and fruit and seed production, were compared between continuous forest of 145 ha and four forest fragments of 6, 3, 3, and 1 ha respectively, surrounded by mature pine plantations of Pinus radiata. Flower abundance was lower in three out of four forest fragments relative to continuous forest. Nectar volume and sugar concentration did not differ between flowers in the two habitats. Pollinators of L. rosea, the hummingbird Sephanoides sephaniodes and bumblebee Bombus dahlbomii were less abundant and visited flowers of L. rosea at lower rates in fragments than in continuous forest. In addition, in vitro rates of pollen germination were lower for flowers in forest fragments. The number of seeds per fruit was also lower in forest fragments. We suggest that fragmentation affects the reproductive success of L. rosea, lowering the total numbers of seeds produced and possibly compromising long term persistence of fragmented populations.

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