Annals of Botany

Examining the impact of heterospecific pollen deposition in the field

Most work on the impacts of heterospecific pollen deposition on plant fecundity has utilized hand-pollination experiments in greenhouse settings, and therefore we know little about the reproductive effects in the field.

Relationship between heterospecific pollen and conspecific pollen.
Relationship between heterospecific pollen and conspecific pollen. For more details see Briggs et al. 2016

Briggs et al. explored how patterns of naturally deposited heterospecific pollen relate to the reproductive output of Delphinium barbeyi. Heterospecific pollen deposition is common but at low levels across stigmas; there is a negative interaction between the effects of conspecific pollen and heterospecific pollen amount: the effect of conspecific pollen on viable seed production becomes weaker with greater heterospecific deposition on stigmas. Greenhouse hand-pollination studies and field studies should be tightly integrated in future to better understand how heterospecific pollen transfer can be detrimental for plant reproduction.

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