Asymmetric and frequency-dependent pollinator-mediated interactions may influence competitive displacement in two vernal pool plants

Ryan Briscoe Runquist, Maureen L. Stanton

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

40 Scopus citations

Abstract

A plant species immigrating into a community may experience a rarity disadvantage due to competition for the services of pollinators. These negative reproductive interactions have the potential to lead to competitive displacement or exclusion of a species from a site. In this study, we used one- and two-species arrays of potted plants to test for density and frequency dependence in pollinator-mediated and above-ground intraspecific and interspecific competition between two species of Limnanthes that have overlapping ranges, but rarely occur in close sympatry. There were asymmetric competitive effects; the species responded differently to their frequency within 16-plant replacement series arrays. Limnanthes douglasii rosea experienced stronger reductions in lifetime and per-flower fertility, likely due to pollinator-mediated competition with Limnanthes alba. This effect may be linked to asymmetrical competition through heterospecific pollen transfer. This study demonstrates that pollinator-mediated competition may discourage establishment of L. d. rosea in sites already occupied by its congener.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)183-190
Number of pages8
JournalEcology letters
Volume16
Issue number2
DOIs
StatePublished - Feb 1 2013

Keywords

  • Asymmetrical competition
  • Frequency dependence
  • Heterospecific pollen transfer
  • Limnanthes
  • Pollination
  • Vernal pools

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