Plant mating systems in a changing world

Christopher G. Eckert, Susan Kalisz, Monica A. Geber, Risa Sargent, Elizabeth Elle, Pierre Olivier Cheptou, Carol Goodwillie, Mark O. Johnston, John K. Kelly, David A. Moeller, Emmanuelle Porcher, Richard H. Ree, Mario Vallejo-Marín, Alice A. Winn

Research output: Contribution to journalReview articlepeer-review

349 Scopus citations


There is increasing evidence that human disturbance can negatively impact plant-pollinator interactions such as outcross pollination. We present a meta-analysis of 22 studies involving 27 plant species showing a significant reduction in the proportion of seeds outcrossed in response to anthropogenic habitat modifications. We discuss the evolutionary consequences of disturbance on plant mating systems, and in particular whether reproductive assurance through selfing effectively compensates for reduced outcrossing. The extent to which disturbance reduces pollinator versus mate availability could generate diverse selective forces on reproductive traits. Investigating how anthropogenic change influences plant mating will lead to new opportunities for better understanding of how mating systems evolve, as well as of the ecological and evolutionary consequences of human activities and how to mitigate them.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)35-43
Number of pages9
JournalTrends in Ecology and Evolution
Issue number1
StatePublished - Jan 1 2010

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