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Data from: Seasonal changes in pollen limitation and femaleness along the snowmelt gradient in a distylous alpine herb, Primula modesta

Citation

Kameyama, Yoshiaki et al. (2016), Data from: Seasonal changes in pollen limitation and femaleness along the snowmelt gradient in a distylous alpine herb, Primula modesta, Dryad, Dataset, https://doi.org/10.5061/dryad.74jt1

Abstract

Flowering phenology of alpine plants is strongly determined by the timing of snowmelt, and the conditions of pollination of widely distributed plants vary greatly during their flowering season. We examined the reproductive success of the distylous alpine herb, Primula modesta, along the snowmelt gradient under natural conditions, and compared it with the result of artificial pollination experiments. In addition, the compositions and visit frequencies of pollinators to the flower of P. modesta were examined during the flowering period. The pin and thrum plants of P. modesta growing at the same site have an equal ability to produce seeds if a sufficient amount of legitimate pollen grains are deposited on the stigma surface. However, under natural conditions, their seed-set success was often (even if not always) restricted by pollen limitation, and the functional gender of the pin and thrum plants biased to the female and male, respectively, associated with their growing sites. These variations were not ascribed to resource limitation nor biased morph ratio but to the seasonal changes in pollination situations, a replacement of pollinator types from long- to short-tongued pollinators resulted in unidirectional pollen transfer from long stamens (thrum plants) to long styles (pin plants). The functional gender specialization may enhance the evolution of dioecy from heterostyly, but the severe pollen limitation may cause the breakdown of heterostyly into homostyly. To consider the evolutionary pathway of heterostylous plants, an accumulation of the empirical data is required demonstrating how phenological synchrony between plants and pollinators is decided and to what degree this relationship is stable over years, along with estimates of selection and gene flow in individual plants.

Usage Notes

Location

northern Japan Alps
Happo-One ridge
central Japan
E137°50′58″
N36°42′0″