Data from: Pollen diversity matters: revealing the neglected effect of pollen diversity on fitness in fragmented landscapes
Breed, Martin F. et al. (2012), Data from: Pollen diversity matters: revealing the neglected effect of pollen diversity on fitness in fragmented landscapes, Dryad, Dataset, https://doi.org/10.5061/dryad.bs42p
Few studies have documented the impacts of habitat fragmentation on plant mating patterns together with fitness. Yet, these processes require urgent attention to better understand the impact of contemporary landscape change on biodiversity and for guiding native plant genetic resource management. We examined these relationships using the predominantly insect-pollinated Eucalyptus socialis. Progeny were collected from trees located in three increasingly disturbed landscapes in southern Australia and were planted out in common garden experiments. We show that individual mating patterns were increasingly impacted by lower conspecific density caused by habitat fragmentation. We determined that reduced pollen diversity, not inbreeding, was the factor that best explained variation in progeny growth. This provides an alternative mechanistic explanation for the indirect density dependence often inferred between conspecific density and offspring fitness. Consequently, native plant genetic resource management should be refined from not only attempting to avoid inbreeding but also to encourage pollen diversity.