Contrasting impacts of pollen and seed dispersal on spatial genetic structure in the bird-pollinated Banksia hookeriana

Siegfried Krauss, T. He, L.G. Barrett, B.B. Lamont, N.J. Enright, Ben Miller, M.E. Hanley

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    63 Citations (Scopus)


    In plants, pollen- and seed-dispersal distributions are characteristically leptokurtic, with significant consequences for spatial genetic structure and nearest-neighbour mating. However, most studies to date have been on wind- or insect-pollinated species. Here, we assigned paternity to quantify effective pollen dispersal over 9 years of mating, contrasted this to seed dispersal and examined their effects on fine-scale spatial genetic structure, within the bird-pollinated shrub Banksia hookeriana (Proteaceae). We used 163 polymorphic amplified fragment length polymorphism markers to assess genetic structure and pollen dispersal in a spatially discrete population of 112 plants covering 0.56 ha. Spatial autocorrelation analysis detected spatial genetic structure in the smallest distance class of 0–5 m (r=0.025), with no significant structure beyond 8 m. Experimentally quantified seed-dispersal distances for 337 seedlings showed a leptokurtic distribution around a median of 5 m, reaching a distance of 36 m. In marked contrast, patterns of pollen dispersal for 274 seeds departed strikingly from typical near-neighbour pollination, with a distribution largely corresponding to the spatial distribution of plants. We found very high multiple paternity, very low correlated paternity and an equal probability of siring for the 50 closest potential mates. Extensive pollen carryover was demonstrated by multiple siring in 83 of 86 (96.5%) two-seeded fruits. Highly mobile nectar-feeding birds facilitate this promiscuity through observed movements that were effectively random. As the incidence of bird-pollination is markedly greater in the Southwest Australian Floristic Region than elsewhere, our results have broad and novel significance for the evolution and conservation for many species in Gondwanan lineages.
    Original languageEnglish
    Pages (from-to)274-285
    Publication statusPublished - 2009


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