Pollination‐dependent female reproductive success in a self‐compatible outcrosser, Asphodelus aestivus Brot.


Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review


Experiments were carried out, during three years (1986‐8), on a population of Asphodelus aestivus Brot. (Liliaceae) in n semi‐arid environment, to test whether seed production of plants was limited by quantity and/or quality of pollen supply. The natural pollinator are mainly solitary bees. The fraction pf flower setting MM varied from 8 to 40% between years. Fruit set of plants caged to exclude inserts was less than 3%. Fruit set was increased by artificial pollination of flowers with their own pollen to 43‐64%, This indicates that the plant is self‐compatible, but due to the position of the anthers and stigma, insect visits are required for effective pollination. Cross‐pollinated caged flowers set yet more fruits (59–82%) and much more (2‐4 times) full seeds per fruit than self‐pollinated flowers. The artificial addition of cross‐pollen to flowers, in the natural environment, increased the moan number of full seeds per flower on the whole plant. Thus, natural reproduction was limited by insect pollination. A quantitative Biffed was indicated by a strong positive association between the number of pollen grains on a stigma and the probabilities of the flower maturing a fruit and of its ovules setting seeds. Furthermore, in 20‐60% of [lowers in the population, stigma loads were less than 13 pollen grains, which indicated very low probability of fruit maturation. A qualitative response was shown by the positive effect of artificially added cross‐pollen on the number of full vs. empty seeds, an effect similar to that of cross‐ vs. self‐pollination in caged plants. The proportion of full seeds developing in a clone of Asphodelus in the natural population was inversely related to the proportion of inflorescences in its neighbourhood that belonged to the same clone, which suggests that fertility is limited by an excess of pollen from the same clone being supplied by insects. It is concluded that female reproductive success of Asphodelus aestivus in its natural environment depended on both the amount and origin of the pollen supplied by us pollinators.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)165-174
Number of pages10
JournalNew Phytologist
Issue number1
StatePublished - Jan 1993


  • Asphodelus aestivus
  • pollen duality
  • pollen quantity
  • pollination limitation

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Physiology
  • Plant Science


Dive into the research topics of 'Pollination‐dependent female reproductive success in a self‐compatible outcrosser, Asphodelus aestivus Brot.'. Together they form a unique fingerprint.

Cite this