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Dynamics of secondary pollen presentation in Campanula medium (Campanulaceae)

D’Antraccoli, Marco, Roma-Marzio, Francesco, Benelli, Giovanni, Canale, Angelo, Peruzzi, Lorenzo
Journal of plant research 2019 v.132 no.2 pp. 251-261
Campanula medium, bees, case studies, females, flowering, longevity, males, mating systems, outcrossing, pollen, pollination, pollinators, selfing, stigma, temporal variation, viability
After several decades of research, dynamics and patterns of mating system in floral evolution remain incompletely understood, especially with regards to strategies that combine both outcrossing and selfing, as frequently recorded in the genus Campanula. Data about temporal and spatial dynamics of secondary pollen presentation are still scarce in literature: we investigated them using Campanula medium (Campanulaceae) as case study. Experimental pollinations were conducted under natural conditions, to characterise the breeding system of this species. Effects on stigma opening and stigma receptivity of stylar pollen presence were investigated in manipulated flowers. The temporal dynamics and fitness of male and female functional phases were estimated. Flower visitors and their interactions with sexual parts of the flower were also annotated. C. medium is xenogamous and self-incompatible, with a clear temporal separation between sexual functional phases. Floral lifespan is shortened by experimental outcrossing. Removal of pollen from the style shortened the time span of male function. Pollen viability was highest at the beginning of the anthesis, decreasing during the flowering period, whereas stigmatic receptivity shows an opposite trend. We found a severe pollen limitation in the studied population. Bees were the most frequent floral visitors. In some of these insects we observed stereotyped interactions with the reproductive structures of the flower, in particular with the pollen, exposed along the upper and median portion of the style. Sexual phases in C. medium are inversely correlated and finely spatially and temporally coordinated, since stigma maturation is scalar along its length and depends on pollen presence on the style. Overall, our findings push forward the knowledge on reproductive strategies in Campanula.