Biodiversity Science ›› 2018, Vol. 26 ›› Issue (5): 510-518.doi: 10.17520/biods.2018065

• Original Papers • Previous Article     Next Article

Responses of floral longevity to pollination environments in 11 species from two alpine meadows

Yuxian Wang1, Zuojun Liu1, *(), Zhigang Zhao2, Meng Hou2, Xiaorui Zhang1, Wanling Lü1   

  1. 1 School of Life Science and Engineering, Lanzhou University of Technology, Lanzhou 730050
    2 School of Life Sciences, Lanzhou University, State Key Laboratory of Grassland Agro-Ecosystems, Lanzhou 730000
  • Received:2018-02-27 Accepted:2018-04-26 Online:2018-09-11
  • Liu Zuojun E-mail:zuojunl@lut.cn
  • About author:

    # Co-first authors

Floral longevity, the length of time that a flower remains open and functional, varies greatly among species. The high plasticity of floral longevity can reflect an adaptation to variable pollination environments. In the alpine meadows of Qinghai-Tibetan Plateau (2,900 m vs. 3,600 m), we assessed how potential floral longevity, the shortest floral longevity and the actual floral longevity of 11 species varied under treatments of different pollination contexts. We modeled the response of floral longevity to pollinator exclusion (potential floral longevity minus actual floral longevity) and supplemental pollination (actual longevity minus shortest longevity), and the plasticity of floral longevity (potential longevity minus shortest longevity) at high and low altitude habitats. We found that the plants at the high-altitude community had longer potential floral longevity compared to the low-altitude community, while the shortest floral longevity was not significantly different. Furthermore, pollinator exclusion significantly increased flower longevity, while supplemental pollination significantly decreased floral longevity (i.e. the potential floral longevity > the actual floral longevity > the shortest floral longevity) in both high and low-altitude habitats. In comparison with the low-altitude community, high-altitude plants exhibited higher plasticity of floral longevity. Overall, our results suggest that greater plasticity of floral longevity may increase the opportunity for pollination and thus aid fitness at higher altitudes where pollinators are scarce and unpredictable.

Key words: alpine meadow, floral longevity, plasticity, pollination, altitude

Table 1

The effect of species identity, elevation (low vs. high elevation), and pollination treatments (pollinator exclusion, supplemental pollinated, open-pollinated) and their interactions on flower longevity of studied species in community 1 & 2 (and community 3 & 4 ). The community 1 and 2 refer to the community that composed of all the research species at low and high altitudes, respectively, while the community 3 and 4 refer to the community of the mutual research species at low and high altitudes, respectively. Significant differences are examined from general linear mixed effect models at P < 0.05 and indicated in bold."

因素 Factor 花寿命 Floral longevity
群落1和2 Community 1 & 2 群落3和4 Community 3 & 4
Df F P Df F P
截距 Intercept 1, 10 17,634.897 < 0.001 1, 9 23,757.518 < 0.001
物种 Species 10, 434 762.000 < 0.001 4, 269 1,121.932 < 0.001
海拔 Elevation 1, 437 50.519 < 0.001 1, 270 55.844 < 0.001
处理 Treatment 2, 433 200.241 < 0.001 2, 267 182.577 < 0.001
物种×海拔 Species × Elevation 4, 435 1.218 0.303 4, 269 1.350 0.252
物种×处理 Species × Treatment 18, 433 4.776 < 0.001 7, 267 5.668 < 0.001
海拔×处理 Elevation × Treatment 2, 433 4.316 0.014 2, 267 4.722 0.010
物种×海拔×处理
Species × Elevation × Treatment
7, 433 0.716 0.659 7, 267 0.791 0.596

Table 2

Flower longevity (d, mean ± SD) of 16 research populations when flowers were either excluded from pollinators, open-pollinated or supplemental hand-pollinated at low (2,900 m) and high (3,600 m) elevations. Different letters in the same row at each floral longevity of different treatments indicate significant difference (P < 0.05)."

物种 Species 花寿命 Floral longevity
低海拔 Low elevation (2,900 m ) 高海拔 High elevation (3,500 m)
套袋处理
Pollinator
exclusion
自然授粉
Open
pollination
补充授粉Supplemental pollination 套袋处理Pollinator
exclusion
自然授粉
Open
pollination
补充授粉Supplemental pollination
蒲公英 Taraxacum mongolicum 5.2 ± 0.8a 4.7 ± 0.6a - 6.5 ± 1.2a 5.6 ± 0.8b -
甘青老鹳草 Geranium pylzowianum 4.4 ± 0.5a 3.2 ± 0.4b 2.8 ± 0.3b 5.0 ± 0.5a 3.8 ± 0.3b 3.0 ± 0.3c
钝裂银莲花 Anemone obtusiloba 9.8 ± 0.9a 8.6 ± 1.1b 7.6 ± 0.4c 10.8 ± 0.8a 9.4 ± 0.7b 7.5 ± 0.6c
莓叶委陵菜 Potentilla fragarioides 3.5 ± 0.4a 2.8 ± 0.3b 2.4 ± 0.3c 3.8 ± 0.4a 3.3 ± 0.3b 2.8 ± 0.5c
高原毛茛 Ranunculus tanguticus 9.4 ± 0.4a 8.2 ± 0.8b 7.7 ± 1.1b 10.2 ± 0.7a 8.9 ± 0.8b 7.8 ± 0.6c
狼毒 Stellera chamaejasme 14.3 ± 1.4a 11.8 ± 1.4b - - - -
鹅绒委陵菜 Potentilla anserina 4.5 ± 0.6a 3.2 ± 0.5b 3.1 ± 0.6b - - -
野草莓 Fragaria vesca 4.4 ± 0.7a 4.3 ± 0.8a 3.5 ± 0.5b - - -
华西委陵菜 Potentilla potaninii 3.3 ± 0.5a 2.5 ± 0.6b 2.2 ± 0.3b - - -
高山豆 Tibetia himalaica 4.1 ± 0.9a 3.0 ± 0.5b 2.8 ± 0.5b - - -
小花草玉梅 Anemone rivularis var. flore-minore - - - 5.3 ± 0.8a 4.6 ± 0.6b 4.4 ± 1.0b

Fig. 1

The mean floral longevity (mean ± SD) of 5 mutual species at low (2,900 m) and high (3,600 m) elevation. * P < 0.05."

Fig. 2

The mean flower longevity (mean ± SD) of community 3 & 4 when flowers were either pollinator exclusion, supplemental pollination or open pollination. * P < 0.05."

Fig 3

Differences in responses of floral longevity to pollinator exclusion (A) and supplemental pollination (B) and the plasticity of flower longevity (C)in populations of five mutual plant species from low and high elevation."

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