Influence of floral diversity and fire management on pollination success in rewardless orchids.
Nomann, Benjamin1, Buchanan, Amanda*,1, 1 Florida State University, Tallahassee, FL
ABSTRACT- Pollination success in rewardless orchids has been hypothesized to increase (magnet species effect) or to decrease (remote habitat effect) in the presence of rewarding flowers. In addition, fire has been shown to increase the diversity and abundance of flowering plants and thus might increase the abundance of rewarding flowers. We investigated the effects of fire, natural flower diversity and abundance, and experimental magnet plants on the pollination success (measured by fruit set) of the rewardless orchid Calopogon barbatus in Florida longleaf pine forests. We compared fruit set for orchids in burned and unburned sites, with and without experimental additions of rewarding magnet plants, and measured the diversity of the natural flower community across sites. Recent fire (burned within 12 months) significantly decreased pollination success. However, we found no effect of recent fire on natural flower diversity or abundance and no effect of experimental magnet plants on pollination success. Our results support neither the magnet species nor the remote habitat hypotheses, as the presence of magnet plants neither increased nor decreased pollination success, and our results do not reflect other findings that fire treatment increases floral diversity or abundance.
Key words: orchid pollination, fire-managed forest, orchidaceae
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