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Abstract Detail

Ecological Section

Robertshaw, Asya [1], Emery, Nancy [2].

Effects of temperature, resources, and plant-pollinator interactions on reproductive success in Claytonia virginica (Portulacaceae).

Climate change is having significant impacts on the timing of life history events within natural and managed populations. Early spring wildflowers in woodland habitats are especially vulnerable to these changes because many critical stages of their life cycles are dependent on climate-related variables, such as the timing of snow melt, changes in soil and air temperature, and the timing of canopy closure. If plants and pollinators react differently to climate change, the interactions driving the structure and function of their community may be disrupted. Our research is examining the effects of natural temperature variation on phenological responses in spring ephemeral plant communities at the Ross Biological Reserve (Tippecanoe County,IN) and the consequences of increased temperature on local plant-pollinator community dynamics. In a multi-year field study, we are quantifying the relationships between air temperature, soil temperature and plant phenology in multiple species, and conducting a pollen supplementation experiment to test how these processes interact with pollinator diversity and abundance to shape seedset in a dominant spring ephemeral Claytonia virginica. Results from the first year indicate that C. virginica's flowering period overlaps with many other co-occurring spring herbs, but that resource limitation rather than pollen competition is the primary driver of seedset at this site, particularly late in the flowering season. While pollinators may not be a limiting resource at this site, we found that excluding pollinators dramatically decreased seedset, indicating that pollinators are critically important determinants of plant reproductive output. In addition to repeating this experiment over multiple years, we are establishing a manipulative warming experiment to examine the effects of increased temperatures on the timing of emergence, the synchrony of flowering, and reproductive success in this spring ephemeral plant community.

Broader Impacts:

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1 - Purdue University, Botany And Plant Pathology, 915 W State St, West Lafayette, IN, 47907, USA
2 - Purdue University, Biological Sciences & Botany and Plant Pathology, 915 W State St, West Lafayette, IN, 47907, USA

spring ephemerals
Claytonia virginica
Pollen limitation
climate change
plant-pollinator interaction.

Presentation Type: Oral Paper:Papers for Sections
Session: 21
Location: Union B/Hyatt
Date: Tuesday, July 10th, 2012
Time: 8:45 AM
Number: 21004
Abstract ID:668

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