MORALES Carolina Laura
Interspecific Pollen Transfer: Magnitude, Prevalence and Consequences for Plant Fitness
MORALES CAROLINA LAURA; TRAVESET ANNA
CRITICAL REVIEWS IN PLANT SCIENCES
Francis & Taylor Group
Lugar: Philadelphia, EEUU; Año: 2008 vol. 27 p. 221 - 221
Interspecific pollen transfer (IPT) is one of the mechanisms underlying potential competition among plants for pollinators, and it refers to movement of pollen between different plant species by pollinators that visit their flowers simultaneously. Two components of IPT, related to each other, are distinguished: (a) heterospecific pollen deposition (HPD) on conspecific stigmas, which may interfere with fertilization by conspecific pollen; and (b) conspecific pollen loss (CPL) on heterospecific flowers, which may reduce the amount of pollen transferred between conspecific flowers. Thus, IPT may lead to reciprocal losses for male and female functions of the plant, with potentially important ecological and evolutionary consequences. In this review, we explore the magnitude and prevalence of IPT, examining documented mechanisms and evaluating such potential ecological and evolutionary consequences. We compiled existing evidence of interspecific pollinator sharing and interspecific pollinator switching between flowers of different species in natural communities. We evaluated the relative importance of both HPD and CPL from studies comparing these variables in pure vs. mixed floral neighborhoods, analyzing evidence for the claim that IPT is an evolutionary force promoting character displacement in habitat affinity, flowering times, and floral morphology. We also examined the findings of hand-pollination experiments carried out to reveal different mechanisms by which heterospecific pollen can affect performance of native pollen. Finally, we review evidence for impacts of alien plant species on native species´ reproduction, and briefly comment on risks of crop-to-wild gene flow imposed by the release of genetically modified (transgenic) crops through IPT.