Feb 1, 2006

A quantitative synthesis of pollen supplementation experiments highlights the contribution of resource reallocation to estimates of pollen limitation

American Journal of Botany
Tiffany M KnightTia-Lynn Ashman

Abstract

Our understanding of pollen limitation depends on a realistic view of its magnitude. Previous reviews of pollen supplementation experiments concluded that a majority of plant species suffers from pollen limitation and that its magnitude is high. Here, we perform a meta-analysis and find evidence that publication bias, experimental design, and the response variable chosen all influence the magnitude of pollen limitation. Fail-safe numbers indicate that publication bias exists for some measures of pollen limitation; significant results are more likely to be published and therefore available for review. Moreover, experiments conducted on only a fraction of a plant's flowers and reproductive episodes report ~8-fold higher effect sizes than those on all flowers produced over the entire lifetime, likely because resource reallocation among flowers and across years contributes to estimates of pollen limitation. Studies measuring percentage fruit set report higher values of pollen limitation than those measuring other response variables, such as seeds per fruit, perhaps because many plant species will not produce fruits unless adequate pollen receipt occurs to fertilize most ovules. We offer suggestions for reducing the bias introduced ...Continue Reading

Mentioned in this Paper

Meta-Analysis (Publications)
Plant Ovule
Female Ovule
Pollen
Bee pollen
Pollen (allergen)

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