Pollen dispersal was investigated in six populations of Calothamnus quadrifidus, a bird-pollinated shrub in the fragmented agricultural region of southern Western Australia. Paternity analysis using six microsatellite loci identified a pollen source within populations for 67% of seedlings, and the remainder were assumed to have arisen from pollen sources outside the populations. Outcrossing was variable, ranging from 5% to 82%, and long-distance pollen dispersal was observed in all populations with up to 43% of pollen sourced from outside the populations over distances of up to 5 km. This extensive pollen immigration was positively associated with population size but not isolation. Comparison of two populations of similar size but different density showed greater internal pollination and less selfing in the denser population, suggesting an influence of density on pollinator behaviour. The study revealed extensive long-distance pollen dispersal for C. quadrifidus within this fragmented agricultural landscape and highlighted the interaction between reserve populations and isolated road verge remnants in maintaining genetic connectivity at the landscape scale.
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