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Keywords:

  • density dependence;
  • global change;
  • plant genetic resources;
  • plant mating systems;
  • revegetation

Abstract

Few studies have documented the impacts of habitat fragmentation on plant mating patterns together with fitness. Yet, these processes require urgent attention to better understand the impact of contemporary landscape change on biodiversity and for guiding native plant genetic resource management. We examined these relationships using the predominantly insect-pollinated Eucalyptus socialis. Progeny were collected from trees located in three increasingly disturbed landscapes in southern Australia and were planted out in common garden experiments. We show that individual mating patterns were increasingly impacted by lower conspecific density caused by habitat fragmentation. We determined that reduced pollen diversity probably has effects over and above those of inbreeding on progeny fitness. This provides an alternative mechanistic explanation for the indirect density dependence often inferred between conspecific density and offspring fitness.