Abstract Detail


Xingwen, Loy [1], Morozumi, Connor [1], Schiffer, Annie [1], Brosi, Berry [1].

Does earlier flowering impact plant community seed set? .

In seasonal climates, when a plant blooms can impact its seed set because an individual’s environment changes with time. Examples of temporally variable abiotic factors that impact plant seed set include the threat of frost and available soil moisture, and biotic factors include the phenology of pollinators and the availability of conspecific pollen donors. Whilst studies have shown that flowering time impacts seed set of many plant species, the relative fitness of species in communities is rarely examined yet likely impacts long-term plant coexistence and diversity. We conducted a large-scale field experiment on subalpine wildflower communities in the Colorado Rocky Mountains. We induced early blooming in plant communities by accelerating snowmelt, a phenological trigger for many species in this system. We worked in seven spatially independent sites, each with a paired snowmelt acceleration and control plot. In manipulation plots, we successfully advanced species flowering time by up to three weeks, a substantial period in the brief subalpine growing season. Since our manipulations did not have a detectable effect on pollinator communities, this treatment may have created temporal mismatches between plants theirs pollinators. We collected and counted seeds from 12 plant species, and accounting for possible drivers of changes in seed set, including pollen limitation, floral neighborhood and soil moisture.

1 - Emory University, Environmental Science, 201 Dowman Drive, Atlanta, GA, 30322, United States

flowering phenology
Plant Community
climate change.

Presentation Type: Oral Paper
Session: ECO1, Ecology 1: Phenology
Location: Virtual/Virtual
Date: Tuesday, July 28th, 2020
Time: 11:15 AM
Number: ECO1006
Abstract ID:186
Candidate for Awards:None

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