The yellow carnation Dianthus guliae Janka is a rare endemic of the Italian peninsula. As numerous extinctions have occurred in the past, very few populations are still present. Two years of field surveys revealed high mortality and an absence of recruitment in the southernmost populations of this species. Work in a botanical garden, under semi-natural conditions, revealed the occurrence of proterandrous hermaphroditism and selfcompatibility. The durable flower lifespan, the competitive effects among flowers and the different outcomes from spontaneous and hand-performed pollinations (with both self and cross-pollen) suggested low pollination rates in the experimental stand. Pollinator exclusion experiments revealed a low frequency of delayed autonomous selfing, suggesting that self-fertilization in D. guliae relies mainly on facilitated selfing and geitonogamy. Studies of inbreeding depression during the early life-history stages revealed significant differences between selfed and crossed progenies in terms of seed mass, germination rates, developmental vigour and mortality rates. Therefore, when pollen delivery is scarce, the plant may fail reproductive assurance via autonomous selfing. The influence of inbreeding depression contributes to a further reduction in recruitment chances in very small D. guliae populations. Experimental reintroductions are urgent to avoid local extinction at the southern periphery of its range.
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|Titolo:||Do inefficient selfing and inbreeding depression challenge the persistence of the rare Dianthus guliae Janka (Caryophyllaceae). Influence of reproductive traits on a plant’s proneness to extinction|
|Data di pubblicazione:||2009|
|Appare nelle tipologie:||1.1 Articolo in rivista|