Pollen competition and environmental effects on hybridization dynamics between Phlox drummondii and Phlox cuspidata
Pollen competition between species strongly influences hybridization dynamics in plants. By performing single- and mixed-donor pollinations, we show that soil Ca alters the outcome of interspecific pollen competition in the annual Phlox hybrid system of Phlox cuspidata and P. drummondii. In the absence of interspecific pollen competition, heterospecific pollen siring success of both species was influenced most strongly by the maternal growth environment, such that hybridization was facilitated when heterospecific pollen was deposited on stigmas of maternal plants growing in high Ca soils. When heterospecific pollen was forced to compete against conspecific pollen, however, the maternal growth environment did not influence hybridization, but the environmental origin of heterospecific pollen did, and this effect depended on the maternal species. Pollen of P. drummondii was more effective at outcompeting P. cuspidata pollen and preventing hybridization in P. drummondii dams when P. cuspidata pollen was derived from low Ca. Pollen competition within pistils of P. cuspidata was unaffected by pollen Ca environment. In situations in which P. cuspidata grows in lower soil Ca than P. drummondii, as has been documented in one population, these results suggest that the competitive ability of heterospecific pollen will be diminished by environmental effects of soil Ca. Thus, the environment in which pollen develops can influence interspecific pollen competition and hybridization frequency. © 2007 Springer Science+Business Media, Inc.
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