The spatio‐temporal distribution of pollen traits related to dispersal and desiccation tolerance in Canarian laurel forest

Nogue, S, Nascimento, L de, Graham, L, Brown, LA ORCID:, Gonzalez, LAG, Castilla-Beltran, A, Penuelas, J, Fernandez-Palacios, JM and Willis, KJ 2022, 'The spatio‐temporal distribution of pollen traits related to dispersal and desiccation tolerance in Canarian laurel forest' , Journal of Vegetation Science, 33 (5) .

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Questions Pollen traits (e.g., size, wall thickness, number of apertures) have been suggested to be relevant in terms of pollination mechanisms and the ability of the male gametophyte to withstand desiccation. We examined the spatiotemporal distribution of pollen traits related to dispersal (ornamentation and dispersal unit) and desiccation tolerance (wall thickness, presence of furrows and pores and pollen size). Specifically, we address two questions: how are the pollen traits distributed in relation to different levels of aridity? And, how did the pollen trait composition change with changing past environmental conditions? Location Laurel forests of La Gomera and Tenerife (Canary Islands). Methods We used pollen rain from 19 forest plots on an elevational gradient of 1050 m and all laurel forest types (cold, dry, humid and ridge crest) to quantify pollen trait composition using community-weighted means. In addition, we used fossil pollen to examine the composition of pollen traits over 9600 years in response to known intervals of regional past climate change. Results Our results demonstrated increased prevalence of desiccation tolerance-related pollen traits over drier areas of the laurel forest distribution. We also found increased prevalence of rich pollen grain ornamentation in the core of the laurel forest distribution. Holocene pollen functional diversity increased during a trend towards drier conditions as did the proportion of pollen grains with apertures and thicker walls to indicate desiccation tolerance. Conclusions Our study provides the first step towards understanding the role of pollen traits when quantifying the dynamics of different plant communities.

Item Type: Article
Schools: Schools > School of Environment and Life Sciences
Journal or Publication Title: Journal of Vegetation Science
Publisher: Wiley
ISSN: 1100-9233
Funders: British Ecological Society research grant, S.N. Spanish Ministry of Science, J.P. Catalan government grant, J.P. Fundación Ramón Areces grant ELEMENTAL-CLIMATE, J.P. Natural Environment Research Council
Depositing User: LA Brown
Date Deposited: 28 Oct 2022 07:21
Last Modified: 28 Oct 2022 08:00

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