An important consequence of self-compatibility in plants is that self-pollination can have deleterious effects on plant fitness because of inbreeding.Weconducted a hand pollination experiment under field conditions to measure the magnitude of inbreeding depression associated with self-pollination in the rare western prairie fringed-orchid Platanthera praeclara Sheviak and Bowles. By comparing capsules and seeds resulting from cross versus self-pollination treatments, we determined that self-pollination reduces seed quality while having no detectable effect on capsule production or seed numbers. A smaller percentage of seeds resulting from selfpollination contained an embryo (18%) relative to seeds from cross-pollination (46%). Seeds that had an embryo were scored for the size of the embryo, small or large. A smaller proportion of seeds from self-pollination contained a large embryo (75%) relative to seeds from cross-pollination (92%). These results suggest that sexual reproduction and recruitment in this rare plant are dependent on the frequency of pollinator visitations that result in outcrossing.
- Plant breeding systems
- Plant conservation
ASJC Scopus subject areas
- Ecology, Evolution, Behavior and Systematics
- Plant Science