Temporal variation in the female components of reproductive success over the extended flowering season of a Mediterranean perennial herb

F. Xavier Picó, J. Retana

Research output: Contribution to journalArticleResearchpeer-review

37 Citations (Scopus)

Abstract

We examined the reproductive success of the perennial herb Lobularia maritima during its extended flowering and fruiting season. The within- and between-year variability of the female components of reproductive success (from flower, fruit and seed production to seed survival, seed germination and seedling establishment) were analysed during four flowering seasons. All the components of reproductive success studied showed a significant within- and between-year variation. September was the period of the year with the maximum values of flower and fruit production, and the highest germination and establishment rates. Nevertheless, seed losses due to both predispersal and postdispersal seed predation during this period were also the highest, seriously reducing seed output in this period. On the other hand, in those periods in which seed production was low, i.e. January and May, the percentage of seeds lost to seed predators was the lowest. Reproductive success in each period of the flowering season was estimated using a simple demographic model, in which the information concerning all the components already calculated was integrated. The two variables used to estimate reproductive success in each period, i.e. the number of new individuals produced per plant and the probability of a seed becoming an adult plant, showed relatively small differences over the year. These results suggest a counter-balance of the different components of reproductive success in this species, with favourable and unfavourable periods for the different components being compensated during its extended flowering season.
Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)485-492
JournalOikos
Volume89
Issue number3
DOIs
Publication statusPublished - 1 Jan 2000

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