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18 September 2018 Pollination Ecology and Morphology of Venus Flytrap in Sites of Varying Time Since Last Fire
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Abstract

Management of natural habitats is an important strategy for rare plant conservation. One common tool for managing natural habitats is the use of controlled fire. Rare plants in fire-dependent ecosystems often rely on frequent fires to increase nutrient availability, initiate germination, and limit cover from light competitors. Fire can also alter arthropod communities, including the pollinator communities upon which many flowering plants rely for sexual reproduction. However, it remains unclear how fire affects the pollination ecology of rare plants in fire-dependent ecosystems. Here we studied sites of varying burn history to examine the role of time since last fire on the morphology, flower visitor community, and degree of pollen limitation of seed production of Venus flytrap (Dionaea muscipula). The area occupied by blooming D. muscipula and number of traps per individual decreased with increasing time since burn. Though flower visitor richness and evenness were highest in sites of intermediate time post-burn, we found no differences in the composition of the flower visitor community in sites of different burn histories. Hand-pollinated flowers produced 8.3% more seeds per fruit than open-pollinated flowers, indicating that D. muscipula was pollen-limited, but burn history did not affect the magnitude of pollen limitation. Though we found no clear effect of burn history on the pollination ecology of D. muscipula, differences in blooming area and trap number suggest that burn history influences its distribution and growth, and affirms the benefits of frequent fires to its persistence.

© The Author(s) 2018. Published by Oxford University Press on behalf of Entomological Society of America. All rights reserved. For permissions, please e-mail: journals.permissions@oup.com.
Laura E. Hamon, Elsa Youngsteadt, Rebecca E. Irwin, and Clyde E. Sorenson "Pollination Ecology and Morphology of Venus Flytrap in Sites of Varying Time Since Last Fire," Annals of the Entomological Society of America 112(3), 141-149, (18 September 2018). https://doi.org/10.1093/aesa/say032
Received: 29 March 2018; Accepted: 15 August 2018; Published: 18 September 2018
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