Lysimachia asperulifolia Poir., rough–leaf loosestrife, is a federally endangered species that is restricted to longleaf pine savanna – pocosin ecotones in North and South Carolina. Potential causes of the limited fruit and seed production typical of this species and possible effects of prescribed fire on these causes were examined. It was determined that insects rarely visit flowers and that the visitors, Augochlorella spp. and Lasioglossum spp., are not effective pollinators. However, results of artificial pollinations do not support the hypothesis that pollinator limitation alone restricts seed production. Levels of fertility and S allele diversity may vary across natural populations and, combined with ineffective pollination, enforce restricted fruit and seed production. Pollen fertility, amount of flowering, and number of fruits produced in natural populations did not increase following prescribed fire. Restricted seed germination further limits recruitment of genetic variation into populations. Pollinations and propagule dispersal among populations are precluded by habitat fragmentation. Alternative courses of action designed to increase fruit and seed production and seedling recruitment are recommended to those developing loosestrife conservation plans.
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Vol. 133 • No. 3