International Journal of Wildland Fire International Journal of Wildland Fire Society
Journal of the International Association of Wildland Fire
RESEARCH ARTICLE

Reproductive success of wind, generalist, and specialist pollinated plant species following wildfire in desert landscapes

Andrew H. Lybbert A , Justin Taylor B , Alysa DeFranco B and Samuel B. St Clair B C
+ Author Affiliations
- Author Affiliations

A Department of Evolution, Ecology and Organismal Biology, The Ohio State University, Columbus, OH 43210, USA.

B Department of Plant and Wildlife Sciences, Brigham Young University, Provo, UT 84602, USA.

C Corresponding author. Email: stclair@byu.edu

International Journal of Wildland Fire 26(12) 1030-1039 https://doi.org/10.1071/WF16222
Submitted: 23 August 2016  Accepted: 8 August 2017   Published: 13 November 2017

Abstract

Wildfire can drastically affect plant sexual reproductive success in plant–pollinator systems. We assessed plant reproductive success of wind, generalist and specialist pollinated plant species along paired unburned, burned-edge and burned-interior locations of large wildfires in the Mojave Desert. Flower production of wind and generalist pollinated plants was greater in burned landscapes than adjacent unburned areas, whereas specialist species responses were more neutral. Fruit production of generalist species was greater in burned landscapes than in unburned areas, whereas fruit production of wind- and specialist-pollinated species showed no difference in burned and unburned landscapes. Plants surviving in wildfire-disturbed landscapes did not show evidence of pollination failure, as measured by fruit set and seed : ovule ratios. Generalist- and specialist-plant species established in the interior of burned landscapes showed no difference in fruit production than plants established on burned edges suggesting that pollination services are conserved with increasing distance from fire boundaries in burned desert landscapes. Stimulation of plant reproduction in burned environments due to competition release may contribute to the maintenance of pollinator services and re-establishment of the native plant community in post-fire desert environments.

Additional keywords: disturbance, Mojave Desert, pollination.


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