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Reproductive success of wind, generalist, and specialist pollinated plant species following wildfire in desert landscapes
Wildfire can drastically affect plant sexual reproductive success 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, while specialist species responses were more neutral. Fruit production of generalist species was greater in burned landscapes than unburned areas while 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 naitve plant community in post-fire desert environments.
WF16222 Accepted 08 August 2017
© CSIRO 2017