01 April, 2014

Pollen from dandelions reduces seed set of native plants

by Deirdre Loughnan, James D. Thomson, Jane E. Ogilvie, and Benjamin Gilbert

Flower-visiting insects tend to visit single species of plants, but in some circumstances they switch flower types within a foraging bout and therefore deposit mixed loads of pollen on stigmas.  In a few species, the receipt of foreign pollen has been shown to depress fruit or seed set in the recipient flower.  This phenomenon is termed “pollen allelopathy,” and the presumed mode of action is through soluble chemicals leached from the pollen grains.  

Read the whole summary in: English!
Read the scientific publication in JPE.
Non-native dandelions (Taraxacum officinale, yellow flower heads) invade a subalpine meadow below Mt. Crested Butte, Colorado, USA, where the study was performed.

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