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Pollination insights for the conservation of a rare threatened plant species, Astragalus tragacantha (Fabaceae)

Abstract : The increase in habitat fragmentation impacts plant-pollinator interactions and threatens the sustainability of plant species. Astragalus tragacantha (Fabaceae), is a rare endangered plant species along the coastal habitats where the plant populations have undergone considerable fragmentation and decline of size. Controlled pollination treatments, the observation of pollinator activity, and pollinator captures, have been conducted to study: (1) the mating system of A. tragacantha and the potential for inbreeding depression and/or out-breeding depression based on controlled pollination treatments, (2) the pollinator composition among populations using a correspondence analysis and a hierarchical clustering, and (3) the link between pollinators and the plant reproductive success using a path-analysis model. In this study, we demonstrated that this plant was not autogamous self-pollinating and depended on pollinators for its reproduction. The absence of difference between manual and open pollinations regarding the reproductive success showed an absence of pollen limitation in our populations. We showed that populations differed in the composition of their pollinator guilds. Some pollinator species were predominant in certain populations. The pollination treatments revealed the existence of a mixed mating system in A. tragacan-tha populations. We showed an inbreeding depression potentially linked to a predominant pollinator-facilitated selfing, and the existence of outbreeding depression between some distant populations. These differences in pollinator guild and plant mating systems among populations must be considered during the restoration of populations along the Mediter-ranean coastal habitats in order to enhance the reproductive success and sustainability of A. tragacantha.
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Submitted on : Monday, September 16, 2019 - 2:18:30 PM
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Lucie Schurr, Laurence Affre, F. Flacher, Thierry Tatoni, L. Le Mire Pecheux, et al.. Pollination insights for the conservation of a rare threatened plant species, Astragalus tragacantha (Fabaceae). Biodiversity and Conservation, Springer Verlag, 2019, 28 (6), pp.1389-1409. ⟨10.1007/s10531-019-01729-4⟩. ⟨hal-02087562⟩

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