A test of density-dependent pollination within three populations of endangered Pentachaeta lyonii
A major concern with endangered plants is that they might attract insufficient numbers of pollinators, produce low numbers of seeds, and decline towards extinction. We examined effects of density as it varied within populations on the pollination of Pentachaeta lyonii, an endangered species that requires pollinators for seed set. Generalist bee-flies and bees were abundant pollinators at three sites for two years. Per-capita visitation rates did not decline at sparse points or for plants placed on the order of 10 m away from other flowering individuals. Seed production was not pollinator-limited within patches, but seed set was low beyond 10 m from neighbours. Considering prior findings, factors such as habitat loss, competition with alien plants, and poor establishment of new populations likely contribute to the rarity of P. lyonii more than pollination failure.
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