Plant Ecology and Evolution 154(1): 49-55, doi: 10.5091/plecevo.2021.1676
Reproductive and pollination biology of the Critically Endangered endemic Campanula vardariana in Western Anatolia (Turkey)
expand article infoÜmit Subaşı, Aykut Güvensen§
‡ EGE UNIVERSİTY, İZMİR, Turkey§ Ege University, Izmir, Turkey
Open Access

Background and aimsCampanula vardariana (Campanulaceae) is a critically endangered endemic chasmophyte with a single population situated in the west of Turkey. Very little is known about the reproductive biology of C. vardariana and more information is needed to develop a sound conservation strategy for this endemic species.

Material and methods – Floral traits such as flower morphology, nectar, and sugar concentration, as well as pollen viability and stigma receptivity were measured in different floral phases. We observed insect visitations to the flowers and identified pollinators. Additionally, we investigated the effect of cross and self-pollination on fruit and seed production.

Key results – The flowers of C. vardariana are protandrous. The length of the styles, which were 8.74 mm during the pollen loading phase, reached 11.35 mm during the pollen presentation phase. The visitor observations made on the C. vardariana flowers revealed 11 visitor species from 5 families: 5 Halictidae, 3 Apidae, and one species each from Megachilidae, Colletidae, and Bombyliidae. Lasioglossum spp. touched the anthers and stigma using several parts of their bodies and were significant pollinators of C. vardariana. Under natural conditions, the mean number of seeds per fruit was around 60 after cross pollination, while no fruits were formed when pollinators were excluded.

ConclusionCampanula vardariana is entirely dependent on pollinators for its reproductive success, and bees, especially Halictidae and to a lesser extent Apidae, play an important role. Campanula vardariana is restricted to cracks in calcareous rocks and its population is threatened by goat overgrazing and mining activities (quarry formation). Since seed production is abundant in this population, anthropogenic activities currently form the biggest threat to its existence.

Campanula vardariana, conservation, endemic, pollination, reproductive biology


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