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Title: Spatiotemporal Variation in Pollination Deficits in an Insect-Pollinated Dioecious Crop
Authors: Castro, Helena Isabel Ferreira de 
Siopa, Catarina Constantino 
Casais, Vinícius 
Castro, Mariana
Loureiro, João 
Gaspar, Hugo 
Dias, Maria Celeste Pereira 
Castro, Silvia 
Keywords: Actinidia; Kiwifruit; ecosystem services; hand-pollination; pollen limitation; production
Issue Date: 22-Jun-2021
Volume: 10
Issue: 7
Abstract: Inadequate quantity and quality of pollen reaching the stigmas decreases the sexual reproductive output of plants, compromising yield. Still, the current extent of pollen limitation affecting yield (i.e., pollination deficits) is poorly quantified. This study is aimed at quantifying pollination deficits in kiwifruit orchards, a dioecious plant with a fruit caliber and market value largely dependent on pollination services. For that, we set up a pollination experiment and quantified services and yield provided by current pollination vectors, and under optimal pollination, over two years in a total of twenty-three orchards covering the kiwifruit production range in Portugal. We characterized nine fruit traits and used: (1) fruit weight to calculate pollination deficits and relate them with pollinator diversity and abundance, and environmental variables; and (2) production values, fruit caliber, and market values to calculate economic impact of pollination deficits. Results showed that pollination deficits were variable in time and space and were significantly and negatively correlated with pollinator abundance, while the opposite pattern was obtained for production, supporting the notion that a higher pollinator's abundance is related to lower pollination deficits and higher yields. Understanding the factors affecting pollination deficits is crucial to depict the need for nature-based solutions promoting pollinators and to resort to management practices assisting pollination.
ISSN: 2223-7747
DOI: 10.3390/plants10071273
Rights: openAccess
Appears in Collections:I&D CFE - Artigos em Revistas Internacionais

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