Possible mechanisms of pollination failure in hybrid carrot seed and implications for industry in a changing climate (2017)
AuthorsBroussard MA, Mas F, Howlett B, Pattemore D, Tylianakis JMshow all
Approximately one-third of our food globally comes from insect-pollinated crops. The dependence on pollinators has been linked to yield instability, which could potentially become worse in a changing climate. Insect-pollinated crops produced via hybrid breeding (20% of fruit and vegetable production globally) are especially at risk as they are even more reliant on pollinators than open-pollinated plants. We already observe a wide range of fruit and seed yields between different cultivars of the same crop species, and it is unknown how existing variation will be affected in a changing climate. In this study, we examined how three hybrid carrot varieties with differential performance in the field responded to three temperature regimes (cooler than the historical average, average, and warmer that the historical average). We tested how temperature affected the plants' ability to set seed (seed set, pollen viability) as well as attract pollinators (nectar composition, floral volatiles). We found that there were significant intrinsic differences in nectar phenolics, pollen viability, and seed set between the carrot varieties, and that higher temperatures did not exaggerate those differences. However, elevated temperature did negatively affect several characteristics relating to the attraction and reward of pollinators (lower volatile production and higher nectar sugar concentration) across all varieties, which may decrease the attractiveness of this already pollinator-limited crop. Given existing predictions of lower pollinator populations in a warmer climate, reduced attractiveness would add yet another challenge to future food production
CitationBroussard MA, Mas F, Howlett B, Pattemore D, Tylianakis JM (2017). Possible mechanisms of pollination failure in hybrid carrot seed and implications for industry in a changing climate. PLoS ONE. 12(6). e0180215-.
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ANZSRC Fields of Research07 - Agricultural and Veterinary Sciences::0703 - Crop and Pasture Production::070301 - Agro-ecosystem Function and Prediction
07 - Agricultural and Veterinary Sciences::0706 - Horticultural Production::070602 - Horticultural Crop Improvement (Selection and Breeding)
05 - Environmental Sciences::0501 - Ecological Applications::050101 - Ecological Impacts of Climate Change