Effect of plant traits and population structure on the female reproductive success of the endemic Primula elatior subsp. bergidensis (Primulaceae)

This study explores the possible causes of variation in female reproductive success of the subspecific taxon Primula elatior subsp. bergidensis, a distylic endemic to the north-western Iberian Peninsula, by analysing both vegetative and reproductive traits. In three populations, we marked vegetative and reproductive individuals either by mapping the spatial position of every individual (in one population), or by establishing permanent quadrats (in the remainder two populations). We recorded floral morph (pin or thrum), width and length of the largest leaf, scape length, and number of flowers produced; all individuals were monitored to estimate the number of fruits and seeds produced. The results show that the morph ratio did not differ significantly from 1:1 in any of the populations. The number of flowers per plant varied between populations, and longer scape length was associated with higher fruit set in all populations. Plant size, scape length, and population spatial structure all had major effects on reproductive success, but the strength—and in some cases the direction—of the effects varied among populations.