This dataset details the number of seeds produced by pollinator exposed and supplemented Eschscholzia californica plants introduced to habitats comprising different floral cover. Data was collected in June 2015 at the Hillesden estate, Buckinghamshire, UK. Experimental arrays were introduced across the study site. Arrays comprised of three E.californica plants separated by 1m and arranged in a triangular formation. A total of sixteen arrays were introduced across four 100ha replicate blocks, each separated by >500m. At the centre of each block, four experimental arrays were placed at 50m intervals along a 150m transect laid symmetrically across the boundary between an established wildflower patch and bare, fallow ground or grazed grassland (two arrays within the florally rich habitat and two arrays within the florally poor habitat). After 16 days plants were collected in and one flower from each plant was supplemented with outcrossed pollen. Upon fruit maturation the mean number of seeds counted from pollinator exposed fruit were then compared to the number of seeds from supplemented fruit to determine the degree of pollen limitation in relation to habitat context. The dataset was part of a larger experiment looking at the effect of floral resources on the pollination services to isolated plants.
Publication date: 2017-06-16
All open flowers were removed from the 48 E. californica plants prior to their placement in pre-marked locations across the landscape. Plants remained in the field for 16 days to ensure full anthesis of new flowers and to allow for multiple pollination events. After this period, we supplemented a flower from each of the 48 plants with outcrossed pollen. This involved methodically wiping four dehiscing anthers from a donor plant onto the receptive stigma of a pollinator exposed plant with dissecting tweezers. All fruit were then tagged and supplemented flowers were covered with fine muslin to protect against accidental windborne transfer of pollen from the glasshouse air-conditioning system. Plants were then collected and stored under controlled glasshouse conditions until fruit maturation. Upon maturation, tagged fruit were collected and the number of filled seeds per fruit were counted to quantify seed set per fruit. The degree of pollen limitation was expressed as a ratio between the mean seed set (field exposed plants) and the potential seed set (supplemented) in each of the 48 field exposed plants.