Reproductive ecology of Epilobium hirsutum L. an invasive alien species in Kashmir Himalaya

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Research Articles | Published:

Print ISSN : 0970-4078.
Online ISSN : 2229-4473.
Pub Email:
Doi: 10.1007/s42535-022-00357-8
First Page: 910
Last Page: 922
Views: 1389

Keywords: Epilobium hirsutum , Invasive, Pollen biology, Breeding behavior


Invasive plants are an issue of great concern globally. The concerned plant species threaten native biodiversity and cause ecological and economic damage. They develop different reproductive strategies to perpetuate in different environments. Hence insights into reproductive biology are necessary for developing different conservation protocols. The present study was carried out to determine the complete reproductive biology of the E. hirsutum, an invasive alien plant species of Kashmir Himalaya growing at an altitudinal range of 1500–2700 m.a.s.l. As revealed by the present study, seed was the main propagule for the spread of the species, because the percent seed set and percent seed viability were found to be high in KUBG population (95.13% and 93.3%, respectively). The highest percentage germination was found in seeds treated with 25 ppm IAA (100%). The decline in MGT was observed in seeds treated with 25 and 50 ppm Thiourea. The results revealed the highest pollen ovule ratio in Shopian population (30.01 ± 3.25) and the lowest in the Shalimar population (26.92 ± 27). Moreover pollen germination was found maximum in a medium containing sucrose, boric acid, calcium nitrate, potassium nitrate, and magnesium sulphate in the ratio of 1:1 (46.1%). Stigma was found to be most receptive during the fifth day after anthesis (24.89%). The species show mixed mating strategies. The highest percent seed set was found in cross-pollinated flowers (74.58%) followed by geitonogamy (43.35%). Based on the insect visiting efficiency the Bracon sp. was found to be the main pollinator of the species with a visiting efficiency of (0.09 ± 0.0). Our results provide a detailed account of the reproductive biology of the species which help us to predict its potential for future spread. Maximum seed viability, outcrossing nature of the species, generalist large pollinator species, and maximum germination potential of seeds are some of the reproductive attributes which are the main causes for the spread of the species.

                Epilobium hirsutum
              , Invasive, Pollen biology, Breeding behavior

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We are highly thankful to the Department of Botany, University of Kashmir for providing the necessary facilities.

Author Information

Ashraf Asma
Plant Reproductive Biology, Genetic Diversity and Phytochemistry Research Laboratory, Department of Botany, University of Kashmir, Srinagar, India

Hassan Afrozah
Plant Reproductive Biology, Genetic Diversity and Phytochemistry Research Laboratory, Department of Botany, University of Kashmir, Srinagar, India

Nawchoo Irshad A.
Plant Reproductive Biology, Genetic Diversity and Phytochemistry Research Laboratory, Department of Botany, University of Kashmir, Srinagar, India