In a similar fruiting architecture as cranberry, strawberry (Fragaria vesca) plants produce several fruit per reproductive stem and therefore face similar selection pressures in requiring to balance the needs for immediate reproduction and long-term growth and survival. We studied the production of fruit in strawberry plants as it relates to levels of pollination and flower position within the plants.
Like in our cranberry studies, we found that strawberry preferentially invests in the first developing fruit but can redirect resources to those in later positions when those in the first are compromised. We also found that pollination levels were not limiting fruit production in our study system, which relied entirely on native pollinatirs to effect fruit set, thus emphasizing the need for pesticide-free fruit production in agro-ecosystems that maintain some habitat for native biodiversity.
Please consult the final reports and posters for the field projects of my previous thesis students: