Distribution by Scientific Domains
Distribution within Life Sciences

Kinds of Pollinators

  • effective pollinator
  • efficient pollinator
  • important pollinator
  • insect pollinator
  • main pollinator

  • Terms modified by Pollinators

  • pollinator abundance
  • pollinator activity
  • pollinator assemblage
  • pollinator attraction
  • pollinator behaviour
  • pollinator density
  • pollinator diversity
  • pollinator fauna
  • pollinator interaction
  • pollinator limitation
  • pollinator mutualism
  • pollinator shift
  • pollinator species
  • pollinator specificity
  • pollinator taxa
  • pollinator visitation

  • Selected Abstracts

    The evolution of floral scent: the influence of olfactory learning by insect pollinators on the honest signalling of floral rewards

    FUNCTIONAL ECOLOGY, Issue 5 2009
    Geraldine A. Wright
    Summary 1.,The evolution of flowering plants has undoubtedly been influenced by a pollinator's ability to learn to associate floral signals with food. Here, we address the question of ,why' flowers produce scent by examining the ways in which olfactory learning by insect pollinators could influence how floral scent emission evolves in plant populations. 2.,Being provided with a floral scent signal allows pollinators to learn to be specific in their foraging habits, which could, in turn, produce a selective advantage for plants if sexual reproduction is limited by the income of compatible gametes. Learning studies with honeybees predict that pollinator-mediated selection for floral scent production should favour signals which are distinctive and exhibit low variation within species because these signals are learned faster. Social bees quickly learn to associate scent with the presence of nectar, and their ability to do this is generally faster and more reliable than their ability to learn visual cues. 3.,Pollinators rely on floral scent as a means of distinguishing honestly signalling flowers from deceptive ones. Furthermore, a pollinator's sensitivity to differences in nectar rewards can bias the way that it responds to floral scent. This mechanism may select for flowers that provide olfactory signals as an honest indicator of the presence of nectar or which select against the production of a detectable scent signal when no nectar is present. 4.,We expect that an important yet commonly overlooked function of floral scent is an improvement in short-term pollinator specificity which provides an advantage to both pollinator and plant over the use of a visual signal alone. This, in turn, impacts the evolution of plant mating systems via its influence on the species-specific patterns of floral visitation by pollinators. [source]

    Optimal foraging when predation risk increases with patch resources: an analysis of pollinators and ambush predators

    OIKOS, Issue 5 2010
    Emily I. Jones
    Pollinators and their predators share innate and learned preferences for high quality flowers. Consequently, pollinators are more likely to encounter predators when visiting the most rewarding flowers. I present a model of how different pollinator species can maximize lifetime resource gains depending on the density and distribution of predators, as well as their vulnerability to capture by predators. For pollinator species that are difficult for predators to capture, the optimal strategy is to visit the most rewarding flowers as long as predator density is low. At higher predator densities and for pollinators that are more vulnerable to predator capture, the lifetime resource gain from the most rewarding flowers declines and the optimal strategy depends on the predator distribution. In some cases, a wide range of floral rewards provides near-maximum lifetime resource gains, which may favor generalization if searching for flowers is costly. In other cases, a low flower reward level provides the maximum lifetime resource gain and so pollinators should specialize on less rewarding flowers. Thus, the model suggests that predators can have qualitatively different top-down effects on plant reproductive success depending on the pollinator species, the density of predators, and the distribution of predators across flower reward levels. [source]

    Differences in pollinator faunas may generate geographic differences in floral morphology and integration in Narcissus papyraceus (Amaryllidaceae)

    OIKOS, Issue 11 2007
    Rocío Pérez-Barrales
    Pollinators may generate selective pressures that affect covariation patterns of multiple traits as well as the mean values of single floral morphological traits. Berg predicted that flowers pollinated by animals whose morphology closely matches the flower's shape will be phenotypically more integrated (tighter correlation of flower traits) than will flowers pollinated by animals not closely fitting the floral morphology. We tested this hypothesis by comparing, in the Strait of Gibraltar region (south Spain, northern Morocco), populations of Narcissus papyraceus that have geographical differences in pollinator faunas. Long-tongued, nectar-feeding moths dominate the pollinator faunas of those populations close to the Strait of Gibraltar, whereas short-tongued, pollen-feeding syrphid flies dominate in peripheral populations farther from the Strait. Populations pollinated by moths and flies differed in the mean values of several floral traits, consistent with the evolution of regional pollination ecotypes. Populations pollinated by moths showed stronger intercorrelation (floral integration) than populations pollinated by hoverflies. Moth-pollinated populations also showed less variation in flower traits than vegetative traits, and this difference was stronger than in fly-pollinated populations. Thus, the pattern of differences in the phenotypic architecture of the Narcissus flowers is consistent with the hypothesis that populations have responded to different selective pressures generated by different pollinators. These data also supported most of the specific predictions of Berg's hypotheses about integration and modularity. [source]

    Pollinators, flowering phenology and floral longevity in two Mediterranean Aristolochia species, with a review of flower visitor records for the genus

    PLANT BIOLOGY, Issue 1 2009
    R. Berjano
    Abstract The pollination of Aristolochia involves the temporary confinement of visitors inside the flower. A literature review has shown that some species are visited by one or a few dipteran families, while others are visited by a wider variety of dipterans, but only some of these are effective pollinators. We observed flowering phenology and temporal patterns of pollinator attendance in diverse populations of Aristolochia baetica and A. paucinervis, two species that grow in SW Spain, frequently in mixed populations. The two species had overlapping floral phenologies, extended flowering periods and long-lived flowers. A. baetica attracted a higher number of visitors than A. paucinervis. Drosophilids and, to a lesser extent, phorids, were the main pollinators of A. baetica, whereas in A. paucinervis, phorids were the only pollinators. Attendance to A. paucinervis flowers by phorids in mixed populations was markedly lower than in pure populations. This effect was more evident in years with lower pollinator density. Our results suggest that A. baetica and A. paucinervis may compete for pollinators in mixed populations. [source]

    Pollinators and Reproductive Success of the Wild Cucurbit Cucurbita maxima ssp. andreana (Cucurbitaceae)

    PLANT BIOLOGY, Issue 4 2001
    L. Ashworth
    Abstract: We studied the reproductive success and pollinators of Cucurbita maxima ssp. andreana in different disturbed habitats where it grows naturally. Data were obtained from three populations. One grew within a soybean crop, the other within a corn crop, and the third in an abandoned crop field. Cucurbita maxima ssp. andreana is an annual vine with a flowering period from December to April. Male flowers appear first, thereafter female and male flowers appear together. Flower lifetime (9 h) was similar in male and female flowers. The pollinator guild was comparable for the three populations but some differences in the frequency of the insect species were observed. Native bees were the main pollinators in the population in the abandoned field, while beetles pollinated the populations in crop fields. These differences were not linked with the pre-emergent reproductive success, fruit and seed set, or fruit quality. This is a self-compatible plant. Fruit and seed set and fruit traits (total mass, width and length of fruits, number of seeds per fruit, and seed mass) did not show significant differences between hand-cross and hand-self pollinated flowers. This wild cucurbit is a generalist with respect to pollinator guild, and flower visitors seem to be highly efficient in pollen transference. Cucurbita maxima ssp. andreana is well adapted to disturbed habitats because plants ripened fruits successfully, regardless of the group of insects visiting flowers. [source]

    Different Stimuli Reduce Attraction to Pollinators in Male and Female Figs in the Dioecious Fig Ficus hispida

    BIOTROPICA, Issue 6 2009
    Hao-Yuan Hu
    ABSTRACT Fig trees (Ficus) and their obligate pollinating wasps (Hymenoptera, Chalcidoidea, Agaonidae) are a classic example of a coevolved mutualism. Pollinating wasps are attracted to figs only when figs are receptive. It has been shown that figs will lose their attraction to pollinators sooner in monoecious and male dioecious figs when multiple pollinators have entered the enclosed inflorescence. However, little is known about the nature of the stimulus inducing the loss of attraction. By conducting experiments on the functionally dioecious fig, Ficus hispida, we show that (1) different stimuli induce the loss of attraction in each sex, pollination in female figs, and oviposition in male figs; and (2) foundress number affects the loss of attraction in both sexes only when the prerequisites (i.e., pollination in female figs and oviposition in male figs) have been satisfied. In general, the more foundresses that enter, the earlier the fig will lose its receptivity. We argue that the stimuli in male and female figs are adaptations to the fulfillment of its respective reproduction. [source]

    Estudio Fenológico de Cactíceas en el Enclave Seco de la Tatacoa, Colombia,

    BIOTROPICA, Issue 3 2000
    Adriana Ruiz
    RESUMEN Durance un año se realizó el estudio fenológico de tres cactáceas columnares Stenocereus griseus (Haw.) Britton & Rose, Pilosocereus sp., Cereus hexagonus (L.) Mill., y una cactácea decumbente, Monvillea cf. smithiana (Britton & Rose) Backeberg., en el enclave seco interandino de La Tatacoa, Colombia. Los polinizadores y/o dispersores de las cactáceas fueron capturados mensualmente y se recolectaron las muestras fecales para la identificatión de los granos de polen y las semillas de los frutos consumidos. La floración de todas las especies fue prolongada y mostraron patrones bimodales, multimodales, o irregulares. La fructificación en todas las especies también se extendió durante todo el año, con un desfase de dos meses con respecto a la floración. Aunque no se encontró una correlatión significativa entre los valores mensuales de precipitatión y la producción de flores y frutos, la floración durante la época seca fue mayor en S. griseus, mientras que Pilosocereus sp. y C. hexagonus mostraron los valores más altos durante la época de lluvias. La productión de frutos también fue estacional, con un incremento durante la época de lluvias para S. griseus y C. hexagonus. La floración y fructificatión en M. cf. smithiana no mostraron diferencias significativas entre la época seca y la lluviosa. Los murciélagos Glossophaga longirostris, Carollia perspicillata, Sturnira lilium y algunas aves como Melanerpes rubricapillus (Picidae) y Mimus gilvus (Mimidae), y una mariposa nocturna (Sphingidae), fueron algunos de los polinizadores y/o consumidores de estas especies de cactáceas. ABSTRACT A one-year phenological study of three columnar cacti, Stenocereus griseus (Haw.) Britton & Rose, Pilosocereus sp., Cereus hexagonus (L.) Mill., and a decumbent cactus Monvillea cf. smithiana (Britton & Rose) Backeberg., was carried out in the Andean arid region of La Tatacoa, Colombia. Pollinators and/or dispersers of the cacti species also were studied monthly, and fecal samples were collected for the identification of pollen and seeds. The flowering of all species was prolonged and showed bimodal, multimodal, or irregular patterns. Fruiting in all species also was prolonged and followed flowering with a lag of less than two months. Although there were no simple correlations between rainfall and flowering or fruiting, flower production during the dry season was higher for 5. griseus, while Pilosocereus sp. and C. hexagonus showed higher flower production during the wet season. Fruit production was also seasonal, with higher production during the wet season for 5. griseus and C. hexagonus. The patterns of flowering and fruiting in M. cf. smithiana showed no relationships with dry and wet seasons. The bats Glossophaga longirostris, Carollia perspicillata, Sturnira lilium, the birds Melanerpes rubricapillus (Picidae) and Mimus gilvus (Mimidae), and moths of the family Sphingidae, were identified as pollinators and/or fruit consumers of these cacti species. [source]

    The role of nectar production, flower pigments and odour in the pollination of four species of Passiflora (Passifloraceae) in south-eastern Brazil

    The pollination biology of four species of passionflower was studied in south-eastern Brazil, specifically the importance of chemical features of floral nectar, pigments and odours. All species required pollinators to produce fruits: P. alata was pollinated by bees, P. speciosa by hummingbirds, and P. galbana and P. mucronata by bats. Pollinators consumed nectar as a food source. The activity of vertebrate pollinators reflected resource availability: they foraged when large amounts of nectar were available and when quantitative resource predictability was greater. The nectar of the vertebrate-pollinated species was richer in cholesterol and phospholipids, and had a potassium-sodium ratio higher than 1.0. For all species, the light absorption of flowers was paralleled by the pollinators' visual spectral sensitivity. This first report on Passiflora floral volatile compounds showed that there was a greater chemical class diversity among the species pollinated by animals with an acute olfactory sense, such as bees and bats. Benzenoid alcohols were the most represented compounds. The fragrances contained compounds that occur in other plant species and in the exocrine secretions of bees. This study shows a strong association between pollinators and the attracting and rewarding features of flowers. [source]

    Reciprocal specialization in ecological networks

    ECOLOGY LETTERS, Issue 9 2009
    Lucas N. Joppa
    Abstract Theories suggest that food webs might consist of groups of species forming ,blocks', ,compartments' or ,guilds'. We consider ecological networks , subsets of complete food webs , involving species at adjacent trophic levels. Reciprocal specializations occur when (say) a pollinator (or group of pollinators) specializes on a particular flower species (or group of such species) and vice versa. Such specializations tend to group species into guilds. We characterize the level of reciprocal specialization for both antagonistic interactions , particularly parasitoids and their hosts , and mutualistic ones , such as insects and the flowers that they pollinate. We also examine whether trophic patterns might be ,palimpsests', that is, there might be reciprocal specialization within taxonomically related species within a network, but these might be obscured when these relationships are combined. Reciprocal specializations are rare in all these systems when tested against the most conservative null model. [source]

    Food or sex; pollinator,prey conflict in carnivorous plants

    ECOLOGY LETTERS, Issue 6 2001
    B. Anderson
    Carnivorous plants potentially trap their own pollinators and it has been argued that considerable spatial separation of flowers and traps has evolved to protect pollinators. We investigated flower-trap separation of Drosera and Utricularia. Short Drosera had a greater element of floral,trap separation than tall Drosera. Such a relationship is unexpected for plants whose peduncles were evolved to protect their pollinators. Utricularia can not trap pollinators but this genus still produces exceptionally long peduncles. We propose that flower-trap separation evolved because carnivorous plants are often short and need to project their flowers well above ground level to make them more attractive to pollinators. [source]

    Pollination mutualism between a new species of the genus Colocasiomyia de Meijere (Diptera: Drosophilidae) and Steudnera colocasiifolia (Araceae) in Yunnan, China

    Kohei TAKENAKA
    Abstract A new species of the genus Colocasiomyia de Meijere (Diptera: Drosophilidae) was discovered from inflorescences of Steudnera colocasiifolia K. Koch (Araceae) in Yunnan, China. The new species is described as Colocasiomyia steudnerae Takenaka and Toda, sp. nov., and we investigated the reproductive ecology of both the fly and the plant species. This fly species reproduces in the inflorescences/infructescences of the plant, and depends almost throughout its entire life cycle on the host plant. The fly species is the most abundant flower visitor for S. colocasiifolia and behaves intimately with the flowering events, suggesting that it is the unique and most efficient pollinator for the host plant. Bagging (insect-exclusion) treatment of inflorescences resulted in no fruits. These findings strongly suggest that intimate pollination mutualism has evolved between the fly and the host plant, as are known in other Colocasiomyia flies and Araceae plants. One notable feature of this system is that the new species almost monopolizes the host-plant inflorescence as a visitor, without any cohabiting Colocasiomyia species. In comparison to other cases where two Colocasiomyia species share the same inflorescence and infructescence of Araceae host plants for reproduction by separating their breeding niches microallopatrically between the staminate (upper male-flower) and the pistillate (lower female-flower) regions on the spadix, C. steudnerae exhibits a mixture of stamenicolous and pistillicolous breeding habits. [source]


    EVOLUTION, Issue 6 2000
    Manfred Ayasse
    Abstract The orchid Ophrys sphegodes Miller is pollinated by sexually excited males of the solitary bee Andrena nigroaenea, which are lured to the flowers by visual cues and volatile semiochemicals. In O. sphegodes, visits by pollinators are rare. Because of this low frequency of pollination, one would expect the evolution of strategies that increase the chance that males will visit more than one flower on the same plant; this would increase the number of pollination events on a plant and therefore the number of seeds produced. Using gas chromatography-mass spectrometry (GC-MS) analyses, we identified more than 100 compounds in the odor bouquets of labellum extracts from O. sphegodes; 24 compounds were found to be biologically active in male olfactory receptors based on gas chromatography with electroantennographic detection (GC-EAD). Gas chromatography (GC) analyses of odors from individual flowers showed less intraspecific variation in the odor bouquets of the biologically active compounds as compared to nonactive compounds. This can be explained by a higher selective pressure on the pollinator-attracting communication signal. Furthermore, we found a characteristic variation in the GC-EAD active esters and aldehydes among flowers of different stem positions within an inflorescence and in the n-alkanes and n-alkenes among plants from different populations. In our behavioral field tests, we showed that male bees learn the odor bouquets of individual flowers during mating attempts and recognize them in later encounters. Bees thereby avoid trying to mate with flowers they have visited previously, but do not avoid other flowers either of a different or the same plant. By varying the relative proportions of saturated esters and aldehydes between flowers of different stem positions, we demonstrated that a plant may take advantage of the learning abilities of the pollinators and influence flower visitation behavior. Sixty-seven percent of the males that visited one flower in an inflorescence returned to visit a second flower of the same inflorescence. However, geitonogamy is prevented and the likelihood of cross-fertilization is enhanced by the time required for the pollinium deposited on the pollinator to complete its bending movement, which is necessary for pollination to occur. Cross-fertilization is furthermore enhanced by the high degree of odor variation between plants. This variation minimizes learned avoidance of the flowers and increases the likelihood that a given pollinator would visit several to many different plants within a population. [source]

    The evolution of floral scent: the influence of olfactory learning by insect pollinators on the honest signalling of floral rewards

    FUNCTIONAL ECOLOGY, Issue 5 2009
    Geraldine A. Wright
    Summary 1.,The evolution of flowering plants has undoubtedly been influenced by a pollinator's ability to learn to associate floral signals with food. Here, we address the question of ,why' flowers produce scent by examining the ways in which olfactory learning by insect pollinators could influence how floral scent emission evolves in plant populations. 2.,Being provided with a floral scent signal allows pollinators to learn to be specific in their foraging habits, which could, in turn, produce a selective advantage for plants if sexual reproduction is limited by the income of compatible gametes. Learning studies with honeybees predict that pollinator-mediated selection for floral scent production should favour signals which are distinctive and exhibit low variation within species because these signals are learned faster. Social bees quickly learn to associate scent with the presence of nectar, and their ability to do this is generally faster and more reliable than their ability to learn visual cues. 3.,Pollinators rely on floral scent as a means of distinguishing honestly signalling flowers from deceptive ones. Furthermore, a pollinator's sensitivity to differences in nectar rewards can bias the way that it responds to floral scent. This mechanism may select for flowers that provide olfactory signals as an honest indicator of the presence of nectar or which select against the production of a detectable scent signal when no nectar is present. 4.,We expect that an important yet commonly overlooked function of floral scent is an improvement in short-term pollinator specificity which provides an advantage to both pollinator and plant over the use of a visual signal alone. This, in turn, impacts the evolution of plant mating systems via its influence on the species-specific patterns of floral visitation by pollinators. [source]

    Private channel: a single unusual compound assures specific pollinator attraction in Ficus semicordata

    FUNCTIONAL ECOLOGY, Issue 5 2009
    Chun Chen
    Summary 1.,Floral scents have been suggested to play a key role in the obligate pollination mutualism between figs and fig wasps. However, few studies have determined whether pollinator-attractive compounds could alone assure species-specificity (,private channel'), or whether specificity is mediated by more complex ,floral filters', of which scent is only one component. 2.,We examined changes in the floral volatile compounds of Ficus semicordata, a dioecious fig species, during and after pollination using headspace collection and compound identification by Gas Chromatography/Mass Spectrometry (GC/MS). One benzenoid compound, 4-methylanisole, was strongly predominant (94,98%) among the volatile compounds emitted by both male and female receptive figs of F. semicordata, whereas it was totally absent in the volatiles emitted by figs 4 days after pollination, as well as in receptive-stage volatiles emitted by two other sympatric fig species, Ficus racemosa and Ficus hispida. 3.,Bioassays using the specific pollinator of F. semicordata, Ceratosolen gravelyi, in a Y-tube olfactometer showed that 4-methylanisole was attractive to C. gravelyi in a wide range of concentrations (from 1·22 × 10,2 ng/100 ,L to 1·22 × 106ng/100,L). Moreover, chemical blends lacking 4-methylanisole were unattractive to C. gravelyi. These non-active odour sources included volatile compounds emitted by receptive figs of the two other sympatric fig species and volatiles of F. semicordata post-pollination figs. 4.,All these results suggest that 4-methylanisole is the main signal compound in the floral scent of F. semicordata that attracts its obligate pollinator to the host figs at the precise stage required for pollination and oviposition. Furthermore, the high proportion of 4-methylanisole in the odours of receptive figs of both sexes was consistent with the hypothesis of chemical mimicry in dioecious figs. 5.,A simple signal comprised of one compound that is unusual among Ficus and that is an infrequent, usually minor, component of other floral odours, may thus function as a private channel in this specialized obligate mutualism. [source]

    How do floral display size and the density of surrounding flowers influence the likelihood of bumble bee revisitation to a plant?

    FUNCTIONAL ECOLOGY, Issue 1 2007
    T. T. MAKINO
    Summary 1Most pollination biologists have used the collective pollinator visits to a plant as the measure of its pollinator attraction. However, we know very little about how many returns by the same individuals compose these visits, and how far each visitor travels after leaving the plant. Such behavioural aspects of individual pollinators are essential to understand the patterns of pollen flow among plants. 2We observed plant visits by tagged bumble bees Bombus diversus in a field population of Cirsium purpuratum. By dissecting the collective visitation data into visits made by individual foragers, we addressed how ,visitor density' (number of individuals that visited a plant per 2 h) and ,individual visitation rate' (number of visits made by each individual per 2 h) are related to floral display size (number of flowering heads on a plant) and local flower density (number of flowering heads on neighbouring plants). We also tracked individual bees to determine how display size and local flower density of a plant influences its relative position in a bee's foraging area. 3Plants attracted both regular visitors (bees that visited a plant more than three times per 2 h) and occasional visitors (bees that visited a plant fewer than four times per 2 h). Densities of both types of visitors increased with floral display size, whereas only occasional visitor's density increased with local flower density. 4Individual bees preferred to visit central plants within their own foraging areas, plants with larger displays, and plants with lower local flower density. However, these preferences were independent from one another. Plants with large displays were not necessarily chosen by a bee as the centre of its own foraging area. On the other hand, plants with high local flower density were often located near the centre of a bee's foraging area. 5The observed pollinator movements have implications for pollen flow in the plant population. Plants with larger displays probably experience greater mate diversity by attracting more occasional visitors, but they also assure matings with particular plants by increasing returns from regular visitors. [source]

    Limited ability of Palestine Sunbirds Nectarinia osea to cope with pyridine alkaloids in nectar of Tree Tobacco Nicotiana glauca

    FUNCTIONAL ECOLOGY, Issue 6 2004
    Summary 1Secondary compounds are common in floral nectar but their relative effects on nectar consumption and utilization in nectarivorous birds are unclear. 2We studied the effect of two pyridine alkaloids, nicotine and anabasine, present in Tree Tobacco (Nicotiana glauca) nectar, on food consumption, gut transit time and sugar assimilation efficiency of the Palestine Sunbird (Nectarinia osea), a pollinator of N. glauca in east Mediterranean ecosystems. 3Sunbirds demonstrated dose-dependent deterrence; they were not deterred by the lowest natural concentrations of these alkaloids in nectar (0·1 ppm nicotine and 0·6 ppm anabasine) but they were significantly deterred by the average concentrations detected in nectar (0·5 ppm nicotine and 5 ppm anabasine). 4The two pyridine alkaloids reduced gut transit time (by 30,42%) and sugar assimilation efficiency (by 9,17%) compared with the control alkaloid-free diet. 5Sunbirds are able to cope with low, but not average, concentrations of nicotine and anabasine in N. glauca nectar. If sunbirds are efficient pollinators of N. glauca they may induce selection on it to reduce pyridine alkaloid production in the nectar. Alternatively, high concentrations in some N. glauca plants may lead the birds to visit more plants with lower alkaloid concentrations. Hence, they will be more efficient pollinators, especially if other nectar-producing plants are scarce. [source]

    Isolation of microsatellite loci in the pollinating fig wasp of Ficus hispida, Ceratosolen solmsi

    INSECT SCIENCE, Issue 4 2008
    Hao Yu
    Abstract Microsatellite loci were isolated for Ceratosolen solmsi, pollinator of the dioecious Ficus hispida. We developed nine polymorphic microsatellite loci based on the method of polymerase chain reaction isolation of microsatellite arrays (PIMA). Enrichment of genomic libraries was performed by random amplified polymorphic DNA (RAPD). A subset of 38 positive clones was sequenced; 15 clones showed microsatellite loci. We tested 15 designed primer pairs and nine of them produced polymorphic amplification in 48 individual wasps collected from different fruits of the dioecious host fig Ficus hispida in China. Among the 48 individuals, 49 alleles were obtained at the nine loci. The observed heterozygosity ranged between 0.357 and 0.634. [source]

    Alternative pollinator taxa are equally efficient but not as effective as the honeybee in a mass flowering crop

    Romina Rader
    Summary 1. ,The honeybee Apis mellifera is currently in decline worldwide because of the combined impacts of Colony Collapse Disorder and the Varroa destructor mite. In order to gain a balanced perspective of the importance of both wild and managed pollination services, it is essential to compare these services directly, a priori, within a cropping landscape. This process will determine the capacity of other flower visitors to act as honeybee replacements. 2. ,In a highly modified New Zealand agricultural landscape, we compared the pollination services provided by managed honeybees to unmanaged pollinator taxa (including flies) within a Brassica rapa var. chinensis mass flowering crop. 3. ,We evaluate overall pollinator effectiveness by separating the pollination service into two components: efficiency (i.e. per visit pollen deposition) and visit rate (i.e. pollinator abundance per available flower and the number of flower visits per minute). 4. ,We observed 31 species attending flowers of B. rapa. In addition to A. mellifera, seven insect species visited flowers frequently. These were three other bees (Lasioglossum sordidum, Bombus terrestris and Leioproctus sp.) and four flies (Dilophus nigrostigma, Melanostoma fasciatum, Melangyna novae-zelandiae and Eristalis tenax). 5. ,Two bee species, Bombus terrestris and Leioproctus sp. and one fly, Eristalis tenax were as efficient as the honeybee and as effective (in terms of rate of flower visitation). A higher honeybee abundance, however, resulted in it being the more effective pollinator overall. 6. ,Synthesis and applications. Alternative land management practices that increase the population sizes of unmanaged pollinator taxa to levels resulting in visitation frequencies as high as A. mellifera, have the potential to replace services provided by the honeybee. This will require a thorough investigation of each taxon's intrinsic biology and a change in land management practices to ensure year round refuge, feeding, nesting and other resource requirements of pollinator taxa are met. [source]

    Effects of patch size and density on flower visitation and seed set of wild plants: a pan-European approach

    JOURNAL OF ECOLOGY, Issue 1 2010
    Jens Dauber
    Summary 1.,Habitat fragmentation can affect pollinator and plant population structure in terms of species composition, abundance, area covered and density of flowering plants. This, in turn, may affect pollinator visitation frequency, pollen deposition, seed set and plant fitness. 2.,A reduction in the quantity of flower visits can be coupled with a reduction in the quality of pollination service and hence the plants' overall reproductive success and long-term survival. Understanding the relationship between plant population size and/or isolation and pollination limitation is of fundamental importance for plant conservation. 3.,We examined flower visitation and seed set of 10 different plant species from five European countries to investigate the general effects of plant populations size and density, both within (patch level) and between populations (population level), on seed set and pollination limitation. 4.,We found evidence that the effects of area and density of flowering plant assemblages were generally more pronounced at the patch level than at the population level. We also found that patch and population level together influenced flower visitation and seed set, and the latter increased with increasing patch area and density, but this effect was only apparent in small populations. 5.,Synthesis. By using an extensive pan-European data set on flower visitation and seed set we have identified a general pattern in the interplay between the attractiveness of flowering plant patches for pollinators and density dependence of flower visitation, and also a strong plant species-specific response to habitat fragmentation effects. This can guide efforts to conserve plant,pollinator interactions, ecosystem functioning and plant fitness in fragmented habitats. [source]

    Environment and pollinator-mediated selection on parapatric floral races of Mimulus aurantiacus

    Abstract We tested whether selection by pollinators could explain the parapatric distribution of coastal red- and inland yellow-flowered races of Mimulus aurantiacus (Phrymaceae) by examining visitation to natural and experimental populations. As a first step in evaluating whether indirect selection might explain floral divergence, we also tested for local adaptation in early life stages using a reciprocal transplant experiment. Hummingbirds visited flowers of each race at similar rates in natural populations but showed strong (>95%) preference for red flowers in all habitats in experimental arrays. Hawkmoths demonstrated nearly exclusive (>99% of visits) preference for yellow flowers and only visited in inland regions. Strong preferences for alternative floral forms support a direct role for pollinators in floral divergence. Despite these preferences, measures of plant performance across environments showed that red-flowered plants consistently survived better, grew larger and received more overall pollinator visits than yellow-flowered plants. Unmeasured components of fitness may favour the yellow race in inland habitats. Alternatively, we document a marked recent increase in inland hummingbird density that may have caused a change in the selective environment, favouring the eastward advance of red-flowered plants. [source]

    A floral organ moving like a caterpillar for pollinating

    Zhong-Jian LIU
    Abstract A new pollination mechanism is reported of an orchid species, Bulbophyllum penicillium, based on a field observation in Southeast Yunnan of China. This species has a sensitive lip, and there is a distance of 2,3 mm between it and column apex. Once the lip is touched by a landing insect, it will move up and down or swing left and right continuously, just like a moving caterpillar. By suck a lip movement, the pollinator, a very small fruit fly (Drosophila sp.) ca. 1 mm in height, will be pressed toward the column apex where anther and stigma are located, and then cross-pollination takes place. This unique mode of pollination, depending on the movement of lip rather than insect itself, has never been found before in either Orchidaceae or other families of angiosperms. [source]

    Host specificity, phenotype matching and the evolution of reproductive isolation in a coevolved plant,pollinator mutualism

    MOLECULAR ECOLOGY, Issue 24 2009
    Coevolutionary interactions between plants and their associated pollinators and seed dispersers are thought to have promoted the diversification of flowering plants (Raven 1977; Regal 1977; Stebbins 1981). The actual mechanisms by which pollinators could drive species diversification in plants are not fully understood. However, it is thought that pollinator host specialization can influence the evolution of reproductive isolation among plant populations because the pollinator's choice of host is what determines patterns of gene flow in its host plant, and host choice may also have important consequences on pollinator and host fitness (Grant 1949; Bawa 1992). In this issue of Molecular Ecology, Smith et al. (2009) present a very interesting study that addresses how host specialization affects pollinator fitness and patterns of gene flow in a plant host. Several aspects of this study match elements of a seminal mathematical model of plant,pollinator codivergence (Kiester et al. 1984) suggesting that reciprocal selection for matched plant and pollinator reproductive traits may lead to speciation in the host and its pollinator when there is strong host specialization and a pattern of geographic subdivision. Smith et al.'s study represents an important step to fill the gap in our understanding of how reciprocal selection may lead to speciation in coevolved plant,pollinator mutualisms. [source]

    Chemical ecology of obligate pollination mutualisms: testing the ,private channel' hypothesis in the Breynia,Epicephala association

    NEW PHYTOLOGIST, Issue 4 2010
    Glenn P. Svensson
    Summary ,Obligate mutualisms involving actively pollinating seed predators are among the most remarkable insect,plant relationships known, yet almost nothing is known about the chemistry of pollinator attraction in these systems. The extreme species specificity observed in these mutualisms may be maintained by specific chemical compounds through ,private channels'. Here, we tested this hypothesis using the monoecious Breynia vitis-idaea and its host-specific Epicephala pollinator as a model. ,Headspace samples were collected from both male and female flowers of the host. Gas chromatography with electroantennographic detection (GC-EAD), coupled gas chromatography,mass spectrometry, and olfactometer bioassays were used to identify the floral compounds acting as the pollinator attractant. ,Male and female flowers of B. vitis-idaea produced similar sets of general floral compounds, but in different ratios, and male flowers emitted significantly more scent than female flowers. A mixture of 2-phenylethyl alcohol and 2-phenylacetonitrile, the two most abundant compounds in male flowers, was as attractive to female moths as the male flower sample, although the individual compounds were slightly less attractive when tested separately. ,Data on the floral scent signals mediating obligate mutualisms involving active pollination are still very limited. We show that system-specific chemistry is not necessary for efficient host location by exclusive pollinators in these tightly coevolved mutualisms. [source]

    Coping with third parties in a nursery pollination mutualism: Hadena bicruris avoids oviposition on pathogen-infected, less rewarding Silene latifolia

    NEW PHYTOLOGIST, Issue 4 2006
    Arjen Biere
    Summary ,,In nursery pollination systems, pollinator offspring usually feed on pollinated fruits or seeds. Costs and benefits of the interaction for plant and pollinator, and hence its local outcome (antagonism,mutualism), can be affected by the presence of ,third-party' species. Infection of Silene latifolia plants by the fungus Microbotryum violaceum halts the development of fruits that provide shelter and food for larvae of the pollinating moth Hadena bicruris. We investigated whether the moth secures its benefit by selective oviposition on uninfected flowers. ,,Oviposition was recorded in eight natural populations as a function of plant infection status, local neighbourhood, plant and flower characteristics. ,,Oviposition was six times lower on flowers from infected than on those from uninfected plants. Oviposition decreased with decreasing flower and ovary size. Moths could use the latter to discriminate against diseased flowers. ,,Although moths show an adaptive oviposition response, they reduce the future potential of healthy hosts because they still visit infected plants for nectar, vectoring the disease, and they reduce any fitness advantage gained by disease-resistant plants through selective predation of those plants. [source]

    Factors related to the inter-annual variation in plants' pollination generalization levels within a community

    OIKOS, Issue 5 2010
    Amparo Lázaro
    The number of pollinators of a plant species is considered a measure of its ecological generalization and may have important evolutionary and ecological implications. Many pollination studies report inter-annual fluctuations in the composition of pollinators to particular species. However, the factors causing such variation are still poorly understood. Here we investigate how flowering duration and plant and pollinator assemblages influenced the inter-annual changes in the functional generalization level of the 20 most common plant species of a semi-natural meadow in southern Norway. We also studied the extent to which changes in generalization levels were controlled by flower-shape and flowering time. Large inter-annual changes in generalization levels were common and there was no relationship between the generalization level one year and the following. Generalization level of particular plant species increased with flowering duration, sampling effort, and the abundance of managed honeybees in the community. Generalization level decreased with the flowering synchrony between the focal plant species and the rest of the plant community and with the focal species' own abundance, which we attribute to inter-specific competition for pollinator attraction and foraging decisions made by pollinators. Plants with different flower-shapes and flowering times did not differ in the extent of inter-annual variation in generalization levels. Most studies do not consider the effect of the plant community on the generalization level of particular plant species. We show here that both pollinator and plant assemblages can affect the inter-annual variation in generalization levels of plant species. Studies like ours will help to understand how pollination interactions are structured at the community level, and the ecological and evolutionary consequences that these inter-annual changes in generalization levels may have. [source]

    Reproductive interactions mediated by flowering overlap in a temperate hummingbird,plant assemblage

    OIKOS, Issue 4 2010
    Marcelo A. Aizen
    Pollinator-mediated competition through shared pollinators can lead to segregated flowering phenologies, but empirical evidence for the process responsible for this flowering pattern is sparse. During two flowering seasons, we examined whether increasing overlap in flowering phenology decreased conspecific pollination, increased heterospecific pollination, and depressed seed output in the seven species composing a hummingbird,plant assemblage from the temperate forest of southern South America. Overall trends were summarized using meta-analysis. Despite prevailing negative associations, relations between phenological overlap and conspecific pollen receipt varied extensively among species and between years. Heterospecific pollen receipt was low and presumably of limited biological significance. However, our results supported the hypothesis that concurrent flowering promotes interspecific pollen transfer, after accounting for changes in the abundance of conspecific flowers. Seed output was consistently reduced during maximum phenological overlap during the first flowering season because of limited fruit set. Responses varied more during the second year, despite an overall negative trend among species. Relations between estimated effects of phenological overlap on pollination and seed output, however, provided mixed evidence that conspecific pollen loss during pollinator visits to foreign flowers increases pollen limitation. By flowering together, different plant species might benefit each other's pollination by increasing hummingbird recruitment at the landscape level. Nevertheless, our results are mostly consistent with the hypothesis of pollinator-mediated competition shaping the segregated flowering pattern reported previously for this temperate plant assemblage. The mechanisms likely involve effects on male function, whereby pollen-transport loss during heterospecific flower visits limit pollen export, and more variable effects on female function through pollen limitation. [source]

    Pollinator aggregative and functional responses to flower density: does pollinator response to patches of plants accelerate at low-densities?

    OIKOS, Issue 1 2006
    Tracy S. Feldman
    Plant reproduction is often reduced at low densities, due to reduced pollinator visitation rates. Recent theory suggests that a disproportionate increase in pollinator visits to patches of plants as heterospecific plant density increases (i.e. if visitation is a sigmoid function of patch density) can rescue sparse populations of a focal plant species from reduced reproductive success or population decline. A field experiment was performed to determine the shape of the pollinator visitation response to patches of differing density of the common weed Brassica rapa. Both the aggregative and functional response for the entire pollinator community were saturating rather than sigmoid, indicating that pollinator response does not accelerate when density increases. The results for the entire pollinator community were consistent among temporal and spatial replicates. Aggregative response curves for specific pollinator taxa were either linear (bombyliid flies) or saturating (syrphid flies, solitary bees, and Lepidoptera). Functional responses for these taxa were saturating (syrphid flies and solitary bees) or flat (bombyliid flies and Lepidoptera). Individual pollinators visited more plants during foraging bouts in high-density patches, but visits per plant decreased. Seeds per fruit and seeds per flower increased with increasing density. There is no evidence that pollinators disproportionately visit denser patches, or that the conditions for this mechanism of pollination facilitation are likely to be met in this generalist pollinator system. [source]

    Caladium bicolor (Araceae) and Cyclocephala celata (Coleoptera, Dynastinae): A Well-Established Pollination System in the Northern Atlantic Rainforest of Pernambuco, Brazil

    PLANT BIOLOGY, Issue 4 2006
    A. C. D. Maia
    Abstract: Flowering, pollination ecology, and floral thermogenesis of Caladium bicolor were studied in the Atlantic Rainforest of Pernambuco, NE Brazil. Inflorescences of this species are adapted to the characteristic pollination syndrome performed by Cyclocephalini beetles. They bear nutritious rewards inside well-developed floral chambers and exhibit a thermogenic cycle which is synchronized to the activity period of visiting beetles. Heating intervals of the spadix were observed during consecutive evenings corresponding to the beginning of the female and male phases of anthesis. Highest temperatures were recorded during the longer-lasting female phase. An intense sweet odour was volatized on both evenings. Beetles of a single species, Cyclocephala celata, were attracted to odoriferous inflorescences of C. bicolor and are reported for the first time as Araceae visitors. All the inflorescences visited by C. celata developed into infructescences, whereas unvisited inflorescences showed no fruit development. Findings of previous studies in the Amazon basin of Surinam indicated that Cyclocephala rustica is a likely pollinator of C. bicolor. This leads to the assumption that locally abundant Cyclocephalini species are involved in the pollination of this species. [source]

    Pollination ecology, genetic diversity and selection on nectar spur length in Platanthera lacera (Orchidaceae)

    Abstract Platanthera lacera (Orchidaceae) is a moth-pollinated, loess prairie orchid producing a raceme of one to many whitish-green flowers. Field studies on a western Illinois population found the crepuscular visiting noctuid moth, Anagrapha falcifera (Noctuidae), to be the most frequent pollinator with occasional visits from Allagrapha aerea (Noctuidae). Visitation rates, assessed by removal of at least one pollinium, were relatively high (84.9%) and fruit production on experimentally outcrossed flowers (94.4%) was higher than open-pollinated plants (71.4%). Experimental pollination showed P. lacera to be highly self-compatible (94.1%) with a low level of autogamy (8.2%). Measurements taken from 598 spurs on 44 plants indicated that nectar spur length varied significantly among plants (10.9,17.1 mm, mean 14.3 mm), but was not under selective pressure from visitation by An. falcifera (mean proboscis length 11.1 mm). The absence of selective pressure on nectar spur length is likely to be explained by occasional pollinating visits from Al. aerea (proboscis length 18 mm) and a limited amount of autogamy. Electrophoretic analysis of 12 enzymes revealed seven polymorphic loci. Mean levels of heterozygosity were He = 0.3384, Ho = 0.3229 and F = 0.0458, indicating that P. lacera is primarily an outcrossing species dependent on noctuid moth pollination. [source]

    Rescue of stranded pollen grains by secondary transfer

    PLANT SPECIES BIOLOGY, Issue 2-3 2003
    Abstract Secondary transfer of pollen can occur when a second pollinator remobilizes grains that had already been transferred to a flower by a previous pollinator. We used a pollen-color dimorphism to measure components of secondary transfer by bumble bees visiting the lily Erythronium grandiflorum. Remobilization was surprisingly high, ranging from 20% of grains deposited on stigmas to 90% of grains deposited on inner tepal surfaces. Because most of the grains that are remobilized would otherwise have been stranded on non-stigmatic surfaces, secondary transfer has the beneficial effect of returning lost grains to circulation. [source]