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Sample records for pollinator visits leaf

  1. Linking pollinator visitation rate and pollen receipt.

    PubMed

    Cayenne Engel, E; Irwin, Rebecca E

    2003-11-01

    The majority of flowering plants require animals for pollination, a critical ecosystem service in natural and agricultural systems. However, quantifying useful estimates of pollinator visitation rates can be nearly impossible when pollinator visitation is infrequent. We examined the utility of an indirect measure of pollinator visitation, namely pollen receipt by flowers, using the hummingbird-pollinated plant, Ipomopsis aggregata (Polemoniaceae). Our a priori hypothesis was that increased pollinator visitation should result in increased pollen receipt by stigmas. However, the relationship between pollinator visitation rate and pollen receipt may be misleading if pollen receipt is a function of both the number of pollinator visits and variation in pollinator efficiency at depositing pollen, especially in the context of variable floral morphology. Therefore, we measured floral and plant characters known to be important to pollinator visitation and/or pollen receipt in I. aggregata (corolla length and width and plant height) and used path analysis to dissect and compare the effect of pollinator visitation rate vs. pollinator efficiency on pollen receipt. Of the characters we measured, pollinator visitation rate (number of times plants were visited multiplied by the mean percentage of flowers probed per visit) had the strongest direct positive effect on pollen receipt, explaining 36% of the variation in pollen receipt. Plant height had a direct positive effect on pollinator visitation rate and an indirect positive effect on pollen receipt. Despite the supposition that floral characters would directly affect pollen receipt as a result of changes in pollinator efficiency, corolla length and width only weakly affected pollen receipt. These results suggest a direct positive link between pollinator visitation rate and pollen receipt across naturally varying floral morphology in I. aggregata. Understanding the relationship between pollinator visitation rate and pollen

  2. Florivory and pollinator visitation: a cautionary tale.

    PubMed

    Tsuji, Kaoru; Dhami, Manpreet K; Cross, David J R; Rice, Carolyn P; Romano, Nic H; Fukami, Tadashi

    2016-01-01

    Florivory, or damage to flowers by herbivores, can make flowers less attractive to pollinators, potentially resulting in reduced plant fitness. However, not many studies have combined observations with experiments to assess the causal link between florivory and pollination. We conducted field observations at eight sites in northern California, combined with field experiments that involved artificial floral damage, to study the effect of florivory on pollination in the hummingbird-pollinated sticky monkeyflower, Mimulus aurantiacus We used two indicators of pollinator visitation, stigma closure and the presence of microorganisms in floral nectar. The field observations revealed that stigma closure was less frequent in damaged flowers than in intact flowers. In the experiments, however, floral damage did not decrease stigma closure or microbial detection in nectar. Instead, neighbouring flowers were similar for both indicators. These results suggest that the observed negative association between florivory and pollination is not causal and that the location of flowers is more important to pollinator visitation than florivory in these populations of M. aurantiacus. PMID:27178063

  3. Florivory and pollinator visitation: a cautionary tale

    PubMed Central

    Tsuji, Kaoru; Dhami, Manpreet K.; Cross, David J.R.; Rice, Carolyn P.; Romano, Nic H.; Fukami, Tadashi

    2016-01-01

    Florivory, or damage to flowers by herbivores, can make flowers less attractive to pollinators, potentially resulting in reduced plant fitness. However, not many studies have combined observations with experiments to assess the causal link between florivory and pollination. We conducted field observations at eight sites in northern California, combined with field experiments that involved artificial floral damage, to study the effect of florivory on pollination in the hummingbird-pollinated sticky monkeyflower, Mimulus aurantiacus. We used two indicators of pollinator visitation, stigma closure and the presence of microorganisms in floral nectar. The field observations revealed that stigma closure was less frequent in damaged flowers than in intact flowers. In the experiments, however, floral damage did not decrease stigma closure or microbial detection in nectar. Instead, neighbouring flowers were similar for both indicators. These results suggest that the observed negative association between florivory and pollination is not causal and that the location of flowers is more important to pollinator visitation than florivory in these populations of M. aurantiacus. PMID:27178063

  4. Experimental evidence that wildflower strips increase pollinator visits to crops

    PubMed Central

    Feltham, Hannah; Park, Kirsty; Minderman, Jeroen; Goulson, Dave

    2015-01-01

    Wild bees provide a free and potentially diverse ecosystem service to farmers growing pollination-dependent crops. While many crops benefit from insect pollination, soft fruit crops, including strawberries are highly dependent on this ecosystem service to produce viable fruit. However, as a result of intensive farming practices and declining pollinator populations, farmers are increasingly turning to commercially reared bees to ensure that crops are adequately pollinated throughout the season. Wildflower strips are a commonly used measure aimed at the conservation of wild pollinators. It has been suggested that commercial crops may also benefit from the presence of noncrop flowers; however, the efficacy and economic benefits of sowing flower strips for crops remain relatively unstudied. In a study system that utilizes both wild and commercial pollinators, we test whether wildflower strips increase the number of visits to adjacent commercial strawberry crops by pollinating insects. We quantified this by experimentally sowing wildflower strips approximately 20 meters away from the crop and recording the number of pollinator visits to crops with, and without, flower strips. Between June and August 2013, we walked 292 crop transects at six farms in Scotland, recording a total of 2826 pollinators. On average, the frequency of pollinator visits was 25% higher for crops with adjacent flower strips compared to those without, with a combination of wild and commercial bumblebees (Bombus spp.) accounting for 67% of all pollinators observed. This effect was independent of other confounding effects, such as the number of flowers on the crop, date, and temperature. Synthesis and applications. This study provides evidence that soft fruit farmers can increase the number of pollinators that visit their crops by sowing inexpensive flower seed mixes nearby. By investing in this management option, farmers have the potential to increase and sustain pollinator populations over time

  5. Experimental evidence that wildflower strips increase pollinator visits to crops.

    PubMed

    Feltham, Hannah; Park, Kirsty; Minderman, Jeroen; Goulson, Dave

    2015-08-01

    Wild bees provide a free and potentially diverse ecosystem service to farmers growing pollination-dependent crops. While many crops benefit from insect pollination, soft fruit crops, including strawberries are highly dependent on this ecosystem service to produce viable fruit. However, as a result of intensive farming practices and declining pollinator populations, farmers are increasingly turning to commercially reared bees to ensure that crops are adequately pollinated throughout the season. Wildflower strips are a commonly used measure aimed at the conservation of wild pollinators. It has been suggested that commercial crops may also benefit from the presence of noncrop flowers; however, the efficacy and economic benefits of sowing flower strips for crops remain relatively unstudied. In a study system that utilizes both wild and commercial pollinators, we test whether wildflower strips increase the number of visits to adjacent commercial strawberry crops by pollinating insects. We quantified this by experimentally sowing wildflower strips approximately 20 meters away from the crop and recording the number of pollinator visits to crops with, and without, flower strips. Between June and August 2013, we walked 292 crop transects at six farms in Scotland, recording a total of 2826 pollinators. On average, the frequency of pollinator visits was 25% higher for crops with adjacent flower strips compared to those without, with a combination of wild and commercial bumblebees (Bombus spp.) accounting for 67% of all pollinators observed. This effect was independent of other confounding effects, such as the number of flowers on the crop, date, and temperature. Synthesis and applications. This study provides evidence that soft fruit farmers can increase the number of pollinators that visit their crops by sowing inexpensive flower seed mixes nearby. By investing in this management option, farmers have the potential to increase and sustain pollinator populations over time

  6. Pollinators visit related plant species across 29 plant–pollinator networks

    PubMed Central

    Vamosi, Jana C; Moray, Clea M; Garcha, Navdeep K; Chamberlain, Scott A; Mooers, Arne Ø

    2014-01-01

    Understanding the evolution of specialization in host plant use by pollinators is often complicated by variability in the ecological context of specialization. Flowering communities offer their pollinators varying numbers and proportions of floral resources, and the uniformity observed in these floral resources is, to some degree, due to shared ancestry. Here, we find that pollinators visit related plant species more so than expected by chance throughout 29 plant–pollinator networks of varying sizes, with “clade specialization” increasing with community size. As predicted, less versatile pollinators showed more clade specialization overall. We then asked whether this clade specialization varied with the ratio of pollinator species to plant species such that pollinators were changing their behavior when there was increased competition (and presumably a forced narrowing of the realized niche) by examining pollinators that were present in at least three of the networks. Surprisingly, we found little evidence that variation in clade specialization is caused by pollinator species changing their behavior in different community contexts, suggesting that clade specialization is observed when pollinators are either restricted in their floral choices due to morphological constraints or innate preferences. The resulting pollinator sharing between closely related plant species could result in selection for greater pollinator specialization. PMID:25360269

  7. Fire promotes pollinator visitation: implications for ameliorating declines of pollination services.

    PubMed

    Van Nuland, Michael E; Haag, Elliot N; Bryant, Jessica A M; Read, Quentin D; Klein, Robert N; Douglas, Morgan J; Gorman, Courtney E; Greenwell, Trey D; Busby, Mark W; Collins, Jonathan; Leroy, Joseph T; Schuchmann, George; Schweitzer, Jennifer A; Bailey, Joseph K

    2013-01-01

    Pollinators serve critical roles for the functioning of terrestrial ecosystems, and have an estimated annual value of over $150 billion for global agriculture. Mounting evidence from agricultural systems reveals that pollinators are declining in many regions of the world, and with a lack of information on whether pollinator communities in natural systems are following similar trends, identifying factors which support pollinator visitation and services are important for ameliorating the effects of the current global pollinator crisis. We investigated how fire affects resource structure and how that variation influences floral pollinator communities by comparing burn versus control treatments in a southeastern USA old-field system. We hypothesized and found a positive relationship between fire and plant density of a native forb, Verbesina alternifolia, as well as a significant difference in floral visitation of V. alternifolia between burn and control treatments. V. alternifolia density was 44% greater and floral visitation was 54% greater in burned treatments relative to control sites. When the density of V. alternifolia was experimentally reduced in the burn sites to equivalent densities observed in control sites, floral visitation in burned sites declined to rates found in control sites. Our results indicate that plant density is a proximal mechanism by which an imposed fire regime can indirectly impact floral visitation, suggesting its usefulness as a tool for management of pollination services. Although concerns surround the negative impacts of management, indirect positive effects may provide an important direction to explore for managing future ecological and conservation issues. Studies examining the interaction among resource concentration, plant apparency, and how fire affects the evolutionary consequences of altered patterns of floral visitation are overdue. PMID:24265787

  8. Fire Promotes Pollinator Visitation: Implications for Ameliorating Declines of Pollination Services

    PubMed Central

    Van Nuland, Michael E.; Haag, Elliot N.; Bryant, Jessica A. M.; Read, Quentin D.; Klein, Robert N.; Douglas, Morgan J.; Gorman, Courtney E.; Greenwell, Trey D.; Busby, Mark W.; Collins, Jonathan; LeRoy, Joseph T.; Schuchmann, George; Schweitzer, Jennifer A.; Bailey, Joseph K.

    2013-01-01

    Pollinators serve critical roles for the functioning of terrestrial ecosystems, and have an estimated annual value of over $150 billion for global agriculture. Mounting evidence from agricultural systems reveals that pollinators are declining in many regions of the world, and with a lack of information on whether pollinator communities in natural systems are following similar trends, identifying factors which support pollinator visitation and services are important for ameliorating the effects of the current global pollinator crisis. We investigated how fire affects resource structure and how that variation influences floral pollinator communities by comparing burn versus control treatments in a southeastern USA old-field system. We hypothesized and found a positive relationship between fire and plant density of a native forb, Verbesina alternifolia, as well as a significant difference in floral visitation of V. alternifolia between burn and control treatments. V. alternifolia density was 44% greater and floral visitation was 54% greater in burned treatments relative to control sites. When the density of V. alternifolia was experimentally reduced in the burn sites to equivalent densities observed in control sites, floral visitation in burned sites declined to rates found in control sites. Our results indicate that plant density is a proximal mechanism by which an imposed fire regime can indirectly impact floral visitation, suggesting its usefulness as a tool for management of pollination services. Although concerns surround the negative impacts of management, indirect positive effects may provide an important direction to explore for managing future ecological and conservation issues. Studies examining the interaction among resource concentration, plant apparency, and how fire affects the evolutionary consequences of altered patterns of floral visitation are overdue. PMID:24265787

  9. Inbreeding in Mimulus guttatus Reduces Visitation by Bumble Bee Pollinators

    PubMed Central

    Carr, David E.; Roulston, T’ai H.; Hart, Haley

    2014-01-01

    Inbreeding in plants typically reduces individual fitness but may also alter ecological interactions. This study examined the effect of inbreeding in the mixed-mating annual Mimulus guttatus on visitation by pollinators (Bombus impatiens) in greenhouse experiments. Previous studies of M. guttatus have shown that inbreeding reduced corolla size, flower number, and pollen quantity and quality. Using controlled crosses, we produced inbred and outbred families from three different M. guttatus populations. We recorded the plant genotypes that bees visited and the number of flowers probed per visit. In our first experiment, bees were 31% more likely to visit outbred plants than those selfed for one generation and 43% more likely to visit outbred plants than those selfed for two generations. Inbreeding had only a small effect on the number of flowers probed once bees arrived at a genotype. These differences were explained partially by differences in mean floral display and mean flower size, but even when these variables were controlled statistically, the effect of inbreeding remained large and significant. In a second experiment we quantified pollen viability from inbred and self plants. Bees were 37–54% more likely to visit outbred plants, depending on the population, even when controlling for floral display size. Pollen viability proved to be as important as floral display in predicting pollinator visitation in one population, but the overall explanatory power of a multiple regression model was weak. Our data suggested that bees use cues in addition to display size, flower size, and pollen reward quality in their discrimination of inbred plants. Discrimination against inbred plants could have effects on plant fitness and thereby reinforce selection for outcrossing. Inbreeding in plant populations could also reduce resource quality for pollinators, potentially resulting in negative effects on pollinator populations. PMID:25036035

  10. Flowering dynamics and pollinator visitation of oilseed echium (Echium plantagineum).

    PubMed

    Eberle, Carrie A; Forcella, Frank; Gesch, Russ; Weyers, Sharon; Peterson, Dean; Eklund, James

    2014-01-01

    Echium (Echium plantagineum L.) is an alternative oilseed crop in summer-wet temperate regions that provides floral resources to pollinators. Its seed oil is rich in omega-3 fatty acids, such as stearidonic acid, which is desired highly by the cosmetic industry. Seeds were sown in field plots over three years in western Minnesota in spring (early-sown) or early summer (late-sown), and flower abundance, pollinator visitation, and seed yields were studied. Initial flowering commenced 41 to 55 d after sowing, and anthesis duration (first flowering to harvest) was 34 to 70 d. Late sowing dates delayed anthesis, but increased the intensity of visitation by pollinators. Cumulative flower densities ranged from 1 to 4.5 billion ha-1. Flowers attracted numerous honey bees (Apis mellifera L.), as many as 35 per minute of observation, which represented about 50% of all insect visitors. Early-sown echium produced seed yields up to 750 kg ha-1, which were 2-29 times higher than those of late-sown echium. Early sowing of echium in Minnesota provides abundant floral resources for pollinators for up to two months and simultaneously produces seed yields whose profits rival those of corn (Zea mays L.). PMID:25427071

  11. Flowering Dynamics and Pollinator Visitation of Oilseed Echium (Echium plantagineum)

    PubMed Central

    Eberle, Carrie A.; Forcella, Frank; Gesch, Russ; Weyers, Sharon; Peterson, Dean; Eklund, James

    2014-01-01

    Echium (Echium plantagineum L.) is an alternative oilseed crop in summer-wet temperate regions that provides floral resources to pollinators. Its seed oil is rich in omega-3 fatty acids, such as stearidonic acid, which is desired highly by the cosmetic industry. Seeds were sown in field plots over three years in western Minnesota in spring (early-sown) or early summer (late-sown), and flower abundance, pollinator visitation, and seed yields were studied. Initial flowering commenced 41 to 55 d after sowing, and anthesis duration (first flowering to harvest) was 34 to 70 d. Late sowing dates delayed anthesis, but increased the intensity of visitation by pollinators. Cumulative flower densities ranged from 1 to 4.5 billion ha−1. Flowers attracted numerous honey bees (Apis mellifera L.), as many as 35 per minute of observation, which represented about 50% of all insect visitors. Early-sown echium produced seed yields up to 750 kg ha−1, which were 2–29 times higher than those of late-sown echium. Early sowing of echium in Minnesota provides abundant floral resources for pollinators for up to two months and simultaneously produces seed yields whose profits rival those of corn (Zea mays L.). PMID:25427071

  12. Drought and leaf herbivory influence floral volatiles and pollinator attraction.

    PubMed

    Burkle, Laura A; Runyon, Justin B

    2016-04-01

    The effects of climate change on species interactions are poorly understood. Investigating the mechanisms by which species interactions may shift under altered environmental conditions will help form a more predictive understanding of such shifts. In particular, components of climate change have the potential to strongly influence floral volatile organic compounds (VOCs) and, in turn, plant-pollinator interactions. In this study, we experimentally manipulated drought and herbivory for four forb species to determine effects of these treatments and their interactions on (1) visual plant traits traditionally associated with pollinator attraction, (2) floral VOCs, and (3) the visitation rates and community composition of pollinators. For all forbs tested, experimental drought universally reduced flower size and floral display, but there were species-specific effects of drought on volatile emissions per flower, the composition of compounds produced, and subsequent pollinator visitation rates. Moreover, the community of pollinating visitors was influenced by drought across forb species (i.e. some pollinator species were deterred by drought while others were attracted). Together, these results indicate that VOCs may provide more nuanced information to potential floral visitors and may be relatively more important than visual traits for pollinator attraction, particularly under shifting environmental conditions. PMID:26546275

  13. Does the invasive Lupinus polyphyllus increase pollinator visitation to a native herb through effects on pollinator population sizes?

    PubMed

    Jakobsson, Anna; Padrón, Benigno

    2014-01-01

    Invasive plants may compete with native species for abiotic factors as light, space and nutrients, and have also been shown to affect native pollination interactions. Studies have mainly focused on how invasive plants affect pollinator behaviour, i.e. attraction of pollinators to or away from native flowers. However, when an invasive plant provides resources utilized by native pollinators this could increase pollinator population sizes and thereby pollination success in natives. Effects mediated through changes in pollinator population sizes have been largely ignored in previous studies, and the dominance of negative interactions suggested by meta-analyses may therefore be biased. We investigated the impact of the invasive Lupinus polyphyllus on pollination in the native Lotus corniculatus using a study design comparing invaded and uninvaded sites before and after the flowering period of the invasive. We monitored wild bee abundance in transects, and visit rate and seed production of potted Lotus plants. Bumblebee abundance increased 3.9 times in invaded sites during the study period, whereas it was unaltered in uninvaded sites. Total visit rate per Lotus plant increased 2.1 times in invaded sites and decreased 4.4 times in uninvaded sites. No corresponding change in seed production of Lotus was found. The increase in visit rate to Lotus was driven by an increase in solitary bee visitation, whereas mainly bumblebees were observed to visit the invasive Lupinus. The mechanism by which the invasive increases pollinator visit rates to Lotus could be increased availability of other flower resources for solitary bees when bumblebees forage on Lupinus. PMID:24061551

  14. Circadian regulation of sunflower heliotropism, floral orientation, and pollinator visits.

    PubMed

    Atamian, Hagop S; Creux, Nicky M; Brown, Evan A; Garner, Austin G; Blackman, Benjamin K; Harmer, Stacey L

    2016-08-01

    Young sunflower plants track the Sun from east to west during the day and then reorient during the night to face east in anticipation of dawn. In contrast, mature plants cease movement with their flower heads facing east. We show that circadian regulation of directional growth pathways accounts for both phenomena and leads to increased vegetative biomass and enhanced pollinator visits to flowers. Solar tracking movements are driven by antiphasic patterns of elongation on the east and west sides of the stem. Genes implicated in control of phototropic growth, but not clock genes, are differentially expressed on the opposite sides of solar tracking stems. Thus, interactions between environmental response pathways and the internal circadian oscillator coordinate physiological processes with predictable changes in the environment to influence growth and reproduction. PMID:27493185

  15. Interactions for pollinator visitation and their consequences for reproduction in a plant community

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Hegland, Stein Joar; Totland, Ørjan

    2012-08-01

    Competition and facilitation in species interactions attract much attention in ecology, but their relative importance has seldom been evaluated in a community context. We assessed competitive and facilitative interactions for pollinator visitation among co-flowering species in a plant community, investigated the subsequent consequences for plant reproduction, and investigated whether effects could be trait-based. We removed the flowers of two species attractive to pollinators, in two separate experiments and assessed the effects on pollinator visitation rates and components of reproductive success in 11 co-flowering focal herb species. Overall, most focal species appear not to interact with the removal species with respect to pollinator visitation and subsequent reproduction (neutral interactions). Three focal species in the community had significantly higher reproductive responses (fruit production and seed weight) in the presence of the attractive removal species (facilitative interactions), but species interaction effects were less pronounced in species' flower visitation rates. A community-wide meta-analysis demonstrated that the two experiments did not have a significant effect on either facilitation or competition, and that there was no overall correlation between effect sizes for visitation and reproduction. Based on species-specific responses, it seems likely that floral traits such as similar flower colors contribute to interspecific facilitation of pollinator visitation and, in particular, that high pollinator dependence for plant reproduction, and associated pollen limitation, may contribute to subsequent interaction effects on reproduction in the focal species.

  16. Explaining variation in the effect of floral density on pollinator visitation.

    PubMed

    Essenberg, Carla J

    2012-08-01

    Pollinator responses to floral density have important implications for plant biology. In particular, a decline in pollinator visitation at low density can cause an Allee effect (a positive relation of fitness to density) in the plant population, which heightens that population's vulnerability to extinction. Empiricists have reported a variety of relations between flower or plant density and pollinator visitation rates. Here I develop and test a model that provides explanations for this diversity. The model assumes that pollinators distribute themselves between a focal patch of flowers and the surrounding environment so as to maximize foraging success. The resulting relation of per-flower visitation rate to focal-patch floral density is nonlinear, with positive effects at low floral densities and weaker or negative effects at higher densities. The relation is influenced by floral density in the surrounding environment and traits of both the plants and their pollinators. In a field experiment, floral density of Holocarpha virgata ssp. virgata had a nonlinear effect on per-flower visitation that was largely consistent with the model's predictions. By producing testable hypotheses based on biologically reasonable assumptions, this model serves as a starting point for explaining an important facet of plant-pollinator mutualisms. PMID:22766928

  17. Profiling crop pollinators: life history traits predict habitat use and crop visitation by Mediterranean wild bees.

    PubMed

    Pisanty, Gideon; Mandelik, Yael

    2015-04-01

    Wild pollinators, bees in particular, may greatly contribute to crop pollination and provide a safety net against declines in commercial pollinators. However, the identity, life history traits, and environmental sensitivities of main crop pollinator species.have received limited attention. These are crucial for predicting pollination services of different communities and for developing management practices that enhance crop pollinators. We sampled wild bees in three crop systems (almond, confection sunflower, and seed watermelon) in a mosaic Israeli Mediterranean landscape. Bees were sampled in field/orchard edges and interiors, and in seminatural scrub surrounding the fields/orchards. We also analyzed land cover at 50-2500 m radii around fields/orchards. We used this data to distinguish crop from non-crop pollinators based on a set of life history traits (nesting, lecty, sociality, body size) linked to habitat preference and crop visitation. Bee abundance and species richness decreased from the surrounding seminatural habitat to the field/orchard interior, especially across the seminatural habitat-field edge ecotone. Thus, although rich bee communities were found near fields, only small fractions crossed the ecotone and visited crop flowers in substantial numbers. The bee assemblage in agricultural fields/orchards and on crop flowers was dominated by ground-nesting bees of the tribe Halictini, which tend to nest within fields. Bees' habitat preferences were determined mainly by nesting guild, whereas crop visitation was determined mainly by sociality. Lecty and body size also affected both measures. The percentage of surrounding seminatural habitat at 250-2500 m radii had a positive effect on wild bee diversity in field edges, for all bee guilds, while at 50-100 m radii, only aboveground nesters were positively affected. In sum, we found that crop and non-crop pollinators are distinguished by behavioral and morphological traits. Hence, analysis of life

  18. Where is the UK's pollinator biodiversity? The importance of urban areas for flower-visiting insects

    PubMed Central

    Baldock, Katherine C. R.; Goddard, Mark A.; Hicks, Damien M.; Kunin, William E.; Mitschunas, Nadine; Osgathorpe, Lynne M.; Potts, Simon G.; Robertson, Kirsty M.; Scott, Anna V.; Stone, Graham N.; Vaughan, Ian P.; Memmott, Jane

    2015-01-01

    Insect pollinators provide a crucial ecosystem service, but are under threat. Urban areas could be important for pollinators, though their value relative to other habitats is poorly known. We compared pollinator communities using quantified flower-visitation networks in 36 sites (each 1 km2) in three landscapes: urban, farmland and nature reserves. Overall, flower-visitor abundance and species richness did not differ significantly between the three landscape types. Bee abundance did not differ between landscapes, but bee species richness was higher in urban areas than farmland. Hoverfly abundance was higher in farmland and nature reserves than urban sites, but species richness did not differ significantly. While urban pollinator assemblages were more homogeneous across space than those in farmland or nature reserves, there was no significant difference in the numbers of rarer species between the three landscapes. Network-level specialization was higher in farmland than urban sites. Relative to other habitats, urban visitors foraged from a greater number of plant species (higher generality) but also visited a lower proportion of available plant species (higher specialization), both possibly driven by higher urban plant richness. Urban areas are growing, and improving their value for pollinators should be part of any national strategy to conserve and restore pollinators. PMID:25673686

  19. Florivory affects pollinator visitation and female fitness in Nemophila menziesii.

    PubMed

    McCall, Andrew C

    2008-04-01

    While herbivory has traditionally been studied as damage to leaves, florivory - herbivory to flowers prior to seed set - can also have large effects on plant fitness. Florivory can decrease fitness directly, either through the destruction of gametes or through alterations to plant physiology during fruit set, and can also change the appearance of a flower, deterring pollinators and reducing seed set. In order to distinguish between these hypotheses, it is necessary to both damage flowers and add pollen in excess to study the effects of damage on pollen limitation. Very few studies have used this technique over the lifetime of a plant. Here I describe a series of experiments showing the effects of natural and artificial damage on reproductive success in the annual plant Nemophila menziesii (Hydrophyllaceae, sensu lato). I show that natural and artificial petal damage decreased radial symmetry relative to controls and that both types of damage deterred pollinator activity. Both naturally damaged flowers and artificially damaged flowers in the field set fewer fruit or seed relative to undamaged control flowers. Finally, in an experiment crossing artificial petal damage with pollen addition, petal damage alone over the lifetime of this plant decreased female fitness, but only after a threshold of damage was reached. The fitness effect appeared to be direct because there was no detectable effect of pollen addition on the relationship between florivory and fitness. This result implies that both damaged and undamaged plants show similar amounts of pollen limitation and suggests that pollinator-mediated effects contributed little to the negative effects of florivory on female fitness. Florivores may thus be an under-appreciated agent of selection in certain plants, although more experimental manipulation of florivory is needed to determine if it is important over a range of taxa. PMID:18188605

  20. Effects of the herbicide dicamba on nontarget plants and pollinator visitation.

    PubMed

    Bohnenblust, Eric W; Vaudo, Anthony D; Egan, J Franklin; Mortensen, David A; Tooker, John F

    2016-01-01

    Nearly 80% of all pesticides applied to row crops are herbicides, and these applications pose potentially significant ecotoxicological risks to nontarget plants and associated pollinators. In response to the widespread occurrence of weed species resistant to glyphosate, biotechnology companies have developed crops resistant to the synthetic-auxin herbicides dicamba and 2,4-dichlorophenoxyacetic acid (2,4-D); and once commercialized, adoption of these crops is likely to change herbicide-use patterns. Despite current limited use, dicamba and 2,4-D are often responsible for injury to nontarget plants; but effects of these herbicides on insect communities are poorly understood. To understand the influence of dicamba on pollinators, the authors applied several sublethal, drift-level rates of dicamba to alfalfa (Medicago sativa L.) and Eupatorium perfoliatum L. and evaluated plant flowering and floral visitation by pollinators. The authors found that dicamba doses simulating particle drift (≈1% of the field application rate) delayed onset of flowering and reduced the number of flowers of each plant species; however, plants that did flower produced similar-quality pollen in terms of protein concentrations. Further, plants affected by particle drift rates were visited less often by pollinators. Because plants exposed to sublethal levels of dicamba may produce fewer floral resources and be less frequently visited by pollinators, use of dicamba or other synthetic-auxin herbicides with widespread planting of herbicide-resistant crops will need to be carefully stewarded to prevent potential disturbances of plant and beneficial insect communities in agricultural landscapes. PMID:26184786

  1. Floral visitation by the Argentine ant reduces pollinator visitation and seed set in the coast barrel cactus, Ferocactus viridescens.

    PubMed

    LeVan, Katherine E; Hung, Keng-Lou James; McCann, Kyle R; Ludka, John T; Holway, David A

    2014-01-01

    Mounting evidence indicates that trade-offs between plant defense and reproduction arise not only from resource allocation but also from interactions among mutualists. Indirect costs of plant defense by ants, for example, can outweigh benefits if ants deter pollinators. Plants can dissuade ants from occupying flowers, but such arrangements may break down when novel ant partners infiltrate mutualisms. Here, we examine how floral visitation by ants affects pollination services when the invasive Argentine ant (Linepithema humile) replaces a native ant species in a food-for-protection mutualism with the coast barrel cactus (Ferocactus viridescens), which, like certain other barrel cacti, produces extrafloral nectar. We compared the effects of floral visitation by the Argentine ant with those of the most prevalent native ant species (Crematogaster californica). Compared to C. californica, the Argentine ant was present in higher numbers in flowers. Cactus bees (Diadasia spp.), the key pollinators in this system, spent less time in flowers when cacti were occupied by the Argentine ant compared to when cacti were occupied by C. californica. Presumably as a consequence of decreased duration of floral visits by Diadasia, cacti occupied by L. humile set fewer seeds per fruit and produced fewer seeds overall compared to cacti occupied by C. californica. These data illustrate the importance of mutualist identity in cases where plants balance multiple mutualisms. Moreover, as habitats become increasingly infiltrated by introduced species, the loss of native mutualists and their replacement by non-native species may alter the shape of trade-offs between plant defense and reproduction. PMID:23892582

  2. Negative impacts of a vertebrate predator on insect pollinator visitation and seed output in Chuquiraga oppositifolia, a high Andean shrub.

    PubMed

    Muñoz, Alejandro A; Arroyo, Mary T K

    2004-01-01

    Studies on plant-pollinator interactions have largely neglected the potential negative effects of the predators of pollinators on seed output, even though anti-predatory behaviour of pollinators may affect visitation patterns, pollen transfer, and therefore potentially, plant reproductive output. We tested the hypothesis that the presence of lizards and insectivorous birds, by reducing pollinator visitation, can have significant negative effects on seed output in the insect-pollinated, genetically self-incompatible lower alpine Andean shrub, Chuquiraga oppositifolia (Asteraceae). The lower alpine belt supports a high density of territorial Liolaemus (Tropiduridae) lizards and low shrubs interspersed among rocks of varying sizes, the latter inhabited by lizards and commonly used by flycatchers Muscisaxicola (Tyrannidae) as perching sites. In a 2x2 factorial predator-exclusion experiment, visitation rates of the most frequent pollinators of C. oppositifolia (the satyrid butterfly Cosmosatyrus chilensis and the syrphid fly Scaeva melanostoma), the duration of pollinator visits, and seed output, were 2-4 times greater when lizards were excluded, while birds had no effect. In a natural experiment, visits by S. melanostoma were 9 times shorter, and pollinator visitation rates of C. chilensis and S. melanostoma, and C. oppositifolia seed output were 2-3 times lower on shrubs growing adjacent to lizard-occupied rocks compared to those growing distant from rocks. Our results, verified for additional Andean sites, suggest that lizard predators can alter the behaviour of pollinators and elicit strong top-down indirect negative effects on seed output. Such effects may be especially important in high alpine plant communities, where pollinator activity can be low and erratic, and pollen limitation has been reported. PMID:14551828

  3. Butterflies visit more frequently, but bees are better pollinators: the importance of mouthpart dimensions in effective pollen removal and deposition

    PubMed Central

    Barrios, Beyte; Pena, Sean R.; Salas, Andrea; Koptur, Suzanne

    2016-01-01

    Pollination studies often use visitation frequency of potential pollinators as an indicator of their importance, but this is only one component and may not reflect actual pollen transfer rates. In this study, we determine the most effective pollinator group of Angadenia berteroi, a tropical perennial subshrub with large yellow flowers that set few fruits. We determined visitation frequency and pollen transfer effectiveness of the four most common groups of visitors (long- and short-tongued bees, and skipper and non-skipper butterflies). Using potted plants, we exposed flowers to single visits from different types of pollinators to measure fruit set. We demonstrate that A. berteroi is most effectively pollinated by long-tongued bees, though many other species visit the flowers; the most frequent visitor group is not the most important pollinator, because they neither carry nor deposit much pollen, as the width of their proboscis is small compared with long-tongued bees. In this system, the width of the proboscis of the pollinators correlates with pollen transfer efficiency. Our results demonstrate the importance of pollen removal, pollen deposition, and fruit set, in determining the most effective pollinators, rather than visitor frequency. The distinctive morphology of these flowers, with a large bell and a narrow, short tube, suggests that other flowers of this shape may similarly benefit more from visitors with mouthparts shorter than previously considered optimal. PMID:26742956

  4. Butterflies visit more frequently, but bees are better pollinators: the importance of mouthpart dimensions in effective pollen removal and deposition.

    PubMed

    Barrios, Beyte; Pena, Sean R; Salas, Andrea; Koptur, Suzanne

    2016-01-01

    Pollination studies often use visitation frequency of potential pollinators as an indicator of their importance, but this is only one component and may not reflect actual pollen transfer rates. In this study, we determine the most effective pollinator group of Angadenia berteroi, a tropical perennial subshrub with large yellow flowers that set few fruits. We determined visitation frequency and pollen transfer effectiveness of the four most common groups of visitors (long- and short-tongued bees, and skipper and non-skipper butterflies). Using potted plants, we exposed flowers to single visits from different types of pollinators to measure fruit set. We demonstrate that A. berteroi is most effectively pollinated by long-tongued bees, though many other species visit the flowers; the most frequent visitor group is not the most important pollinator, because they neither carry nor deposit much pollen, as the width of their proboscis is small compared with long-tongued bees. In this system, the width of the proboscis of the pollinators correlates with pollen transfer efficiency. Our results demonstrate the importance of pollen removal, pollen deposition, and fruit set, in determining the most effective pollinators, rather than visitor frequency. The distinctive morphology of these flowers, with a large bell and a narrow, short tube, suggests that other flowers of this shape may similarly benefit more from visitors with mouthparts shorter than previously considered optimal. PMID:26742956

  5. Constructing more informative plant–pollinator networks: visitation and pollen deposition networks in a heathland plant community

    PubMed Central

    Ballantyne, G.; Baldock, Katherine C. R.; Willmer, P. G.

    2015-01-01

    Interaction networks are widely used as tools to understand plant–pollinator communities, and to examine potential threats to plant diversity and food security if the ecosystem service provided by pollinating animals declines. However, most networks to date are based on recording visits to flowers, rather than recording clearly defined effective pollination events. Here we provide the first networks that explicitly incorporate measures of pollinator effectiveness (PE) from pollen deposition on stigmas per visit, and pollinator importance (PI) as the product of PE and visit frequency. These more informative networks, here produced for a low diversity heathland habitat, reveal that plant–pollinator interactions are more specialized than shown in most previous studies. At the studied site, the specialization index was lower for the visitation network than the PE network, which was in turn lower than for the PI network. Our study shows that collecting PE data is feasible for community-level studies in low diversity communities and that including information about PE can change the structure of interaction networks. This could have important consequences for our understanding of threats to pollination systems. PMID:26336181

  6. Constructing more informative plant-pollinator networks: visitation and pollen deposition networks in a heathland plant community.

    PubMed

    Ballantyne, G; Baldock, Katherine C R; Willmer, P G

    2015-09-01

    Interaction networks are widely used as tools to understand plant-pollinator communities, and to examine potential threats to plant diversity and food security if the ecosystem service provided by pollinating animals declines. However, most networks to date are based on recording visits to flowers, rather than recording clearly defined effective pollination events. Here we provide the first networks that explicitly incorporate measures of pollinator effectiveness (PE) from pollen deposition on stigmas per visit, and pollinator importance (PI) as the product of PE and visit frequency. These more informative networks, here produced for a low diversity heathland habitat, reveal that plant-pollinator interactions are more specialized than shown in most previous studies. At the studied site, the specialization index [Formula: see text] was lower for the visitation network than the PE network, which was in turn lower than [Formula: see text] for the PI network. Our study shows that collecting PE data is feasible for community-level studies in low diversity communities and that including information about PE can change the structure of interaction networks. This could have important consequences for our understanding of threats to pollination systems. PMID:26336181

  7. Displacement of a native by an alien bumblebee: lower pollinator efficiency overcome by overwhelmingly higher visitation frequency.

    PubMed

    Madjidian, Josefin A; Morales, Carolina L; Smith, Henrik G

    2008-07-01

    Biological invasions might constitute a major threat to mutualisms. Introduced pollinators might competitively displace their native counterparts, which in turn affects the pollination of native plants, if native and alien visitors differ in pollinator effectiveness. Since its invasion in 1994 into south-west Argentina, the introduced European bumblebee Bombus ruderatus has continuously increased in abundance, along with a simultaneous decrease in the abundance of the native Bombus dahlbomii. The latter is the only native bumblebee species of the temperate forests of southern South America, and the main pollinator of the endemic herb Alstroemeria aurea. In order to evaluate the impact of the ongoing displacement of the native by the alien bumblebee, we compared the pollinator effectiveness (i.e., the combination of pollinator efficiency per visit and visitation frequency) between both bumblebee species, as well as related pollinator traits that might account for potential differences in pollinator efficiency. Native Bombus dahlbomii, which has a larger body and spent more time per flower, was the more efficient pollinator compared to Bombus ruderatus, both in terms of quantity and quality of pollen deposited per visit. However, Bombus ruderatus was a much more frequent flower visitor than Bombus dahlbomii. As a consequence, Bombus ruderatus is nowadays a more effective pollinator of A. aurea than its native congener. Despite the lack of evidence of an increase in seed set at the population level, comparisons with historical records of Bombus dahlbomii abundances prior to Bombus ruderatus' invasion suggest that the overall pollination intensity of A. aurea might in fact have risen as a consequence of this invasion. Field experiments like these, that incorporate the natural variation in abundance of native and alien species, are powerful means to demonstrate that the consequences of invasions are more complex than previous manipulated and controlled experiments have

  8. Pollinator visitation patterns strongly influence among-flower variation in selfing rate

    PubMed Central

    Karron, Jeffrey D.; Holmquist, Karsten G.; Flanagan, Rebecca J.; Mitchell, Randall J.

    2009-01-01

    Background and Aims Adjacent flowers on Mimulus ringens floral displays often vary markedly in selfing rate. We hypothesized that this fine-scale variation in mating system reflects the tendency of bumble-bee pollinators to probe several flowers consecutively on multiflower displays. When a pollinator approaches a display, the first flower probed is likely to receive substantial outcross pollen. However, since pollen carryover in this species is limited, receipt of self pollen should increase rapidly for later flowers. Here the first direct experimental test of this hypothesis is described. Methods In order to link floral visitation sequences with selfing rates of individual flowers, replicate linear arrays were established, each composed of plants with unique genetic markers. This facilitated unambiguous assignment of paternity to all sampled progeny. A single wild bumble-bee was permitted to forage on each linear array, recording the order of floral visits on each display. Once fruits had matured, 120 fruits were harvested (four flowers from each of five floral displays in each of six arrays). Twenty-five seedlings from each fruit were genotyped and paternity was unambiguously assigned to all 3000 genotyped progeny. Key Results The order of pollinator probes on Mimulus floral displays strongly and significantly influenced selfing rates of individual fruits. Mean selfing rates increased from 21 % for initial probes to 78 % for the fourth flower probed on each display. Conclusions Striking among-flower differences in selfing rate result from increased deposition of geitonogamous (among-flower, within-display) self pollen as bumble-bees probe consecutive flowers on each floral display. The resulting heterogeneity in the genetic composition of sibships may influence seedling competition and the expression of inbreeding depression. PMID:19218584

  9. Orchids mimic green-leaf volatiles to attract prey-hunting wasps for pollination.

    PubMed

    Brodmann, Jennifer; Twele, Robert; Francke, Wittko; Hölzler, Gerald; Zhang, Qing-He; Ayasse, Manfred

    2008-05-20

    An outstanding feature of orchids is the diversity of their pollination systems [1]. Most remarkable are those species that employ chemical deceit for the attraction of pollinators [2]. The orchid Epipactis helleborine is a typical wasp flower, exhibiting physiological and morphological adaptations for the attraction of pollinating social wasps [3]. As noted by Darwin [1], this species is almost entirely overlooked by other potential pollinators, despite a large nectar reward. Therefore, the mechanism for the attraction of pollinating social wasps was something of a mystery. By using a combination of behavioral experiments, electrophysiological investigations, and chemical analyses, we demonstrate for the first time that the flowers of E. helleborine and E. purpurata emit green-leaf volatiles (GLVs), which are attractive to foragers of the social wasps Vespula germanica and V. vulgaris. GLVs, emitted by damaged plant tissues, are known to guide parasitic wasps to their hosts [4]. Several E. helleborine GLVs that induced response in the antennae of wasps were also emitted by cabbage leaves infested with caterpillars (Pieris brassicae), which are common prey items for wasps [5]. This is the first example in which GLVs have been implicated in chemical mimicry for the attraction of pollinating insects. PMID:18472423

  10. Pollination

    PubMed Central

    Kühn, Nathalie; Arce-Johnson, Patricio

    2012-01-01

    Berry formation is the process of ovary conversion into a functional fruit, and is characterized by abrupt changes in the content of several phytohormones, associated with pollination and fertilization. Much effort has been made in order to improve our understanding of berry development, particularly from veraison to post-harvest time. However, the period of berry formation has been poorly investigated, despite its importance. Phytohormones are involved in the control of fruit formation; hence it is important to understand the regulation of their content at this stage. Grapevine is an excellent fleshy-fruit plant model since its fruits have particularities that differentiate them from those of commonly studied organisms. For instance, berries are prepared to cope with stress by producing several antioxidants and they are non-climacteric fruits. Also its genome is fully sequenced, which allows to identify genes involved in developmental processes. In grapevine, no link has been established between pollination and phytohormone biosynthesis, until recently. Here we highlight relevant findings regarding pollination effect on gene expression related to phytohormone biosynthesis, and present results showing how quickly this effect is achieved. PMID:22301957

  11. Use of video surveillance to measure the influences of habitat management and landscape composition on pollinator visitation and pollen deposition in pumpkin (Cucurbita pepo) agroecosystems

    PubMed Central

    Phillips, Benjamin W.

    2015-01-01

    Pumpkin (Cucurbita pepo) production relies on insect-mediated pollination, which is provided by managed and wild pollinators. The goals of this study were to measure the visitation frequency, longevity and temporal activity patterns of pumpkin pollinators and to determine if local habitat management and landscape composition affected this pollination service. We used video surveillance to monitor bee acitivty within male and female pumpkin flowers in 2011 and 2012 across a pollination window of 0600–1200 h. We also quantified the amount of pollen deposited in female flowers across this time period. In 2011, A. mellifera made significantly more floral visits than other bees, and in 2012 Bombus spp. was the dominant pumpkin pollinator. We found variation in visitation among male and female pumpkin flowers, with A. mellifera visiting female flowers more often and spending longer per visit within them than male flowers in both 2011 and 2012. The squash bee P. pruinosa visited male flowers more frequently in 2012, but individuals spent equal time in both flower sexes. We did not find variation in the timing of flower visitation among species across the observed pollination window. In both 2011 and 2012 we found that the majority of pollen deposition occurred within the first two hours (0600–0800 h) of observation; there was no difference between the pollen deposited during this two-hour period and full pollination window (0600–1200 h). Local additions of sweet alyssum floral strips or a field buffer strip of native wildflowers did not have an effect on the foraging activity of bees or pollen deposition. However, semi-natural and urban habitats in the surrounding landscape were positively correlated with the frequency of flower visitation by wild pollinators and the amount of pollen deposited within female flowers. PMID:26587337

  12. Variation in highbush blueberry floral volatile profiles as a function of pollination status, cultivar, time of day and flower part: implications for flower visitation by bees

    PubMed Central

    Rodriguez-Saona, Cesar; Parra, Leonardo; Quiroz, Andrés; Isaacs, Rufus

    2011-01-01

    Background and Aims Studies of the effects of pollination on floral scent and bee visitation remain rare, particularly in agricultural crops. To fill this gap, the hypothesis that bee visitation to flowers decreases after pollination through reduced floral volatile emissions in highbush blueberries, Vaccinium corymbosum, was tested. Other sources of variation in floral emissions and the role of floral volatiles in bee attraction were also examined. Methods Pollinator visitation to blueberry flowers was manipulated by bagging all flowers within a bush (pollinator excluded) or leaving them unbagged (open pollinated), and then the effect on floral volatile emissions and future bee visitation were measured. Floral volatiles were also measured from different blueberry cultivars, times of the day and flower parts, and a study was conducted to test the attraction of bees to floral volatiles. Key Results Open-pollinated blueberry flowers had 32 % lower volatile emissions than pollinator-excluded flowers. In particular, cinnamyl alcohol, a major component of the floral blend that is emitted exclusively from petals, was emitted in lower quantities from open-pollinated flowers. Although, no differences in cinnamyl alcohol emissions were detected among three blueberry cultivars or at different times of day, some components of the blueberry floral blend were emitted in higher amounts from certain cultivars and at mid-day. Field observations showed that more bees visited bushes with pollinator-excluded flowers. Also, more honey bees were caught in traps baited with a synthetic blueberry floral blend than in unbaited traps. Conclusions Greater volatile emissions may help guide bees to unpollinated flowers, and thus increase plant fitness and bee energetic return when foraging in blueberries. Furthermore, the variation in volatile emissions from blueberry flowers depending on pollination status, plant cultivar and time of day suggests an adaptive role of floral signals in

  13. Within-population spatial variation in pollinator visitation rates, pollen limitation on seed set, and flower longevity in an alpine species

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Lundemo, Sverre; Totland, Ørjan

    2007-11-01

    Pollen limitation through insufficient pollen deposition on stigmas caused by too infrequent pollinator visitation may influence the reproductive outcome of plants. In this study we investigated how pollinator visitation rate, the degree of pollen limitation, and flower longevity varied spatially among three sites at different altitudes within a population of the dwarf shrub Dryas octopetala L. in alpine southern Norway. Significant pollen limitation on seed set only occurred at the mid-elevation site, while seed set at the other sites appeared to be mainly resource limited, thus indicating a spatial variation in pollen limitation. There was no association between the spatial variation in the extent of pollen limitation and pollinator visitation rate to flowers. However, pollinator visitation rates were related to flower longevity of Dryas; sites with low visitation rates had long-lived flowers and vice versa. Thus, our results suggest within-population spatial co-variation between pollinator visitation rates, pollen limitation, and a developmental response to these factors, flower longevity.

  14. Microbial communities on flower surfaces act as signatures of pollinator visitation

    PubMed Central

    Ushio, Masayuki; Yamasaki, Eri; Takasu, Hiroyuki; Nagano, Atsushi J.; Fujinaga, Shohei; Honjo, Mie N.; Ikemoto, Mito; Sakai, Shoko; Kudoh, Hiroshi

    2015-01-01

    Microbes are easily dispersed from one place to another, and immigrant microbes might contain information about the environments from which they came. We hypothesized that part of the microbial community on a flower's surface is transferred there from insect body surfaces and that this community can provide information to identify potential pollinator insects of that plant. We collected insect samples from the field, and found that an insect individual harbored an average of 12.2 × 105 microbial cells on its surface. A laboratory experiment showed that the microbial community composition on a flower surface changed after contact with an insect, suggesting that microbes are transferred from the insect to the flower. Comparison of the microbial fingerprint approach and direct visual observation under field condition suggested that the microbial community on a flower surface could to some extent indicate the structure of plant–pollinator interactions. In conclusion, species-specific insect microbial communities specific to insect species can be transferred from an insect body to a flower surface, and these microbes can serve as a “fingerprint” of the insect species, especially for large-bodied insects. Dispersal of microbes is a ubiquitous phenomenon that has unexpected and novel applications in many fields and disciplines. PMID:25733079

  15. Total Control – Pollen Presentation and Floral Longevity in Loasaceae (Blazing Star Family) Are Modulated by Light, Temperature and Pollinator Visitation Rates

    PubMed Central

    Henning, Tilo; Weigend, Maximilian

    2012-01-01

    Stamen movements can be understood as a mechanism influencing pollen presentation and increasing outbreeding success of hermaphroditic flowers via optimized male function. In this study we experimentally analyzed the factors regulating autonomous and thigmonastic (triggered by flower visitors) stamen movements in eight species of Loasaceae. Both types of stamen movements are positively influenced by light and temperature and come to a virtual standstill in the dark and at low temperatures (12°C). Pollen presentation is thus discontinued during periods where pollinators are not active. Overall stamen presentation increases with increasing flower age. Contrary to expectation, no geometrical correlation between the floral scale stimulated and the stamen fascicle reacting exists, indicating that the stimulus is transmitted over the receptacle and stamen maturation dictates which and how many stamens react. Thigmonastic stamen presentation is dramatically accelerated compared to autonomous movement (3–37 times), indicating that the rate of stamen maturation can be adjusted to different visitation schedules. Flowers can react relatively uniformly down to stimulation intervals of 10–15 min., consistently presenting comparable numbers of stamens in the flower c. 5 min. after the stimulus and can thus keep the amount of pollen presented relatively constant even under very high visitation frequencies of 4–6 visits/h. Thigmonastic pollen presentation dramatically reduces the overall duration of the staminate phase (to 1/3rd in Nasa macrothyrsa). Similarly, the carpellate phase is dramatically reduced after pollination, down to 1 d from 4 d. Overall flower longevity is reduced by more than 2/3rds under high visitation rates (<3 d versus 10 d under visitor exclusion) and depleted and pollinated flowers are rapidly removed from the pool. Complex floral behaviour in Loasaceae thus permits a near-total control over pollen dispensation schedules and floral longevity of the

  16. Pollination Services of Mango Flower Pollinators.

    PubMed

    Huda, A Nurul; Salmah, M R Che; Hassan, A Abu; Hamdan, A; Razak, M N Abdul

    2015-01-01

    Measuring wild pollinator services in agricultural production is very important in the context of sustainable management. In this study, we estimated the contribution of native pollinators to mango fruit set production of two mango cultivars Mangifera indica (L). cv. 'Sala' and 'Chok Anan'. Visitation rates of pollinators on mango flowers and number of pollen grains adhering to their bodies determined pollinator efficiency for reproductive success of the crop. Chok Anan failed to produce any fruit set in the absence of pollinators. In natural condition, we found that Sala produced 4.8% fruit set per hermaphrodite flower while Chok Anan produced 3.1% per flower. Hand pollination tremendously increased fruit set of naturally pollinated flower for Sala (>100%), but only 33% for Chok Anan. Pollinator contribution to mango fruit set was estimated at 53% of total fruit set production. Our results highlighted the importance of insect pollinations in mango production. Large size flies Eristalinus spp. and Chrysomya spp. were found to be effective pollen carriers and visited more mango flowers compared with other flower visitors. PMID:26246439

  17. Pollination Services of Mango Flower Pollinators

    PubMed Central

    Huda, A. Nurul; Salmah, M. R. Che; Hassan, A. Abu; Hamdan, A.; Razak, M. N. Abdul

    2015-01-01

    Measuring wild pollinator services in agricultural production is very important in the context of sustainable management. In this study, we estimated the contribution of native pollinators to mango fruit set production of two mango cultivars Mangifera indica (L). cv. ‘Sala’ and ‘Chok Anan’. Visitation rates of pollinators on mango flowers and number of pollen grains adhering to their bodies determined pollinator efficiency for reproductive success of the crop. Chok Anan failed to produce any fruit set in the absence of pollinators. In natural condition, we found that Sala produced 4.8% fruit set per hermaphrodite flower while Chok Anan produced 3.1% per flower. Hand pollination tremendously increased fruit set of naturally pollinated flower for Sala (>100%), but only 33% for Chok Anan. Pollinator contribution to mango fruit set was estimated at 53% of total fruit set production. Our results highlighted the importance of insect pollinations in mango production. Large size flies Eristalinus spp. and Chrysomya spp. were found to be effective pollen carriers and visited more mango flowers compared with other flower visitors. PMID:26246439

  18. Intraspecific combinations of flower and leaf volatiles act together in attracting hawkmoth pollinators.

    PubMed

    Kárpáti, Zsolt; Knaden, Markus; Reinecke, Andreas; Hansson, Bill S

    2013-01-01

    Insects pinpoint mates, food and oviposition sites by olfactory cues. Recognizing and localizing a suitable target by olfaction is demanding. Odor sources emit characteristic blends of compounds that have to be identified against an environmentally derived olfactory background. This background, however, does not necessarily disturb the localization of a source. Rather, the contrary. Sex pheromones become more attractive to male moths when being presented against a relevant plant background. Here we asked whether such olfactory coaction also characterizes foraging cues. The tobacco hornworm Manduca sexta feeds on nectar from wild tobacco Nicotiana attenuata and sacred datura Datura wrightii flowers. We tested how leaf-derived volatile blends as a background affect the moths' approach to flower blends. We found coaction when a flower blend was presented against a conspecific leaf volatile background but not when the blend was presented against volatiles emitted by the other host plant or by a non-host plant. Hence, our results reveal a species-specific coaction between flower blend and leaf volatile background. The ability to integrate information from different odor sources on one plant might provide the moth with a fine-grained analysis of food site quality. PMID:24069159

  19. Pollination services enhanced with urbanization despite increasing pollinator parasitism.

    PubMed

    Theodorou, Panagiotis; Radzevičiūtė, Rita; Settele, Josef; Schweiger, Oliver; Murray, Tomás E; Paxton, Robert J

    2016-06-29

    Animal-mediated pollination is required for the reproduction of the majority of angiosperms, and pollinators are therefore essential for ecosystem functioning and the economy. Two major threats to insect pollinators are anthropogenic land-use change and the spread of pathogens, whose effects may interact to impact pollination. Here, we investigated the relative effects on the ecosystem service of pollination of (i) land-use change brought on by agriculture and urbanization as well as (ii) the prevalence of pollinator parasites, using experimental insect pollinator-dependent plant species in natural pollinator communities. We found that pollinator habitat (i.e. availability of nesting resources for ground-nesting bees and local flower richness) was strongly related to flower visitation rates at the local scale and indirectly influenced plant pollination success. At the landscape scale, pollination was positively related to urbanization, both directly and indirectly via elevated visitation rates. Bumblebees were the most abundant pollinator group visiting experimental flowers. Prevalence of trypanosomatids, such as the common bumblebee parasite Crithidia bombi, was higher in urban compared with agricultural areas, a relationship which was mediated through higher Bombus abundance. Yet, we did not find any top-down, negative effects of bumblebee parasitism on pollination. We conclude that urban areas can be places of high transmission of both pollen and pathogens. PMID:27335419

  20. Pollination services enhanced with urbanization despite increasing pollinator parasitism

    PubMed Central

    Radzevičiūtė, Rita; Murray, Tomás E.

    2016-01-01

    Animal-mediated pollination is required for the reproduction of the majority of angiosperms, and pollinators are therefore essential for ecosystem functioning and the economy. Two major threats to insect pollinators are anthropogenic land-use change and the spread of pathogens, whose effects may interact to impact pollination. Here, we investigated the relative effects on the ecosystem service of pollination of (i) land-use change brought on by agriculture and urbanization as well as (ii) the prevalence of pollinator parasites, using experimental insect pollinator-dependent plant species in natural pollinator communities. We found that pollinator habitat (i.e. availability of nesting resources for ground-nesting bees and local flower richness) was strongly related to flower visitation rates at the local scale and indirectly influenced plant pollination success. At the landscape scale, pollination was positively related to urbanization, both directly and indirectly via elevated visitation rates. Bumblebees were the most abundant pollinator group visiting experimental flowers. Prevalence of trypanosomatids, such as the common bumblebee parasite Crithidia bombi, was higher in urban compared with agricultural areas, a relationship which was mediated through higher Bombus abundance. Yet, we did not find any top-down, negative effects of bumblebee parasitism on pollination. We conclude that urban areas can be places of high transmission of both pollen and pathogens. PMID:27335419

  1. More than just warming and advanced leaf unfolding: drought as a driver of growth phenology and pollinators as drivers of floral volatile phenology.

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Penuelas, J.; Estiarte, M.; Filella, I.

    2011-12-01

    We will present two examples showing that climate and climate change effects on phenology are not restricted to the most well known warming effects advancing leaf unfolding in spring. The plant activity in Mediterranean evergreen vegetation spans through all the year with peaks in spring and autumn. This bimodal pattern is the consequence of the split of the warm period in two wetter seasons separated by the dry summer, although in dry years droughts span through other seasons. The interannual variability in timing and length of droughts shows how the effects on plant ecophysiology affect the growth and reproduction and their phenology. Climate warming will have direct effects on Mediterranean vegetation, but by increasing water demand by plants, will have also indirect effects on phenology and growth by the more severe droughts. The effects of drought may extend to growth and reproduction in wet periods as result of trade-offs between both functions. Consequences of the summer and autumn phenology for the regional and global carbon cycles will be discussed. We will also present and discuss the relationships of seasonal, phenological, variations in emitted floral volatiles by the different species of a Mediterranean shrubland community, with plant species flower reward, and with the availability of pollinators. Our observational studies show that flower and pollinator availabilities follow closely a source-demand trade-off relationship with volatile emissions. The phenology of floral volatile emissions seems thus not only affected by warming or drought but also by the phenological changes in the presence of pollinators.

  2. Floral neighborhood influences pollinator assemblages and effective pollination in a native plant.

    PubMed

    Bruckman, Daniela; Campbell, Diane R

    2014-10-01

    Pollinators represent an important intermediary by which different plant species can influence each other's reproductive fitness. Floral neighbors can modify the quantity of pollinator visits to a focal species but may also influence the composition of visitor assemblages that plants receive leading to potential changes in the average effectiveness of floral visits. We explored how the heterospecific floral neighborhood (abundance of native and non-native heterospecific plants within 2 m × 2 m) affects pollinator visitation and composition of pollinator assemblages for a native plant, Phacelia parryi. The relative effectiveness of different insect visitors was also assessed to interpret the potential effects on plant fitness of shifts in pollinator assemblage composition. Although the common non-native Brassica nigra did not have a significant effect on overall pollinator visitation rate to P. parryi, the proportion of flower visits that were made by native pollinators increased with increasing abundance of heterospecific plant species in the floral neighborhood other than B. nigra. Furthermore, native pollinators deposited twice as many P. parryi pollen grains per visit as did the nonnative Apis mellifera, and visits by native bees also resulted in more seeds than visits by A. mellifera. These results indicate that the floral neighborhood can influence the composition of pollinator assemblages that visit a native plant and that changes in local flower communities have the potential to affect plant reproductive success through shifts in these assemblages towards less effective pollinators. PMID:25047026

  3. Inflorescence architecture affects pollinator behaviour and mating success in Spiranthes sinensis (Orchidaceae).

    PubMed

    Iwata, Tatsunori; Nagasaki, Osamu; Ishii, Hiroshi S; Ushimaru, Atushi

    2012-01-01

    • Despite the wide inflorescence diversity among angiosperms, the effects of inflorescence architecture (three-dimensional flower arrangement) on pollinator behaviour and mating success have not been sufficiently studied in natural plant populations. • Here, we investigated how inflorescence architecture affected inter- and intra-plant pollinator movements and consequent mating success in a field population of Spiranthes sinensis var. amoena (S. sinensis). In this species, the flowers are helically arranged around the stem, and the degree of twisting varies greatly among individuals. The large variation in inflorescence architecture in S. sinensis results from variation in a single structural parameter, the helical angle (the angular distance between neighbour-flower directions). • The numbers of visits per inflorescence and successive probes per visit by leaf-cutting bees decreased with helical angle, indicating that individual flowers of tightly twisted inflorescences received less visitations. As expected from pollinator behaviour, pollinia removal and fruit set of individual flowers decreased with helical angle. Meanwhile, geitonogamy decreased in tightly twisted inflorescences. • Our novel findings demonstrate that natural variation in inflorescence architecture significantly affects pollinator behaviour and reproductive success, suggesting that inflorescence architecture can evolve under pollinator-mediated natural selection in plant populations. We also discuss how diverse inflorescence architectures may have been maintained in S. sinensis populations. PMID:21919912

  4. Floral Nectar: Pollinator Attraction or Manipulation?

    PubMed

    Pyke, Graham H

    2016-05-01

    The literature suggests that floral nectar acts principally to attract pollinator visitation (and/or revisitation), thereby enhancing plant reproductive success. However, floral nectar also manipulates pollinator behaviour during and immediately following plant visits, affecting pollen transfer, and plant reproduction. I argue that floral nectar should really be viewed as a pollinator manipulant rather than attractant, thus potentially explaining why its concentration is not generally high and why it decreases with increasing pollinator body size. Otherwise, such patterns may remain mysterious and unexplained. PMID:26987770

  5. Matching floral and pollinator traits through guild convergence and pollinator ecotype formation

    PubMed Central

    Newman, Ethan; Manning, John; Anderson, Bruce

    2014-01-01

    Background and Aims Pollinator landscapes, as determined by pollinator morphology/behaviour, can vary inter- or intraspecifically, imposing divergent selective pressures and leading to geographically divergent floral ecotypes. Assemblages of plants pollinated by the same pollinator (pollinator guilds) should exhibit convergence of floral traits because they are exposed to similar selective pressures. Both convergence and the formation of pollination ecotypes should lead to matching of traits among plants and their pollinators. Methods We examined 17 floral guild members pollinated in all or part of their range by Prosoeca longipennis, a long-proboscid fly with geographic variation in tongue length. Attractive floral traits such as colour, and nectar properties were recorded in populations across the range of each species. The length of floral reproductive parts, a mechanical fit trait, was recorded in each population to assess possible correlation with the mouthparts of the local pollinator. A multiple regression analysis was used to determine whether pollinators or abiotic factors provided the best explanation for variation in floral traits, and pollinator shifts were recorded in extralimital guild member populations. Key Results Nine of the 17 species were visited by alternative pollinator species in other parts of their ranges, and these displayed differences in mechanical fit and attractive traits, suggesting putative pollination ecotypes. Plants pollinated by P. longipennis were similar in colour throughout the pollinator range. Tube length of floral guild members co-varied with the proboscis length of P. longipennis. Conclusions Pollinator shifts have resulted in geographically divergent pollinator ecotypes across the ranges of several guild members. However, within sites, unrelated plants pollinated by P. longipennis are similar in the length of their floral parts, most probably as a result of convergent evolution in response to pollinator morphology. Both

  6. Stingless Bees as Alternative Pollinators of Canola.

    PubMed

    Witter, Sidia; Nunes-Silva, Patrícia; Lisboa, Bruno B; Tirelli, Flavia P; Sattler, Aroni; Both Hilgert-Moreira, Suzane; Blochtein, Betina

    2015-06-01

    Alternative pollinators can ensure pollination services if the availability of the managed or most common pollinator is compromised. In this study, the behavior and pollination efficiency of Apis mellifera L. and two species of stingless bees, Plebeia emerina Friese and Tetragonisca fiebrigi Schwarz, were evaluated and compared in flowers of Brassica napus L. 'Hyola 61'. A. mellifera was an efficient pollinator when collecting nectar because it effectively touched the reproductive organs of the flower. In contrast, stingless bees were efficient pollinators only when collecting pollen. The number of pollen grains deposited on the stigma after a single visit by worker bees of the three species was greater than the number of grains resulting from pollination without the bee visits. On average, the three species deposited enough pollen grains to fertilize all of the flower ovules. A. mellifera and P. emerina had similar pollination efficiency because no significant differences were observed in the characteristics of the siliques produced. Although T. fiebrigi is also an effective pollinator, the seed mass produced by their pollination was lower. Native bees promoted similar rates of fruit set compared with A. mellifera. Thus, P. emerina has potential to be used for pollination in canola crops. PMID:26470207

  7. Pollinator limitation on reproductive success in Iris tuberosa.

    PubMed

    Pellegrino, Giuseppe

    2014-01-01

    Variation in plant and floral size can have conflicting effects on pollination and fruit production in flowering plants. This research examines the contributions of plant height, flower size and pollinator visitation to reproductive success in four populations of Iris tuberosa. The plants were pollinated exclusively by hymenopteran species, primarily during sunny days. Pollination supplementation increased the proportion of flowers that matured into fruit, with 95 % fruit set for hand-pollinated compared with 74.15 % for naturally pollinated flowers. The pollinator visitation rate and the proportion of fruit produced were not significantly different between tall and short plants or between small and large flowers. Furthermore, the increase in plant size and floral display did not increase the frequency of pollinator visitations and so did not increase the fruit set. Thus, despite the widespread effects of flowering plant size on pollinator attraction and plant reproduction in other species, these effects are lacking in I. tuberosa. This study quantifies the role of pollinators in the reproductive success of I. tuberosa. Pollinators visited tall/short plants and large/small flowers in equal proportion, suggesting that plant and floral display size do not affect pollinator attraction and reproductive success in I. tuberosa. These results suggest that sexual reproduction of I. tuberosa is fairly limited by pollinators and not by resource limitation. PMID:25527476

  8. Diversity of wild bees supports pollination services in an urbanized landscape.

    PubMed

    Lowenstein, David M; Matteson, Kevin C; Minor, Emily S

    2015-11-01

    Plantings in residential neighborhoods can support wild pollinators. However, it is unknown how effectively wild pollinators maintain pollination services in small, urban gardens with diverse floral resources. We used a 'mobile garden' experimental design, whereby potted plants of cucumber, eggplant, and purple coneflower were brought to 30 residential yards in Chicago, IL, USA, to enable direct assessment of pollination services provided by wild pollinator communities. We measured fruit and seed set and investigated the effect of within-yard characteristics and adjacent floral resources on plant pollination. Increased pollinator visitation and taxonomic richness generally led to increases in fruit and seed set for all focal plants. Furthermore, fruit and seed set were correlated across the three species, suggesting that pollination services vary across the landscape in ways that are consistent among different plant species. Plant species varied in terms of which pollinator groups provided the most visits and benefit for pollination. Cucumber pollination was linked to visitation by small sweat bees (Lasioglossum spp.), whereas eggplant pollination was linked to visits by bumble bees. Purple coneflower was visited by the most diverse group of pollinators and, perhaps due to this phenomenon, was more effectively pollinated in florally-rich gardens. Our results demonstrate how a diversity of wild bees supports pollination of multiple plant species, highlighting the importance of pollinator conservation within cities. Non-crop resources should continue to be planted in urban gardens, as these resources have a neutral and potentially positive effect on crop pollination. PMID:26187241

  9. Seed-Set Evaluation of Four Male-Sterile, Female-Fertile Soyban Lines Using Alfalfa Leaf-Cutter Bees and Honey Bees as Pollinators

    Technology Transfer Automated Retrieval System (TEKTRAN)

    Male-sterile, female-fertile plants have been used to produce hybrid soybean seed. Manual cross-pollination using male-sterile plants to produce large quantities of hybrid seed is difficult and time-consuming, because of the low success rate in cross-pollination. Insect pllinators may be suitable ...

  10. Apple Pollination: Demand Depends on Variety and Supply Depends on Pollinator Identity.

    PubMed

    Garratt, M P D; Breeze, T D; Boreux, V; Fountain, M T; McKerchar, M; Webber, S M; Coston, D J; Jenner, N; Dean, R; Westbury, D B; Biesmeijer, J C; Potts, S G

    2016-01-01

    Insect pollination underpins apple production but the extent to which different pollinator guilds supply this service, particularly across different apple varieties, is unknown. Such information is essential if appropriate orchard management practices are to be targeted and proportional to the potential benefits pollinator species may provide. Here we use a novel combination of pollinator effectiveness assays (floral visit effectiveness), orchard field surveys (flower visitation rate) and pollinator dependence manipulations (pollinator exclusion experiments) to quantify the supply of pollination services provided by four different pollinator guilds to the production of four commercial varieties of apple. We show that not all pollinators are equally effective at pollinating apples, with hoverflies being less effective than solitary bees and bumblebees, and the relative abundance of different pollinator guilds visiting apple flowers of different varieties varies significantly. Based on this, the taxa specific economic benefits to UK apple production have been established. The contribution of insect pollinators to the economic output in all varieties was estimated to be £92.1M across the UK, with contributions varying widely across taxa: solitary bees (£51.4M), honeybees (£21.4M), bumblebees (£18.6M) and hoverflies (£0.7M). This research highlights the differences in the economic benefits of four insect pollinator guilds to four major apple varieties in the UK. This information is essential to underpin appropriate investment in pollination services management and provides a model that can be used in other entomolophilous crops to improve our understanding of crop pollination ecology. PMID:27152628

  11. Apple Pollination: Demand Depends on Variety and Supply Depends on Pollinator Identity

    PubMed Central

    Garratt, M. P. D.; Breeze, T. D.; Boreux, V.; Coston, D. J.; Jenner, N.; Dean, R.; Westbury, D. B.; Biesmeijer, J. C.; Potts, S. G.

    2016-01-01

    Insect pollination underpins apple production but the extent to which different pollinator guilds supply this service, particularly across different apple varieties, is unknown. Such information is essential if appropriate orchard management practices are to be targeted and proportional to the potential benefits pollinator species may provide. Here we use a novel combination of pollinator effectiveness assays (floral visit effectiveness), orchard field surveys (flower visitation rate) and pollinator dependence manipulations (pollinator exclusion experiments) to quantify the supply of pollination services provided by four different pollinator guilds to the production of four commercial varieties of apple. We show that not all pollinators are equally effective at pollinating apples, with hoverflies being less effective than solitary bees and bumblebees, and the relative abundance of different pollinator guilds visiting apple flowers of different varieties varies significantly. Based on this, the taxa specific economic benefits to UK apple production have been established. The contribution of insect pollinators to the economic output in all varieties was estimated to be £92.1M across the UK, with contributions varying widely across taxa: solitary bees (£51.4M), honeybees (£21.4M), bumblebees (£18.6M) and hoverflies (£0.7M). This research highlights the differences in the economic benefits of four insect pollinator guilds to four major apple varieties in the UK. This information is essential to underpin appropriate investment in pollination services management and provides a model that can be used in other entomolophilous crops to improve our understanding of crop pollination ecology. PMID:27152628

  12. Comparison of perimeter trap crop varieties: effects on herbivory, pollination, and yield in butternut squash.

    PubMed

    Adler, L S; Hazzard, R V

    2009-02-01

    Perimeter trap cropping (PTC) is a method of integrated pest management (IPM) in which the main crop is surrounded with a perimeter trap crop that is more attractive to pests. Blue Hubbard (Cucurbita maxima Duch.) is a highly effective trap crop for butternut squash (C. moschata Duch. ex Poir) attacked by striped cucumber beetles (Acalymma vittatum Fabricius), but its limited marketability may reduce adoption of PTC by growers. Research comparing border crop varieties is necessary to provide options for growers. Furthermore, pollinators are critical for cucurbit yield, and the effect of PTC on pollination to main crops is unknown. We examined the effect of five border treatments on herbivory, pollination, and yield in butternut squash and manipulated herbivory and pollination to compare their importance for main crop yield. Blue Hubbard, buttercup squash (C. maxima Duch.), and zucchini (C. pepo L.) were equally attractive to cucumber beetles. Border treatments did not affect butternut leaf damage, but butternut flowers had the fewest beetles when surrounded by Blue Hubbard or buttercup squash. Yield was highest in the Blue Hubbard and buttercup treatments, but this effect was not statistically significant. Native bees accounted for 87% of pollinator visits, and pollination did not limit yield. There was no evidence that border crops competed with the main crop for pollinators. Our results suggest that both buttercup squash and zucchini may be viable alternatives to Blue Hubbard as borders for the main crop of butternut squash. Thus, growers may have multiple border options that reduce pesticide use, effectively manage pests, and do not disturb mutualist interactions with pollinators. PMID:19791616

  13. Diversity and pollination value of insects visiting the flowers of a rare buckwheat (Eriogonum pelinophilum: Polygonaceae) in disturbed and "natural" areas

    Technology Transfer Automated Retrieval System (TEKTRAN)

    We compared flower-visitors of the endangered plant Eriogonum pelinophilum, at a largely undistributed (UN) and a smaller, highly disturbed and fragmented site (DI). We found no difference between the DI site and the UN site in: 1) flower visitation rate, or 2) species richness of E. pelinophilum f...

  14. Pollinator specialization and pollination syndromes of three related North American Silene.

    PubMed

    Reynolds, Richard J; Westbrook, M Jody; Rohde, Alexandra S; Cridland, Julie M; Fenster, Charles B; Dudash, Michele R

    2009-08-01

    Community and biogeographic surveys often conclude that plant-pollinator interactions are highly generalized. Thus, a central implication of the pollination syndrome concept, that floral trait evolution occurs primarily via specialized interactions of plants with their pollinators, has been questioned. However, broad surveys may not distinguish whether flower visitors are actual pollen vectors and hence lack power to assess the relationship between syndrome traits and the pollinators responsible for their evolution. Here we address whether the floral traits of three closely related hermaphroditic Silene spp. native to eastern North America (S. caroliniana, S. virginica, and S. stellata) correspond to predicted specialized pollination based on floral differences among the three species and the congruence of these floral features with recognized pollination syndromes. A nocturnal/diurnal pollinator exclusion experiment demonstrated that all three Silene spp. have diurnal pollinators, and only S. stellata has nocturnal pollinators. Multiyear studies of visitation rates demonstrated that large bees, hummingbirds, and nocturnal moths were the most frequent pollinators of S. caroliniana, S. virginica, and S. stellata, respectively. Estimates of pollen grains deposited and removed per visit generally corroborated the visitation rate results for all three species. However, the relatively infrequent diurnal hawkmoth pollinators of S. caroliniana were equally effective and more efficient than the most frequent large bee visitors. Pollinator importance (visitation X deposition) of each of the animal visitors to each species was estimated and demonstrated that in most years large bees and nocturnal moths were the most important pollinators of S. caroliniana and S. stellata, respectively. By quantifying comprehensive aspects of the pollination process we determined that S. virginica and S. stellata were specialized on hummingbirds and nocturnal moths, respectively, and S

  15. Bird pollination of Canary Island endemic plants

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Ollerton, Jeff; Cranmer, Louise; Stelzer, Ralph J.; Sullivan, Steve; Chittka, Lars

    2009-02-01

    The Canary Islands are home to a guild of endemic, threatened bird-pollinated plants. Previous work has suggested that these plants evolved floral traits as adaptations to pollination by flower specialist sunbirds, but subsequently, they appear to have co-opted generalist passerine birds as sub-optimal pollinators. To test this idea, we carried out a quantitative study of the pollination biology of three of the bird-pollinated plants, Canarina canariensis (Campanulaceae), Isoplexis canariensis (Veronicaceae) and Lotus berthelotii (Fabaceae), on the island of Tenerife. Using colour vision models, we predicted the detectability of flowers to bird and bee pollinators. We measured pollinator visitation rates, nectar standing crops as well as seed-set and pollen removal and deposition. These data showed that the plants are effectively pollinated by non-flower specialist passerine birds that only occasionally visit flowers. The large nectar standing crops and extended flower longevities (>10 days) of Canarina and Isoplexis suggests that they have evolved a bird pollination system that effectively exploits these low frequency non-specialist pollen vectors and is in no way sub-optimal. Seed set in two of the three species was high and was significantly reduced or zero in flowers where pollinator access was restricted. In L. berthelotii, however, no fruit set was observed, probably because the plants were self-incompatible horticultural clones of a single genet. We also show that, while all three species are easily detectable for birds, the orange Canarina and the red Lotus (but less so the yellow-orange Isoplexis) should be difficult to detect for insect pollinators without specialised red receptors, such as bumblebees. Contrary to expectations if we accept that the flowers are primarily adapted to sunbird pollination, the chiffchaff ( Phylloscopus canariensis) was an effective pollinator of these species.

  16. Seasonal and annual variations in the pollination efficiency of a pollinator community of Dictamnus albus L.

    PubMed

    Fisogni, A; Rossi, M; Sgolastra, F; Bortolotti, L; Bogo, G; de Manincor, N; Quaranta, M; Galloni, M

    2016-05-01

    The interplay between insect and plant traits outlines the patterns of pollen transfer and the subsequent plant reproductive fitness. We studied the factors that affect the pollination efficiency of a pollinator community of Dictamnus albus L. by evaluating insect behaviour and morphological characteristics in relation to flowering phenology. In order to extrapolate the pollinator importance of single taxa and of the whole pollinator guild, we calculated an index distinguishing between potential (PPI) and realized (RPI) pollinator importance. Although the pollinator species spectrum appeared rather constant, we found high intra- and inter-annual variability of pollinator frequency and importance within the insect community. Flower visitation rate strictly depended on insect abundance and on the overlap between their flying period and flower blooming. All the pollinators visited flowers from the bottom to the top of the racemes, excluding intra-plant geitonogamous pollination, and most of them showed high pollen fidelity. Only medium large-sized bees could contact the upward bending stiles while feeding on nectar, highlighting a specialisation of the plant towards bigger pollinators. Moreover, we found evidence of functional specialisation, since all pollinators were restricted to a single taxonomic group (order: Hymenoptera; superfamily: Apoidea). Both the PPI and RPI indices indicate Habropoda tarsata as the most important pollinator of D. albus. Following hand cross-pollination experiments we revealed the presence of pollination limitation in 1 of the 3 years of field study. We discuss this result in relation to flowering abundance and to possible mismatches of phenological periods between plants and insects. PMID:26573095

  17. Floral divergence, pollinator partitioning and the spatiotemporal pattern of plant-pollinator interactions in three sympatric Adenophora species.

    PubMed

    Liu, Chang-Qiu; Huang, Shuang-Quan

    2013-12-01

    Floral divergence among congeners may relate to differential utilization of pollinators and contribute to reducing overlap in pollination niches. To investigate whether and how floral differences are associated with differential utilization of pollinators in three sympatric Adenophora species, we analyzed floral traits and evaluated the contribution of different visitors to pollination. We compared visitation rates of different pollinator categories in different years and sites. A suite of floral traits differed among the three Adenophora species, suggesting adaptation to diurnal versus nocturnal pollination and an intermediate condition. However, many visitor species were shared among the three plant species, suggesting that floral traits did not rigorously filter visitors. Effective pollinators were large bees and moths. The importance of large bees as pollinators decreased whereas that of moths increased along the gradient from typically bee-pollinated to moth-pollinated flowers. The intermediate species (A. khasiana) differed substantially from the other two species in pollinator species but not in pollinator categories. The principal pollinator category of each species was constant across years and sites except in the intermediate species where it differed between two sites. Overall, the three sympatric species of Adenophora partition pollinators by floral divergence and the principal pollinators coincide with the predictions based on floral syndromes. PMID:23824141

  18. The identity of crop pollinators helps target conservation for improved ecosystem services☆

    PubMed Central

    Garratt, M.P.D.; Coston, D.J.; Truslove, C.L.; Lappage, M.G.; Polce, C.; Dean, R.; Biesmeijer, J.C.; Potts, S.G.

    2014-01-01

    Insect pollinated mass flowering crops are becoming more widespread and there is a need to understand which insects are primarily responsible for the pollination of these crops so conservation measures can be appropriately targeted in the face of pollinator declines. This study used field surveys in conjunction with cage manipulations to identify the relative contributions of different pollinator taxa to the pollination of two widespread flowering crops, field beans and oilseed rape. Flower visiting pollinator communities observed in the field were distinct for each crop; while field beans were visited primarily by a few bumblebee species, multiple pollinator taxa visited oilseed, and the composition of this pollinator community was highly variable spatially and temporally. Neither pollinator community, however, appears to be meeting the demands of crops in our study regions. Cage manipulations showed that multiple taxa can effectively pollinate both oilseed and field beans, but bumblebees are particularly effective bean pollinators. Combining field observations and cage manipulations demonstrated that the pollination demands of these two mass flowering crops are highly contrasting, one would benefit from management to increase the abundance of some key taxa, whilst for the other, boosting overall pollinator abundance and diversity would be more appropriate. Our findings highlight the need for crop specific mitigation strategies that are targeted at conserving specific pollinator taxa (or group of taxa) that are both active and capable of crop pollination in order to reduce pollination deficits and meet the demands of future crop production. PMID:24696525

  19. Wind-Dragged Corolla Enhances Self-Pollination: A New Mechanism of Delayed Self-Pollination

    PubMed Central

    Qu, Rongming; Li, Xiaojie; Luo, Yibo; Dong, Ming; Xu, Huanli; Chen, Xuan; Dafni, Amots

    2007-01-01

    Background and Aims Delayed self-pollination is a mechanism that allows animal-pollinated plants to outcross while ensuring seed production in the absence of pollinators. This study aims to explore a new mechanism of delayed self-pollination facilitated by wind-driven corolla abscission in Incarvillea sinensis var. sinensis. Methods Floral morphology and development, and the process of delayed self-pollination were surveyed. Experiments dealing with pollinator and wind exclusion, pollination manipulations, and pollinator observations were conducted in the field. Key Results Delayed self-pollination occurs when the abscising corolla driven by wind drags the adherent epipetalous stamens, thus leading to contact of anthers with stigma in late anthesis. There is no dichogamy and self-incompatibility in this species. The significantly higher proportion of abscised corolla under natural conditions as compared with that in wind-excluding tents indicates the importance of wind in corolla abscission. When pollinators were excluded, corolla abscission significantly increased the number of pollen grains deposited on the stigma and, as a result, the fruit and seed set. Only half of the flowers in plots were visited by pollinators, and the fruit set of emasculated flowers was significantly lower than that of untreated flowers in open pollination. This species has a sensitive stigma, and its two open stigmatic lobes closed soon after being touched by a pollinator, but always reopened if no or only little pollen was deposited. Conclusions This delayed self-pollination, which involved the movement of floral parts, the active participation of the wind and sensitive stigma, is quite different from that reported previously. This mechanism provides reproductive assurance for this species. The sensitive stigma contributes to ensuring seed production and reducing the interference of selfing with outcrossing. The pollination pattern, which combines actions by bees with indirect

  20. Pollinators' mating rendezvous and the evolution of floral advertisement.

    PubMed

    Fishman, Michael A; Hadany, Lilach

    2013-01-01

    Successful cross-fertilization in plant species that rely on animal pollinators depends not just on the number of pollinator visits, but also on these visits' duration. Furthermore, in non-deceptive pollination, a visit's duration depends on the magnitude of the reward provided to the pollinator. Accordingly, plants that rely on biotic pollination have to partition their investment in cross-fertilization assurance between attracting pollinator visits - advertisement, and rewarding visitors to assure that the visit is of productive duration. Here we analyze these processes by a combination of optimality methods and game theoretical modeling. Our results indicate that the optimality in such allocation of resources depends on the types of reward offered to the pollinators. More precisely, we show that plants that offer both food reward and mating rendezvous to pollinators will evolve to allocate a higher proportion of their cross-fertilization assurance budget to advertisement than plants that offer only food reward. That is, our results indicate that pollinators' mating habits may play a role in floral evolution. PMID:23023108

  1. Floral advertisement and the competition for pollination services.

    PubMed

    Fishman, Michael A; Hadany, Lilach

    2015-06-01

    Flowering plants are a major component of terrestrial ecosystems, and most of them depend on animal pollinators for reproduction. Thus, the mutualism between flowering plants and their pollinators is a keystone ecological relationship in both natural and agricultural ecosystems. Though plant-pollinator interactions have received considerable amount of attention, there are still many unanswered questions. In this paper, we use methods of evolutionary game theory to investigate the co-evolution of floral advertisement and pollinator preferences Our results indicate that competition for pollination services among plant species can in some cases lead to specialization of the pollinator population to a single plant species (oligolecty). However, collecting pollen from multiple plants - at least at the population level - is evolutionarily stable under a wider parameter range. Finally, we show that, in the presence of pollinators, plants that optimize their investment in attracting vs. rewarding visiting pollinators outcompete plants that do not. PMID:25869274

  2. Breaking-bud pollination: a new pollination process in partially opened flowers by small bees.

    PubMed

    Yamaji, Futa; Ohsawa, Takeshi A

    2015-09-01

    Plant-pollinator interactions have usually been researched in flowers that have fully opened. However, some pollinators can visit flowers before full opening and contribute to fruit and seed sets. In this paper, we researched the pollination biology of flowers just starting to open in four field experiments. We observed the insect visitors to Lycoris sanguinea var. sanguinea for 3 years at five sites. These observations revealed that only small bees, Lasioglossum japonicum, often entered through tiny spaces between the tepals of 'breaking buds' (i.e. partially opened flowers) and collected pollen. We hypothesized that they can pollinate this species at the breaking-bud stage, when the stigma is located near the anthers. To measure the pollination effect of small bees at the breaking-bud stage, we bagged several breaking buds after small bees had visited them and examined whether these buds were pollinated. In bagging experiments, 30% of the breaking buds set fruit and seeds. Fruit-set ratios of the breaking buds did not differ significantly from those of the fully opened flowers, which had been visited by several insect species. We also counted the pollen grain numbers on the body of L. japonicum and on the anthers of randomly-selected and manipulated flowers. These experiments revealed that all of the captured bees had some pollen of target plants and that L. japonicum collected most of the pollen grains at the breaking-bud stage. Our results showed that the new pollination process, breaking-bud pollination, happened in breaking buds by L. japonicum, although there is no evidence to reveal that this is the most effective pollination method for L. sanguinea var. sanguinea. In principle, this new pollination process can occur in other flowering plants and our results are a major contribution to studies of plant-pollinator interactions. PMID:26175010

  3. Orchid-pollinator interactions and potential vulnerability to biological invasion.

    PubMed

    Chupp, Adam D; Battaglia, Loretta L; Schauber, Eric M; Sipes, Sedonia D

    2015-01-01

    Mutualistic relationships between plants and their pollinators have played a major role in the evolution of biodiversity. While the vulnerability of these relationships to environmental change is a major concern, studies often lack a framework for predicting impacts from emerging threats (e.g. biological invasions). The objective of this study was to determine the reliance of Platanthera ciliaris (orange-fringed orchid) on Papilio palamedes (Palamedes swallowtail butterfly) for pollination and the relative availability of alternative pollinators. Recent declines of P. palamedes larval host plants due to laurel wilt disease (LWD) could endanger P. ciliaris populations that rely heavily on this butterfly for pollination. We monitored pollinator visitation and fruit set and measured nectar spur lengths of P. ciliaris flowers and proboscis lengths of its floral visitors in Jackson County, MS, USA. Papilio palamedes was the primary visitor with minimal visitation by Phoebis sennae (cloudless sulfur butterfly). Lengths of P. ciliaris nectar spurs were similar to proboscis lengths of both pollinator species. Fruit set was moderate with access to pollinators (55 ± 10.8 %), yet failed (0 %) when pollinators were excluded. Visitation increased with inflorescence size, but there was no such pattern in fruit set, indicating that fruit set was not limited by pollinator visitation within the range of visitation rates we observed. Our results are supported by historical data that suggest P. palamedes and P. sennae are important pollinators of P. ciliaris. Although P. sennae may provide supplemental pollination service, this is likely constrained by habitat preferences that do not always overlap with those of P. cilaris. Observed declines of P. palamedes due to LWD could severely limit the reproductive success and persistence of P. ciliaris and similar orchid species populations. This empirical-based prediction is among the first to document exotic forest pests and pathogens as

  4. Orchid–pollinator interactions and potential vulnerability to biological invasion

    PubMed Central

    Chupp, Adam D.; Battaglia, Loretta L.; Schauber, Eric M.; Sipes, Sedonia D.

    2015-01-01

    Mutualistic relationships between plants and their pollinators have played a major role in the evolution of biodiversity. While the vulnerability of these relationships to environmental change is a major concern, studies often lack a framework for predicting impacts from emerging threats (e.g. biological invasions). The objective of this study was to determine the reliance of Platanthera ciliaris (orange-fringed orchid) on Papilio palamedes (Palamedes swallowtail butterfly) for pollination and the relative availability of alternative pollinators. Recent declines of P. palamedes larval host plants due to laurel wilt disease (LWD) could endanger P. ciliaris populations that rely heavily on this butterfly for pollination. We monitored pollinator visitation and fruit set and measured nectar spur lengths of P. ciliaris flowers and proboscis lengths of its floral visitors in Jackson County, MS, USA. Papilio palamedes was the primary visitor with minimal visitation by Phoebis sennae (cloudless sulfur butterfly). Lengths of P. ciliaris nectar spurs were similar to proboscis lengths of both pollinator species. Fruit set was moderate with access to pollinators (55 ± 10.8 %), yet failed (0 %) when pollinators were excluded. Visitation increased with inflorescence size, but there was no such pattern in fruit set, indicating that fruit set was not limited by pollinator visitation within the range of visitation rates we observed. Our results are supported by historical data that suggest P. palamedes and P. sennae are important pollinators of P. ciliaris. Although P. sennae may provide supplemental pollination service, this is likely constrained by habitat preferences that do not always overlap with those of P. cilaris. Observed declines of P. palamedes due to LWD could severely limit the reproductive success and persistence of P. ciliaris and similar orchid species populations. This empirical-based prediction is among the first to document exotic forest pests and pathogens as

  5. The Pollination Ecology of Paraboea rufescens (Gesneriaceae): a Buzz-pollinated Tropical Herb with Mirror-image Flowers

    PubMed Central

    GAO, JIANG-YUN; REN, PAN-YU; YANG, ZI-HUI; LI, QING-JUN

    2006-01-01

    • Background and Aims Gesneriaceae is a pantropical plant family with over 3000 species. A great variety of pollination mechanisms have been reported for the neotropical members of the family, but the details of buzz-pollination and enantiostyly for the family have not been described. We investigated the floral biology and pollination ecology of Paraboea rufescens in Xishuangbanna, south-west China, considering three aspects: (1) the type of enantiostyly exhibited; (2) whether the species is self-compatible; and (3) whether pollinator behaviour could enhance the precision of pollen transfer between flowers of contrasting stylar orientation. • Methods Flowering phenology was monitored once a month during vegetative growth, and once a week during flowering both in the field and under cultivation. Pollination manipulations and pollinator observation in the field were conducted. • Key Results Anthesis occurred early during the morning, and flowers remained open for 1–5 d, depending on weather conditions. Controlled pollinations revealed that P. rufescens is self-compatible, and exhibited inbreeding depression in seed set. Plants were pollinator limited in natural populations. The similar stylar deflection among flowers within a plant limits autonomous self-pollination as well as pollination between flowers. Two species of bumble bees (Bombus spp.), Amegila malaccensis and Nomia sp. effectively pollinated P. rufescens. These pollinators visited flowers in search of pollen with almost the same frequency. None of the pollinators appeared to discriminate between left- or right-handed flowers. • Conclusions Paraboea rufescens exhibits monomorphic enantiostylous flowers and a buzz-pollination syndrome. Floral morphology in P. rufescens and pollinator foraging behaviour seems likely to reduce self-pollination and pollinations between flowers of the same stylar deflection. PMID:16371444

  6. Generalised pollination systems for three invasive milkweeds in Australia.

    PubMed

    Ward, M; Johnson, S D

    2013-05-01

    Because most plants require pollinator visits for seed production, the ability of an introduced plant species to establish pollinator relationships in a new ecosystem may have a central role in determining its success or failure as an invader. We investigated the pollination ecology of three milkweed species - Asclepias curassavica, Gomphocarpus fruticosus and G. physocarpus - in their invaded range in southeast Queensland, Australia. The complex floral morphology of milkweeds has often been interpreted as a general trend towards specialised pollination requirements. Based on this interpretation, invasion by milkweeds contradicts the expectation than plant species with specialised pollination systems are less likely to become invasive that those with more generalised pollination requirements. However, observations of flower visitors in natural populations of the three study species revealed that their pollination systems are essentially specialised at the taxonomic level of the order, but generalised at the species level. Specifically, pollinators of the two Gomphocarpus species included various species of Hymenoptera (particularly vespid wasps), while pollinators of A. curassavica were primarily Lepidoptera (particularly nymphalid butterflies). Pollinators of all three species are rewarded with copious amounts of highly concentrated nectar. It is likely that successful invasion by these three milkweed species is attributable, at least in part, to their generalised pollinator requirements. The results of this study are discussed in terms of how data from the native range may be useful in predicting pollination success of species in a new environment. PMID:23173573

  7. Is Floral Diversification Associated with Pollinator Divergence? Flower Shape, Flower Colour and Pollinator Preference in Chilean Mimulus

    PubMed Central

    Cooley, A. M.; Carvallo, G.; Willis, J. H.

    2008-01-01

    Background and Aims Adaptation to different pollinators is thought to drive divergence in flower colour and morphology, and may lead to interspecific reproductive isolation. Floral diversity was tested for association with divergent pollinator preferences in a group of four closely related wildflower species: the yellow-flowered Mimulus luteus var. luteus and the red-pigmented M. l. variegatus, M. naiandinus and M. cupreus. Methods Patterns of pollinator visitation were evaluated in natural plant populations in central Chile, including both single-species and mixed-species sites. Floral anthocyanin pigments were identified, and floral morphology and nectar variation were quantified in a common garden experiment using seeds collected from the study sites. Key Results Mimulus l. luteus, M. l. variegatus and M. naiandinus are morphologically similar and share a single generalist bumblebee pollinator, Bombus dahlbomii. Mimulus cupreus differs significantly from the first three taxa in corolla shape as well as nectar characteristics, and had far fewer pollinator visits. Conclusions This system shows limited potential for pollinator-mediated restriction of gene flow as a function of flower colour, and no evidence of transition to a novel pollinator. Mimulus cupreus may experience reduced interspecific gene flow due to a lack of bumblebee visitation, but not because of its red pigmentation: rare yellow morphs are equally undervisited by pollinators. Overall, the results suggest that factors other than pollinator shifts may contribute to the maintenance of floral diversity in these Chilean Mimulus species. PMID:18272528

  8. Indirect Effects of Field Management on Pollination Service and Seed Set in Hybrid Onion Seed Production.

    PubMed

    Gillespie, Sandra; Long, Rachael; Williams, Neal

    2015-12-01

    Pollination in crops, as in native ecosystems, is a stepwise process that can be disrupted at any stage. Healthy pollinator populations are critical for adequate visitation, but pollination still might fail if crop management interferes with the attraction and retention of pollinators. Farmers must balance the direct benefits of applying insecticide and managing irrigation rates against their potential to indirectly interfere with the pollination process. We investigated these issues in hybrid onion seed production, where previous research has shown that high insecticide use reduces pollinator attraction. We conducted field surveys of soil moisture, nectar production, pollinator visitation, pollen-stigma interactions, and seed set at multiple commercial fields across 2 yr. We then examined how management actions, such as irrigation rate (approximated by soil moisture), or insecticide use could affect the pollination process. Onions produced maximum nectar at intermediate soil moisture, and high nectar production attracted more pollinators. Insecticide use weakly affected pollinator visitation, but when applied close to bloom reduced pollen germination and pollen tube growth. Ultimately, neither soil moisture nor insecticide use directly affected seed set, but the high correlation between pollinator visitation and seed set suggests that crop management will ultimately affect yields via indirect effects on the pollination process. PMID:26470371

  9. The evolution of bat pollination: a phylogenetic perspective

    PubMed Central

    Fleming, Theodore H.; Geiselman, Cullen; Kress, W. John

    2009-01-01

    Background Most tropical and subtropical plants are biotically pollinated, and insects are the major pollinators. A small but ecologically and economically important group of plants classified in 28 orders, 67 families and about 528 species of angiosperms are pollinated by nectar-feeding bats. From a phylogenetic perspective this is a derived pollination mode involving a relatively large and energetically expensive pollinator. Here its ecological and evolutionary consequences are explored. Scope and Conclusions This review summarizes adaptations in bats and plants that facilitate this interaction and discusses the evolution of bat pollination from a plant phylogenetic perspective. Two families of bats contain specialized flower visitors, one in the Old World and one in the New World. Adaptation to pollination by bats has evolved independently many times from a variety of ancestral conditions, including insect-, bird- and non-volant mammal-pollination. Bat pollination predominates in very few families but is relatively common in certain angiosperm subfamilies and tribes. We propose that flower-visiting bats provide two important benefits to plants: they deposit large amounts of pollen and a variety of pollen genotypes on plant stigmas and, compared with many other pollinators, they are long-distance pollen dispersers. Bat pollination tends to occur in plants that occur in low densities and in lineages producing large flowers. In highly fragmented tropical habitats, nectar bats play an important role in maintaining the genetic continuity of plant populations and thus have considerable conservation value. PMID:19789175

  10. Plant diversity increases spatio-temporal niche complementarity in plant-pollinator interactions.

    PubMed

    Venjakob, Christine; Klein, Alexandra-Maria; Ebeling, Anne; Tscharntke, Teja; Scherber, Christoph

    2016-04-01

    Ongoing biodiversity decline impairs ecosystem processes, including pollination. Flower visitation, an important indicator of pollination services, is influenced by plant species richness. However, the spatio-temporal responses of different pollinator groups to plant species richness have not yet been analyzed experimentally. Here, we used an experimental plant species richness gradient to analyze plant-pollinator interactions with an unprecedented spatio-temporal resolution. We observed four pollinator functional groups (honeybees, bumblebees, solitary bees, and hoverflies) in experimental plots at three different vegetation strata between sunrise and sunset. Visits were modified by plant species richness interacting with time and space. Furthermore, the complementarity of pollinator functional groups in space and time was stronger in species-rich mixtures. We conclude that high plant diversity should ensure stable pollination services, mediated via spatio-temporal niche complementarity in flower visitation. PMID:27069585

  11. Two invasive acacia species secure generalist pollinators in invaded communities

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Montesinos, Daniel; Castro, Sílvia; Rodríguez-Echeverría, Susana

    2016-07-01

    Exotic entomophilous plants need to establish effective pollinator interactions in order to succeed after being introduced into a new community, particularly if they are obligatory outbreeders. By establishing these novel interactions in the new non-native range, invasive plants are hypothesised to drive changes in the composition and functioning of the native pollinator community, with potential impacts on the pollination biology of native co-flowering plants. We used two different sites in Portugal, each invaded by a different acacia species, to assess whether two native Australian trees, Acacia dealbata and Acacia longifolia, were able to recruit pollinators in Portugal, and whether the pollinator community visiting acacia trees differed from the pollinator communities interacting with native co-flowering plants. Our results indicate that in the invaded range of Portugal both acacia species were able to establish novel mutualistic interactions, predominantly with generalist pollinators. For each of the two studied sites, only two other co-occurring native plant species presented partially overlapping phenologies. We observed significant differences in pollinator richness and visitation rates among native and non-native plant species, although the study of β diversity indicated that only the native plant Lithodora fruticosa presented a differentiated set of pollinator species. Acacias experienced a large number of visits by numerous pollinator species, but massive acacia flowering resulted in flower visitation rates frequently lower than those of the native co-flowering species. We conclude that the establishment of mutualisms in Portugal likely contributes to the effective and profuse production of acacia seeds in Portugal. Despite the massive flowering of A. dealbata and A. longifolia, native plant species attained similar or higher visitation rates than acacias.

  12. Pollinators of Oxypetalum (Asclepiadaceae) in southeastern Brazil.

    PubMed

    Vieira, M F; Shepherd, G J

    1999-11-01

    Floral visitors of seven species of Oxypetalum were registered in Viçosa, State of Minas Gerais. O. appendiculatum, O. banksii subsp, banksii, O. alpinumn var. alpinum and O. pachyglossum are pollinated by wasps, being Polybia ignobilis (Vespidae) a pollinator of these four species. It seems that P ignobilis promotes interspecific pollinations mainly between O. alpinum var. alpinum and O. pachyglossum, two species with very similar floral morphology. O. jacobinae, O. mexiae and O. subriparium are pollinated by bees. Wasps and bees carry one, two, three or several pollinaria in the mouthparts. O. mexiae, an endemic species in Viçosa, seems to present reproductive limitations, since its flowers are seldom visited. PMID:23505657

  13. Pollinator recognition by a keystone tropical plant

    PubMed Central

    Betts, Matthew G.; Hadley, Adam S.; Kress, W. John

    2015-01-01

    Understanding the mechanisms enabling coevolution in complex mutualistic networks remains a central challenge in evolutionary biology. We show for the first time, to our knowledge, that a tropical plant species has the capacity to discriminate among floral visitors, investing in reproduction differentially across the pollinator community. After we standardized pollen quality in 223 aviary experiments, successful pollination of Heliconia tortuosa (measured as pollen tube abundance) occurred frequently when plants were visited by long-distance traplining hummingbird species with specialized bills (x¯ pollen tubes = 1.21 ± 0.12 SE) but was reduced 5.7 times when visited by straight-billed territorial birds (x¯ pollen tubes = 0.20 ± 0.074 SE) or insects. Our subsequent experiments revealed that plants use the nectar extraction capacity of tropical hummingbirds, a positive function of bill length, as a cue to turn on reproductively. Furthermore, we show that hummingbirds with long bills and high nectar extraction efficiency engaged in daily movements at broad spatial scales (∼1 km), but that territorial species moved only short distances (<100 m). Such pollinator recognition may therefore affect mate selection and maximize receipt of high-quality pollen from multiple parents. Although a diffuse pollinator network is implied, because all six species of hummingbirds carry pollen of H. tortuosa, only two species with specialized bills contribute meaningfully to its reproduction. We hypothesize that this pollinator filtering behavior constitutes a crucial mechanism facilitating coevolution in multispecies plant–pollinator networks. However, pollinator recognition also greatly reduces the number of realized pollinators, thereby rendering mutualistic networks more vulnerable to environmental change. PMID:25733902

  14. Pollinator recognition by a keystone tropical plant.

    PubMed

    Betts, Matthew G; Hadley, Adam S; Kress, W John

    2015-03-17

    Understanding the mechanisms enabling coevolution in complex mutualistic networks remains a central challenge in evolutionary biology. We show for the first time, to our knowledge, that a tropical plant species has the capacity to discriminate among floral visitors, investing in reproduction differentially across the pollinator community. After we standardized pollen quality in 223 aviary experiments, successful pollination of Heliconia tortuosa (measured as pollen tube abundance) occurred frequently when plants were visited by long-distance traplining hummingbird species with specialized bills (mean pollen tubes = 1.21 ± 0.12 SE) but was reduced 5.7 times when visited by straight-billed territorial birds (mean pollen tubes = 0.20 ± 0.074 SE) or insects. Our subsequent experiments revealed that plants use the nectar extraction capacity of tropical hummingbirds, a positive function of bill length, as a cue to turn on reproductively. Furthermore, we show that hummingbirds with long bills and high nectar extraction efficiency engaged in daily movements at broad spatial scales (∼1 km), but that territorial species moved only short distances (<100 m). Such pollinator recognition may therefore affect mate selection and maximize receipt of high-quality pollen from multiple parents. Although a diffuse pollinator network is implied, because all six species of hummingbirds carry pollen of H. tortuosa, only two species with specialized bills contribute meaningfully to its reproduction. We hypothesize that this pollinator filtering behavior constitutes a crucial mechanism facilitating coevolution in multispecies plant-pollinator networks. However, pollinator recognition also greatly reduces the number of realized pollinators, thereby rendering mutualistic networks more vulnerable to environmental change. PMID:25733902

  15. Generalization versus specialization in pollination systems: visitors, thieves, and pollinators of Hypoestes aristata (Acanthaceae).

    PubMed

    Padyšáková, Eliška; Bartoš, Michael; Tropek, Robert; Janeček, Stěpán

    2013-01-01

    Many recent studies have suggested that the majority of animal-pollinated plants have a higher diversity of pollinators than that expected according to their pollination syndrome. This broad generalization, often based on pollination web data, has been challenged by the fact that some floral visitors recorded in pollination webs are ineffective pollinators. To contribute to this debate, and to obtain a contrast between visitors and pollinators, we studied insect and bird visitors to virgin flowers of Hypoestes aristata in the Bamenda Highlands, Cameroon. We observed the flowers and their visitors for 2-h periods and measured the seed production as a metric of reproductive success. We determined the effects of individual visitors using 2 statistical models, single-visit data that were gathered for more frequent visitor species, and frequency data. This approach enabled us to determine the positive as well as neutral or negative impact of visitors on H. aristata's reproductive success. We found that (i) this plant is not generalized but rather specialized; although we recorded 15 morphotaxa of visitors, only 3 large bee species seemed to be important pollinators; (ii) the carpenter bee Xylocopa cf. inconstans was both the most frequent and the most effective pollinator; (iii) the honey bee Apis mellifera acted as a nectar thief with apparent negative effects on the plant reproduction; and (iv) the close relationship between H. aristata and carpenter bees was in agreement with the large-bee pollination syndrome of this plant. Our results highlight the need for studies detecting the roles of individual visitors. We showed that such an approach is necessary to evaluate the pollination syndrome hypothesis and create relevant evolutionary and ecological hypotheses. PMID:23593135

  16. Generalization versus Specialization in Pollination Systems: Visitors, Thieves, and Pollinators of Hypoestes aristata (Acanthaceae)

    PubMed Central

    Padyšáková, Eliška; Bartoš, Michael; Tropek, Robert; Janeček, Štěpán

    2013-01-01

    Many recent studies have suggested that the majority of animal-pollinated plants have a higher diversity of pollinators than that expected according to their pollination syndrome. This broad generalization, often based on pollination web data, has been challenged by the fact that some floral visitors recorded in pollination webs are ineffective pollinators. To contribute to this debate, and to obtain a contrast between visitors and pollinators, we studied insect and bird visitors to virgin flowers of Hypoestes aristata in the Bamenda Highlands, Cameroon. We observed the flowers and their visitors for 2-h periods and measured the seed production as a metric of reproductive success. We determined the effects of individual visitors using 2 statistical models, single-visit data that were gathered for more frequent visitor species, and frequency data. This approach enabled us to determine the positive as well as neutral or negative impact of visitors on H. aristata’s reproductive success. We found that (i) this plant is not generalized but rather specialized; although we recorded 15 morphotaxa of visitors, only 3 large bee species seemed to be important pollinators; (ii) the carpenter bee Xylocopa cf. inconstans was both the most frequent and the most effective pollinator; (iii) the honey bee Apis mellifera acted as a nectar thief with apparent negative effects on the plant reproduction; and (iv) the close relationship between H. aristata and carpenter bees was in agreement with the large-bee pollination syndrome of this plant. Our results highlight the need for studies detecting the roles of individual visitors. We showed that such an approach is necessary to evaluate the pollination syndrome hypothesis and create relevant evolutionary and ecological hypotheses. PMID:23593135

  17. Fine-tuned Bee-Flower Coevolutionary State Hidden within Multiple Pollination Interactions

    PubMed Central

    Shimizu, Akira; Dohzono, Ikumi; Nakaji, Masayoshi; Roff, Derek A.; Miller III, Donald G.; Osato, Sara; Yajima, Takuya; Niitsu, Shûhei; Utsugi, Nozomu; Sugawara, Takashi; Yoshimura, Jin

    2014-01-01

    Relationships between flowers and pollinators are generally considered cases of mutualism since both agents gain benefits. Fine-tuned adaptations are usually found in the form of strict one-to-one coevolution between species. Many insect pollinators are, however, considered generalists, visiting numerous kinds of flowers, and many flower species (angiosperms) are also considered generalists, visited by many insect pollinators. We here describe a fine-tuned coevolutionary state of a flower-visiting bee that collects both nectar and pollen from an early spring flower visited by multiple pollinators. Detailed morphology of the bee proboscis is shown to be finely adjusted to the floral morphology and nectar production of the flower. Behavioral observations also confirm the precision of this mutualism. Our results suggest that a fine-tuned one-to-one coevolutionary state between a flower species and a pollinator species might be common, but frequently overlooked, in multiple flower-pollinator interactions. PMID:24496444

  18. Fine-tuned bee-flower coevolutionary state hidden within multiple pollination interactions.

    PubMed

    Shimizu, Akira; Dohzono, Ikumi; Nakaji, Masayoshi; Roff, Derek A; Miller, Donald G; Osato, Sara; Yajima, Takuya; Niitsu, Shûhei; Utsugi, Nozomu; Sugawara, Takashi; Yoshimura, Jin

    2014-01-01

    Relationships between flowers and pollinators are generally considered cases of mutualism since both agents gain benefits. Fine-tuned adaptations are usually found in the form of strict one-to-one coevolution between species. Many insect pollinators are, however, considered generalists, visiting numerous kinds of flowers, and many flower species (angiosperms) are also considered generalists, visited by many insect pollinators. We here describe a fine-tuned coevolutionary state of a flower-visiting bee that collects both nectar and pollen from an early spring flower visited by multiple pollinators. Detailed morphology of the bee proboscis is shown to be finely adjusted to the floral morphology and nectar production of the flower. Behavioral observations also confirm the precision of this mutualism. Our results suggest that a fine-tuned one-to-one coevolutionary state between a flower species and a pollinator species might be common, but frequently overlooked, in multiple flower-pollinator interactions. PMID:24496444

  19. Orchid pollination by sexual deception: pollinator perspectives.

    PubMed

    Gaskett, A C

    2011-02-01

    The extraordinary taxonomic and morphological diversity of orchids is accompanied by a remarkable range of pollinators and pollination systems. Sexually deceptive orchids are adapted to attract specific male insects that are fooled into attempting to mate with orchid flowers and inadvertently acting as pollinators. This review summarises current knowledge, explores new hypotheses in the literature, and introduces some new approaches to understanding sexual deception from the perspective of the duped pollinator. Four main topics are addressed: (1) global patterns in sexual deception, (2) pollinator identities, mating systems and behaviours, (3) pollinator perception of orchid deceptive signals, and (4) the evolutionary implications of pollinator responses to orchid deception, including potential costs imposed on pollinators by orchids. A global list of known and putative sexually deceptive orchids and their pollinators is provided and methods for incorporating pollinator perspectives into sexual deception research are provided and reviewed. At present, almost all known sexually deceptive orchid taxa are from Australia or Europe. A few sexually deceptive species and genera are reported for New Zealand and South Africa. In Central and Southern America, Asia, and the Pacific many more species are likely to be identified in the future. Despite the great diversity of sexually deceptive orchid genera in Australia, pollination rates reported in the literature are similar between Australian and European species. The typical pollinator of a sexually deceptive orchid is a male insect of a species that is polygynous, monandrous, haplodiploid, and solitary rather than social. Insect behaviours involved in the pollination of sexually deceptive orchids include pre-copulatory gripping of flowers, brief entrapment, mating, and very rarely, ejaculation. Pollinator behaviour varies within and among pollinator species. Deception involving orchid mimicry of insect scent signals is

  20. The Importance of Pollinator Generalization and Abundance for the Reproductive Success of a Generalist Plant

    PubMed Central

    Maldonado, María Belén; Lomáscolo, Silvia Beatriz; Vázquez, Diego Pedro

    2013-01-01

    Previous studies have examined separately how pollinator generalization and abundance influence plant reproductive success, but none so far has evaluated simultaneously the relative importance of these pollinator attributes. Here we evaluated the extent to which pollinator generalization and abundance influence plant reproductive success per visit and at the population level on a generalist plant, Opuntia sulphurea (Cactaceae). We used field experiments and path analysis to evaluate whether the per-visit effect is determined by the pollinator’s degree of generalization, and whether the population level effect (pollinator impact) is determined by the pollinator’s degree of generalization and abundance. Based on the models we tested, we concluded that the per-visit effect of a pollinator on plant reproduction was not determined by the pollinators’ degree of generalization, while the population-level impact of a pollinator on plant reproduction was mainly determined by the pollinators’ degree of generalization. Thus, generalist pollinators have the greatest species impact on pollination and reproductive success of O. sulphurea. According to our analysis this greatest impact of generalist pollinators may be partly explained by pollinator abundance. However, as abundance does not suffice as an explanation of pollinator impact, we suggest that vagility, need for resource consumption, and energetic efficiency of generalist pollinators may also contribute to determine a pollinator’s impact on plant reproduction. PMID:24116049

  1. Selection by pollinators on floral traits in generalized Trollius ranunculoides (Ranunculaceae) along altitudinal gradients.

    PubMed

    Zhao, Zhi-Gang; Wang, Yi-Ke

    2015-01-01

    Abundance and visitation of pollinator assemblages tend to decrease with altitude, leading to an increase in pollen limitation. Thus increased competition for pollinators may generate stronger selection on attractive traits of flowers at high elevations and cause floral adaptive evolution. Few studies have related geographically variable selection from pollinators and intraspecific floral differentiation. We investigated the variation of Trollius ranunculoides flowers and its pollinators along an altitudinal gradient on the eastern Qinghai-Tibet Plateau, and measured phenotypic selection by pollinators on floral traits across populations. The results showed significant decline of visitation rate of bees along altitudinal gradients, while flies was unchanged. When fitness is estimated by the visitation rate rather than the seed number per plant, phenotypic selection on the sepal length and width shows a significant correlation between the selection strength and the altitude, with stronger selection at higher altitudes. However, significant decreases in the sepal length and width of T. ranunculoides along the altitudinal gradient did not correspond to stronger selection of pollinators. In contrast to the pollinator visitation, mean annual precipitation negatively affected the sepal length and width, and contributed more to geographical variation in measured floral traits than the visitation rate of pollinators. Therefore, the sepal size may have been influenced by conflicting selection pressures from biotic and abiotic selective agents. This study supports the hypothesis that lower pollinator availability at high altitude can intensify selection on flower attractive traits, but abiotic selection is preventing a response to selection from pollinators. PMID:25692295

  2. Color and scent: how single genes influence pollinator attraction.

    PubMed

    Sheehan, H; Hermann, K; Kuhlemeier, C

    2012-01-01

    A major function of angiosperm flowers is the recruitment of animal pollinators that serve to transfer pollen among conspecific plants. Distinct sets of floral characteristics, called pollination syndromes, are correlated with visitation by specific groups of pollinators. Switches among pollination syndromes have occurred in many plant families. Such switches must have involved coordinated changes in multiple traits and multiple genes. Two well-studied floral traits affecting pollinator attraction are petal color and scent production. We review current knowledge about the biosynthetic pathways for floral color and scent production and their interaction at the genetic and biochemical levels. A key question in the field concerns the genes that underlie natural variation in color and scent and how such genes affect pollinator preference, reproductive isolation, and ultimately speciation. PMID:23467550

  3. Contrasting Pollinators and Pollination in Native and Non-Native Regions of Highbush Blueberry Production

    PubMed Central

    Gibbs, Jason; Elle, Elizabeth; Bobiwash, Kyle; Haapalainen, Tiia; Isaacs, Rufus

    2016-01-01

    Highbush blueberry yields are dependent on pollination by bees, and introduction of managed honey bees is the primary strategy used for pollination of this crop. Complementary pollination services are also provided by wild bees, yet highbush blueberry is increasingly grown in regions outside its native range where wild bee communities may be less adapted to the crop and growers may still be testing appropriate honey bee stocking densities. To contrast crop pollination in native and non-native production regions, we sampled commercial ‘Bluecrop’ blueberry fields in British Columbia and Michigan with grower-selected honey bee stocking rates (0–39.5 hives per ha) to compare bee visitors to blueberry flowers, pollination and yield deficits, and how those vary with local- and landscape-scale factors. Observed and Chao-1 estimated species richness, as well as Shannon diversity of wild bees visiting blueberries were significantly higher in Michigan where the crop is within its native range. The regional bee communities were also significantly different, with Michigan farms having greater dissimilarity than British Columbia. Blueberry fields in British Columbia had fewer visits by honey bees than those in Michigan, irrespective of stocking rate, and they also had lower berry weights and a significant pollination deficit. In British Columbia, pollination service increased with abundance of wild bumble bees, whereas in Michigan the abundance of honey bees was the primary predictor of pollination. The proportion of semi-natural habitat at local and landscape scales was positively correlated with wild bee abundance in both regions. Wild bee abundance declined significantly with distance from natural borders in Michigan, but not in British Columbia where large-bodied bumble bees dominated the wild bee community. Our results highlight the varying dependence of crop production on different types of bees and reveal that strategies for pollination improvement in the same crop

  4. Contrasting Pollinators and Pollination in Native and Non-Native Regions of Highbush Blueberry Production.

    PubMed

    Gibbs, Jason; Elle, Elizabeth; Bobiwash, Kyle; Haapalainen, Tiia; Isaacs, Rufus

    2016-01-01

    Highbush blueberry yields are dependent on pollination by bees, and introduction of managed honey bees is the primary strategy used for pollination of this crop. Complementary pollination services are also provided by wild bees, yet highbush blueberry is increasingly grown in regions outside its native range where wild bee communities may be less adapted to the crop and growers may still be testing appropriate honey bee stocking densities. To contrast crop pollination in native and non-native production regions, we sampled commercial 'Bluecrop' blueberry fields in British Columbia and Michigan with grower-selected honey bee stocking rates (0-39.5 hives per ha) to compare bee visitors to blueberry flowers, pollination and yield deficits, and how those vary with local- and landscape-scale factors. Observed and Chao-1 estimated species richness, as well as Shannon diversity of wild bees visiting blueberries were significantly higher in Michigan where the crop is within its native range. The regional bee communities were also significantly different, with Michigan farms having greater dissimilarity than British Columbia. Blueberry fields in British Columbia had fewer visits by honey bees than those in Michigan, irrespective of stocking rate, and they also had lower berry weights and a significant pollination deficit. In British Columbia, pollination service increased with abundance of wild bumble bees, whereas in Michigan the abundance of honey bees was the primary predictor of pollination. The proportion of semi-natural habitat at local and landscape scales was positively correlated with wild bee abundance in both regions. Wild bee abundance declined significantly with distance from natural borders in Michigan, but not in British Columbia where large-bodied bumble bees dominated the wild bee community. Our results highlight the varying dependence of crop production on different types of bees and reveal that strategies for pollination improvement in the same crop can

  5. Large-scale pollination experiment demonstrates the importance of insect pollination in winter oilseed rape.

    PubMed

    Lindström, Sandra A M; Herbertsson, Lina; Rundlöf, Maj; Smith, Henrik G; Bommarco, Riccardo

    2016-03-01

    Insect pollination, despite its potential to contribute substantially to crop production, is not an integrated part of agronomic planning. A major reason for this are knowledge gaps in the contribution of pollinators to yield, which partly result from difficulties in determining area-based estimates of yield effects from insect pollination under field conditions. We have experimentally manipulated honey bee Apis mellifera densities at 43 oilseed rape Brassica napus fields over 2 years in Scandinavia. Honey bee hives were placed in 22 fields; an additional 21 fields without large apiaries in the surrounding landscape were selected as controls. Depending on the pollination system in the parental generation, the B. napus cultivars in the crop fields are classified as either open-pollinated or first-generation hybrids, with both types being open-pollinated in the generation of plants cultivated in the fields. Three cultivars of each type were grown. We measured the activity of flower-visiting insects during flowering and estimated yields by harvesting with small combine harvesters. The addition of honey bee hives to the fields dramatically increased abundance of flower-visiting honey bees in those fields. Honey bees affected yield, but the effect depended on cultivar type (p = 0.04). Post-hoc analysis revealed that open-pollinated cultivars, but not hybrid cultivars, had 11% higher yields in fields with added honey bees than those grown in the control fields (p = 0.07). To our knowledge, this is the first whole-field study in replicated landscapes to assess the benefit of insect pollination in oilseed rape. Our results demonstrate that honey bees have the potential to increase oilseed rape yields, thereby emphasizing the importance of pollinator management for optimal cultivation of oilseed rape. PMID:26650584

  6. Pollinator effectiveness varies with experimental shifts in flowering time

    PubMed Central

    Rafferty, Nicole E.; Ives, Anthony R.

    2013-01-01

    The earlier flowering times exhibited by many plant species are a conspicuous sign of climate change. Altered phenologies have caused concern that species could suffer population declines if they flower at times when effective pollinators are unavailable. For two perennial wildflowers, Tradescantia ohiensis and Asclepias incarnata, we used an experimental approach to explore how changing phenology affects the taxonomic composition of the pollinator assemblage and the effectiveness of individual pollinator taxa. After finding in the previous year that fruit set varied with flowering time, we manipulated flowering onset in greenhouses, placed plants in the field over the span of five weeks, and measured pollinator effectiveness as the number of seeds produced after a single visit to a flower. The average effectiveness of pollinators and the expected rates of pollination success were lower for plants of both species flowering earlier than for plants flowering at historical times, suggesting there could be reproductive costs to earlier flowering. Whereas for A. incarnata, differences in average seed set among weeks were due primarily to changes in the composition of the pollinator assemblage, the differences for T. ohiensis were driven by the combined effects of compositional changes and increases over time in the effectiveness of some pollinator taxa. Both species face the possibility of temporal mismatch between the availability of the most effective pollinators and the onset of flowering, and changes in the effectiveness of individual pollinator taxa through time may add an unexpected element to the reproductive consequences of such mismatches. PMID:22690631

  7. Leaf herbivory increases floral fragrance in male but not female Cucurbita pepo subsp. texana (Cucurbitaceae) flowers.

    PubMed

    Theis, Nina; Kesler, Karen; Adler, Lynn S

    2009-05-01

    Mutualisms are key interactions that affect population dynamics and structure communities, but the extent to which mutualists can attract potential partners may depend on community context. Many studies have shown that leaf herbivory reduces pollinator visitation and have focused on reduced floral visual display and rewards as potential mechanisms. However, olfactory display plays a critical role in mediating interactions between plants, herbivores, and pollinators. We simulated leaf damage in Cucurbita pepo subsp. texana and measured fragrance emission and other floral characters of both male and female flowers. Contrary to our expectations, damage increased fragrance production, but only in male flowers. Female flowers, which were bigger and produced more fragrance than males, were unaffected by leaf damage. The greatest increase in floral fragrance compounds was in the terpenoids, which we hypothesize could be byproducts of defensively induced cucurbitacins, or they may function defensively themselves. In summary, this study is the first to demonstrate changes in floral fragrance due to leaf damage. Such changes in floral fragrance following herbivory may be a critical and overlooked mechanism mediating interactions between plants, herbivores, and pollinators. PMID:21628242

  8. Floral traits driving reproductive isolation of two co-flowering taxa that share vertebrate pollinators

    PubMed Central

    Queiroz, Joel A.; Quirino, Zelma G. M.; Machado, Isabel C.

    2015-01-01

    Floral attributes evolve in response to frequent and efficient pollinators, which are potentially important drivers of floral diversification and reproductive isolation. In this context, we asked, how do flowers evolve in a bat–hummingbird pollination system? Hence, we investigated the pollination ecology of two co-flowering Ipomoea taxa (I. marcellia and I. aff. marcellia) pollinated by bats and hummingbirds, and factors favouring reproductive isolation and pollinator sharing in these plants. To identify the most important drivers of reproductive isolation, we compared the flowers of the two Ipomoea taxa in terms of morphometry, anthesis and nectar production. Pollinator services were assessed using frequency of visits, fruit set and the number of seeds per fruit after visits. The studied Ipomoea taxa differed in corolla size and width, beginning and duration of anthesis, and nectar attributes. However, they shared the same diurnal and nocturnal visitors. The hummingbird Heliomaster squamosus was more frequent in I. marcellia (1.90 visits h−1) than in I. aff. marcellia (0.57 visits h−1), whereas glossophagine bats showed similar visit rates in both taxa (I. marcellia: 0.57 visits h−1 and I. aff. marcellia: 0.64 visits h−1). Bat pollination was more efficient in I. aff. marcellia, whereas pollination by hummingbirds was more efficient in I. marcellia. Differences in floral attributes between Ipomoea taxa, especially related to the anthesis period, length of floral parts and floral arrangement in the inflorescence, favour reproductive isolation from congeners through differential pollen placement on pollinators. This bat–hummingbird pollination system seems to be advantageous in the study area, where the availability of pollinators and floral resources changes considerably throughout the year, mainly as a result of rainfall seasonality. This interaction is beneficial for both sides, as it maximizes the number of potential pollen vectors for plants and

  9. Floral traits driving reproductive isolation of two co-flowering taxa that share vertebrate pollinators.

    PubMed

    Queiroz, Joel A; Quirino, Zelma G M; Machado, Isabel C

    2015-01-01

    Floral attributes evolve in response to frequent and efficient pollinators, which are potentially important drivers of floral diversification and reproductive isolation. In this context, we asked, how do flowers evolve in a bat-hummingbird pollination system? Hence, we investigated the pollination ecology of two co-flowering Ipomoea taxa (I. marcellia and I. aff. marcellia) pollinated by bats and hummingbirds, and factors favouring reproductive isolation and pollinator sharing in these plants. To identify the most important drivers of reproductive isolation, we compared the flowers of the two Ipomoea taxa in terms of morphometry, anthesis and nectar production. Pollinator services were assessed using frequency of visits, fruit set and the number of seeds per fruit after visits. The studied Ipomoea taxa differed in corolla size and width, beginning and duration of anthesis, and nectar attributes. However, they shared the same diurnal and nocturnal visitors. The hummingbird Heliomaster squamosus was more frequent in I. marcellia (1.90 visits h(-1)) than in I. aff. marcellia (0.57 visits h(-1)), whereas glossophagine bats showed similar visit rates in both taxa (I. marcellia: 0.57 visits h(-1) and I. aff. marcellia: 0.64 visits h(-1)). Bat pollination was more efficient in I. aff. marcellia, whereas pollination by hummingbirds was more efficient in I. marcellia. Differences in floral attributes between Ipomoea taxa, especially related to the anthesis period, length of floral parts and floral arrangement in the inflorescence, favour reproductive isolation from congeners through differential pollen placement on pollinators. This bat-hummingbird pollination system seems to be advantageous in the study area, where the availability of pollinators and floral resources changes considerably throughout the year, mainly as a result of rainfall seasonality. This interaction is beneficial for both sides, as it maximizes the number of potential pollen vectors for plants and

  10. Orthoptera, a new order of pollinator

    PubMed Central

    Micheneau, Claire; Fournel, Jacques; Warren, Ben H.; Hugel, Sylvain; Gauvin-Bialecki, Anne; Pailler, Thierry; Strasberg, Dominique; Chase, Mark W.

    2010-01-01

    Background and Aims Pollinator-mediated selection and evolution of floral traits have long fascinated evolutionary ecologists. No other plant family shows as wide a range of pollinator-linked floral forms as Orchidaceae. In spite of the large size of this model family and a long history of orchid pollination biology, the identity and specificity of most orchid pollinators remains inadequately studied, especially in the tropics where the family has undergone extensive diversification. Angraecum (Vandeae, Epidendroideae), a large genus of tropical Old World orchids renowned for their floral morphology specialized for hawkmoth pollination, has been a model system since the time of Darwin. Methods The pollination biology of A. cadetii, an endemic species of the islands of Mauritius and Reunion (Mascarene Islands, Indian Ocean) displaying atypical flowers for the genus (white and medium-size, but short-spurred) was investigated. Natural pollinators were observed by means of hard-disk camcorders. Pollinator-linked floral traits, namely spur length, nectar volume and concentration and scent production were also investigated. Pollinator efficiency (pollen removal and deposition) and reproductive success (fruit set) were quantified in natural field conditions weekly during the 2003, 2004 and 2005 flowering seasons (January to March). Key Results Angraecum cadetii is self-compatible but requires a pollinator to achieve fruit set. Only one pollinator species was observed, an undescribed species of raspy cricket (Gryllacrididae, Orthoptera). These crickets, which are nocturnal foragers, reached flowers by climbing up leaves of the orchid or jumping across from neighbouring plants and probed the most ‘fresh-looking’ flowers on each plant. Visits to flowers were relatively long (if compared with the behaviour of birds or hawkmoths), averaging 16·5 s with a maximum of 41·0 s. At the study site of La Plaine des Palmistes (Pandanus forest), 46·5 % of flowers had pollen

  11. Pollination biology of Eulophia alta (Orchidaceae) in Amazonia: effects of pollinator composition on reproductive success in different populations

    PubMed Central

    Jürgens, Andreas; Bosch, Simone R.; Webber, Antonio C.; Witt, Taina; Frame, Dawn; Gottsberger, Gerhard

    2009-01-01

    Background and Aims Spatial variation in pollinator composition and abundance is a well-recognized phenomenon. However, a weakness of many studies claiming specificity of plant–pollinator interactions is that they are often restricted to a single locality. The aim of the present study was to investigate pollinator effectiveness of the different flower visitors to the terrestrial orchid Eulophia alta at three different localities and to analyse whether differences in pollinator abundance and composition effect this plant's reproductive success. Methods Natural pollination was observed in vivo, and manipulative experiments were used to study the pollination biology and breeding system of E. alta at three sites near Manaus, Brazil. To gain a better understanding of the underlying mechanisms of pollinator attraction, nectar composition and secretion patterns were also studied, floral scent composition was analysed and a bioassay was conducted. Key Results Flower visitors, pollinator composition, pollinia transfer efficiency of particular pollinator species and natural fruit set differed among the investigated populations of E. alta. Flowers were self-compatible, partially autogamous and effectively pollinated by five bee species (four Centris species and Xylocopa muscaria). Visiting insects appeared to imbibe small amounts of hexose-rich nectar. Nectar sugar content was highest on the third day after flower opening. Floral fragrance analyses revealed 42 compounds, of which monoterpenes and benzenoids predominated. A bioassay using floral parts revealed that only floral tissue from the labellum chamber and labellum tip was attractive to flower visitors. Conclusions The data suggest that observed differences in reproductive success in the three populations cannot be explained by absolute abundance of pollinators alone. Due to behavioural patterns such as disturbance of effective pollinators on flowers by male Centris varia bees defending territory, pollinia transfer

  12. Pollinator Behaviour on a Food-Deceptive Orchid Calypso bulbosa and Coflowering Species

    PubMed Central

    Tuomi, Juha; Lämsä, Juho; Wannas, Lauri; Abeli, Thomas; Jäkäläniemi, Anne

    2015-01-01

    Food deception as a pollination strategy has inspired many studies over the last few decades. Pollinator deception has evolved in many orchids possibly to enhance outcrossing. Food-deceptive orchids usually have low pollinator visitation rates as compared to rewarding species. They may benefit in visitations from the presence (magnet-species hypothesis) or, alternatively, absence of coflowering rewarding species (competition hypothesis). We present data on pollinator visitations on a deceptive, terrestrial orchid Calypso bulbosa, a species with a single flower per plant and whose flowering period partly overlaps with rewarding, early flowering willows (Salix sp.) and later-flowering bilberry (Vaccinium myrtillus). When surveying inactive bumblebee queens on willows in cool weather, about 7% of them carried Calypso pollinia. Most common bumblebee species appeared to visit and thus pollinate Calypso. Bumblebees typically visited one to three Calypso flowers before flying away, providing some support for the outcrossing hypothesis. We conclude that, regarding the pollinations strategy, both magnet-species and competition hypotheses have a role in the pollination of Calypso, but on different spatial scales. On a large scale rewarding species are important for attracting pollinators to a given region, but on a small scale absence of competition ensures sufficient pollination rate for the deceptive orchid. PMID:25861675

  13. Determinants of pollinator activity and flower preference in the early spring blooming Crocus vernus

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Totland, Ørjan; Matthews, Ingrid

    1998-04-01

    This study examines the effects of environmental factors on the pollination activity on Crocus vernus by Apis mellifera, and also whether bees discriminate among flowers on the basis of floral display size and colour. Flower density was much more important than temperature, humidity, and time of day and season in explaining variation in bee numbers, the total number of flowers visited, the number of flowers visited by individual bees and the total number of visits per flower (visitation rate) during 10 min observation periods. Although flower density positively influenced bee abundance and the number of flowers visited by individual bees, we found a negative relationship between flower density and visitation rates, suggesting that the pool of available pollinators was saturated at flower densities below maximum. Despite this, visitation rates were high. On average a flower received 3.42 visits during one hour; thus there seems to be little intraspecific competition for pollinators despite saturation of the pollinator pool. There was no significant difference between the size or colour of flowers that were visited, approached, or ignored by bees, and duration of visits was not related to floral display size or colour. Thus, on average A. mellifera did not appear to discriminate between flowers on the basis of floral display. Consequently, the data indicate that there is no pollinator mediated selection on floral display, driven by discriminating pollinators.

  14. The impact of an alien plant on a native plant-pollinator network: an experimental approach.

    PubMed

    Lopezaraiza-Mikel, Martha E; Hayes, Richard B; Whalley, Martin R; Memmott, Jane

    2007-07-01

    Studies of pairwise interactions have shown that an alien plant can affect the pollination of a native plant, this effect being mediated by shared pollinators. Here we use a manipulative field experiment, to investigate the impact of the alien plant Impatiens glandulifera on an entire community of coflowering native plants. Visitation and pollen transport networks were constructed to compare replicated I. glandulifera invaded and I. glandulifera removal plots. Invaded plots had significantly higher visitor species richness, visitor abundance and flower visitation. However, the pollen transport networks were dominated by alien pollen grains in the invaded plots and consequently higher visitation may not translate in facilitation for pollination. The more generalized insects were more likely to visit the alien plant, and Hymenoptera and Hemiptera were more likely to visit the alien than Coleoptera. Our data indicate that generalized native pollinators can provide a pathway of integration for alien plants into native visitation systems. PMID:17542933

  15. Effect of Number of Bombus impatiens (Hymenoptera: Apidae) Visits on Eggplant Yield.

    PubMed

    Lowenstein, David M; Minor, Emily S

    2015-06-01

    Eggplant (Solanum melongena L.) is a crop with perfect flowers capable of self-pollination. Insect pollination enhances fruit set, but little is known about how pollination success varies by number of visits from bumble bees. To quantify the efficiency of bumble bees at pollinating eggplants, we allowed 1, 2, 6, and 12 bumble bees (Bombus impatiens Cresson) to visit eggplant flowers and compared percentage of flowers that set fruit, fruit weight, and seed set after 3 wk. We compared yield from these visit numbers to eggplant flowers that were left open for unlimited visitation. Eggplant flowers set the most fruit from open-pollination and 12 visits. Larger, seedier fruits were formed in open-pollinated flowers. However, fruit characteristics in the 12 visit treatment were similar to lower visitation frequencies. We confirm B. impatiens as an efficient eggplant pollinator and document the greatest benefit from 12 bumble bee visits and open-pollinated flowers. To maintain effective eggplant pollination, local conditions must be conducive for bumble bee colony establishment and repeated pollen foraging trips. PMID:26470277

  16. A global test of the pollination syndrome hypothesis

    PubMed Central

    Ollerton, Jeff; Alarcón, Ruben; Waser, Nickolas M.; Price, Mary V.; Watts, Stella; Cranmer, Louise; Hingston, Andrew; Peter, Craig I.; Rotenberry, John

    2009-01-01

    Background and Aims ‘Pollination syndromes’ are suites of phenotypic traits hypothesized to reflect convergent adaptations of flowers for pollination by specific types of animals. They were first developed in the 1870s and honed during the mid 20th Century. In spite of this long history and their central role in organizing research on plant–pollinator interactions, the pollination syndromes have rarely been subjected to test. The syndromes were tested here by asking whether they successfully capture patterns of covariance of floral traits and predict the most common pollinators of flowers. Methods Flowers in six communities from three continents were scored for expression of floral traits used in published descriptions of the pollination syndromes, and simultaneously the pollinators of as many species as possible were characterized. Key Results Ordination of flowers in a multivariate ‘phenotype space’ defined by the syndromes showed that almost no plant species fall within the discrete syndrome clusters. Furthermore, in approximately two-thirds of plant species, the most common pollinator could not be successfully predicted by assuming that each plant species belongs to the syndrome closest to it in phenotype space. Conclusions The pollination syndrome hypothesis as usually articulated does not successfully describe the diversity of floral phenotypes or predict the pollinators of most plant species. Caution is suggested when using pollination syndromes for organizing floral diversity, or for inferring agents of floral adaptation. A fresh look at how traits of flowers and pollinators relate to visitation and pollen transfer is recommended, in order to determine whether axes can be identified that describe floral functional diversity more successfully than the traditional syndromes. PMID:19218577

  17. Ants and ant scent reduce bumblebee pollination of artificial flowers.

    PubMed

    Cembrowski, Adam R; Tan, Marcus G; Thomson, James D; Frederickson, Megan E

    2014-01-01

    Ants on flowers can disrupt pollination by consuming rewards or harassing pollinators, but it is difficult to disentangle the effects of these exploitative and interference forms of competition on pollinator behavior. Using highly rewarding and quickly replenishing artificial flowers that simulate male or female function, we allowed bumblebees (Bombus impatiens) to forage (1) on flowers with or without ants (Myrmica rubra) and (2) on flowers with or without ant scent cues. Bumblebees transferred significantly more pollen analogue both to and from ant-free flowers, demonstrating that interference competition with ants is sufficient to modify pollinator foraging behavior. Bees also removed significantly less pollen analogue from ant-scented flowers than from controls, making this the first study to show that bees can use ant scent to avoid harassment at flowers. Ant effects on pollinator behavior, possibly in addition to their effects on pollen viability, may contribute to the evolution of floral traits minimizing ant visitation. PMID:24334742

  18. The influence of distinct pollinators on female and male reproductive success in the Rocky Mountain columbine.

    PubMed

    Brunet, Johanne; Holmquist, Karsten G A

    2009-09-01

    Although there are many reasons to expect distinct pollinator types to differentially affect a plant's reproductive success, few studies have directly examined this question. Here, we contrast the impact of two kinds of pollinators on reproductive success via male and female functions in the Rocky Mountain columbine, Aquilegia coerulea. We set up pollinator exclusion treatments in each of three patches where Aquilegia plants were visited by either day pollinators (majority bumble bees), by evening pollinators (hawkmoths), or by both (control). Day pollinators collected pollen and groomed, whereas evening pollinators collected nectar but did not groom. Maternal parents, potential fathers and progeny arrays were genotyped at five microsatellite loci. We estimated female outcrossing rate and counted seeds to measure female reproductive success and used paternity analysis to determine male reproductive success. Our results document that bumble bees frequently moved pollen among patches of plants and that, unlike hawkmoths, pollen moved by bumble bees sired more outcrossed seeds when it remained within a patch as opposed to moving between patches. Pollinator type differentially affected the outcrossing rate but not seed set, the number of outcrossed seeds or overall male reproductive success. Multiple visits to a plant and more frequent visits by bumble bees could help to explain the lack of impact of pollinator type on overall reproductive success. The increase in selfing rate with hawkmoths likely resulted from the abundant pollen available in experimental flowers. Our findings highlighted a new type of pollinator interactions that can benefit a plant species. PMID:19674307

  19. The invasive ‘mothcatcher’ (Araujia sericifera Brot.; Asclepiadoideae) co-opts native honeybees as its primary pollinator in South Africa

    PubMed Central

    Coombs, Gareth; Peter, Craig I.

    2010-01-01

    Background and aims Successful invasive plants such as Araujia sericifera usually either are capable of automatic self-pollination or maintain pollinator services by having generalized pollination systems to make use of local pollinators in the invaded range. Alternatively, plants must co-opt new pollinators with similar morphology to native pollinators or reproduce asexually. We aimed to document the pollination biology of A. sericifera in South Africa. Given the success of this species as an invader, we predicted that sexual reproduction occurs either through self-pollination or because A. sericifera has successfully co-opted native insect pollinators. Methodology We examined the pollination biology of the South American A. sericifera in South Africa. We documented the effective pollinators including a comparison of the efficacy of nocturnal versus diurnal pollinators as well as the breeding system and long-term natural levels of the pollination success of this species. Principal results We found that native honeybees (Apis mellifera) were the main pollinators of A. sericifera in South Africa. Visiting moths are unimportant pollinators despite being attracted by the pale colour and nocturnal scent of the flowers. Plants from the Grahamstown population were incapable of autonomous self-pollination but pollinator-mediated self-pollination does occur. However, the highest fruit initiation resulted from out-crossed pollination treatments. The high pollen transfer efficiency of this species was comparable to other hymenopteran-pollinated exotic and native milkweeds, suggesting that A. sericifera maintains pollinator services at levels experienced by indigenous asclepiad species. Conclusions Araujia sericifera reproduces successfully in South Africa due to a combined ability of this species to attract and exploit native honeybees as its pollinators and of individual plants to set fruit from pollinator-mediated self-pollination. PMID:22476079

  20. Pollen analyses for pollination research, unacetolyzed pollen

    Technology Transfer Automated Retrieval System (TEKTRAN)

    Pollinators can significantly increase the potential yield of crops, but little is known about which pollinators pollinate various crop species. Many pollinators feed on pollen, nectar and plant secretions associated with flowers, and consequently pollen attaches to the pollinators. Identification...

  1. Functional morphology and wasp pollination of two South American asclepiads (Asclepiadoideae–Apocynaceae)

    PubMed Central

    Wiemer, A. P.; Sérsic, A. N.; Marino, S.; Simões, A. O.; Cocucci, A. A.

    2012-01-01

    Background and Aims The extreme complexity of asclepiad flowers (Asclepiadoideae–Apocynaceae) has generated particular interest in the pollination biology of this group of plants especially in the mechanisms involved in the pollination processes. This study compares two South American species, Morrenia odorata and Morrenia brachystephana, with respect to morphology and anatomy of flower structures, dynamic aspects of the pollination mechanism, diversity of visitors and effectiveness of pollinators. Methods Floral structure was studied with fresh and fixed flowers following classical techniques. The pollination mechanism was studied by visiting fresh flowers in the laboratory with artificial pollinator body parts created with an eyelash. Morphometric and nectar measurements were also taken. Pollen transfer efficiency in the flowers was calculated by recording the frequency of removed and inserted pollinia. Visitor activity was recorded in the field, and floral visitors were captured for subsequent analysis of pollen loads. Finally, pollinator effectiveness was calculated with an index. Key Results The detailed structure of the flowers revealed a complex system of guide rails and chambers precisely arranged in order to achieve effective pollinaria transport. Morrenia odorata is functionally specialized for wasp pollination, and M. brachystephana for wasp and bee pollination. Pollinators transport chains of pollinaria adhered to their mouthparts. Conclusions Morrenia odorata and M. brachystephana present differences in the morphology and size of their corona, gynostegium and pollinaria, which explain the differences in details of the functioning of the general pollination mechanism. Pollination is performed by different groups of highly effective pollinators. Morrenia species are specialized for pollination mainly by several species of wasps, a specialized pollination which has been poorly studied. In particular, pompilid wasps are reported as important pollinators

  2. Florivore impacts on plant reproductive success and pollinator mortality in an obligate pollination mutualism.

    PubMed

    Althoff, David M; Xiao, Wei; Sumoski, Sarah; Segraves, Kari A

    2013-12-01

    Florivores are present in many pollination systems and can have direct and indirect effects on both plants and pollinators. Although the impact of florivores are commonly examined in facultative pollination mutualisms, their effects on obligate mutualism remain relatively unstudied. Here, we used experimental manipulations and surveys of naturally occurring plants to assess the effect of florivory on the obligate pollination mutualism between yuccas and yucca moths. Yucca filamentosa (Agavaceae) is pollinated by the moth Tegeticula cassandra (Lepidoptera: Prodoxidae), and the mutualism also attracts two florivores: a generalist, the leaf-footed bug Leptoglossus phyllopus (Hemiptera: Coreidae), and a specialist, the beetle Hymenorus densus (Coleoptera: Tenebrionidae). Experimental manipulations of leaf-footed bug densities on side branches of Y. filamentosa inflorescences demonstrated that feeding causes floral abscission but does not reduce pollen or seed production in the remaining flowers. Similar to the leaf-footed bugs, experimental manipulations of beetle densities within individual flowers demonstrated that beetle feeding also causes floral abscission, but, in addition, the beetles also cause a significant reduction in pollen availability. Path analyses of phenotypic selection based on surveys of naturally occurring plants revealed temporal variation in the plant traits important to plant fitness and the effects of the florivores on fitness. Leaf-footed bugs negatively impacted fitness when fewer plants were flowering and leaf-footed bug density was high, whereas beetles had a positive effect on fitness when there were many plants flowering and their densities were low. This positive effect was likely due to adult beetles consuming yucca moth eggs while having a negligible effect on floral abscission. Together, the actions of both florivores either augmented the relationship of plant traits and fitness or slightly weakened the relationship. Overall, the

  3. Plant-pollinator interactions in a biodiverse meadow are rather stable and tight for 3 consecutive years.

    PubMed

    Fang, Qiang; Huang, Shuangquan

    2016-05-01

    Plant-pollinator interactions can be highly variable across years in natural communities. Although variation in the species composition and its basic structure has been investigated to understand the dynamic nature of pollination networks, little is known about the temporal dynamic of interaction strength between the same plant and pollinator species in any natural community. Pollinator-mediated selection on the evolution of floral traits could be diminished if plant-pollinator interactions vary temporally. To quantify the temporal variation in plant-pollinator interactions and the interaction strength (observed visits), we compared weighted networks between plants and pollinators in a biodiverse alpine meadow in Shangri-La, southwest China for 3 consecutive years. Although plant-pollinator interactions were highly dynamic such that identical interactions only accounted for 10.7% of the total between pair years, the diversity of interactions was stable. These identical interactions contributed 41.2% of total visits and were similar in strength and weighted nestedness. For plant species, 72.6% of species were visited by identical pollinator species between pair years, accounting for over half of the total visits and three-quarters at the functional group level. More generalized pollinators contributed more connectiveness and were more central in networks across years. However, there was no similar or even opposite trend for plant species, which suggested that specialized plant species may also be central in pollinator networks. The variation in pollinator composition decreased as pollinator species numbers increased, suggesting that generalized plants experienced stable pollinator partition. The stable, tight interactions between generalized pollinators and specialized plants represent cornerstones of the studied community. PMID:26846890

  4. Indirect interactions between invasive and native plants via pollinators

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Kaiser-Bunbury, Christopher N.; Müller, Christine B.

    2009-03-01

    In generalised pollination systems, the presence of alien plant species may change the foraging behaviour of pollinators on native plant species, which could result in reduced reproductive success of native plant species. We tested this idea of indirect interactions on a small spatial and temporal scale in a field study in Mauritius, where the invasive strawberry guava, Psidium cattleianum, provides additional floral resources for insect pollinators. We predicted that the presence of flowering guava would indirectly and negatively affect the reproductive success of the endemic plant Bertiera zaluzania, which has similar flowers, by diverting shared pollinators. We removed P. cattleianum flowers within a 5-m radius from around half the B. zaluzania target plants (treatment) and left P. cattleianum flowers intact around the other half (control). By far, the most abundant and shared pollinator was the introduced honey bee, Apis mellifera, but its visitation rates to treatment and control plants were similar. Likewise, fruit and seed set and fruit size and weight of B. zaluzania were not influenced by the presence of P. cattleianum flowers. Although other studies have shown small-scale effects of alien plant species on neighbouring natives, we found no evidence for such negative indirect interactions in our system. The dominance of introduced, established A. mellifera indicates their replacement of native insect flower visitors and their function as pollinators of native plant species. However, the pollination effectiveness of A. mellifera in comparison to native pollinators is unknown.

  5. Southern Blueberry Pollinators

    Technology Transfer Automated Retrieval System (TEKTRAN)

    We present three profiles of important bee pollinators of southeastern blueberries. The first profile is about the chief pollinator, a native solitary bee, the southeastern blueberry bee. The second profile concerns floral robbery instigated by carpenter bees and honey bees, which proved beneficial ...

  6. The Pollination Ecology of an Assemblage of Grassland Asclepiads in South Africa

    PubMed Central

    OLLERTON, JEFF; JOHNSON, STEVEN D.; CRANMER, LOUISE; KELLIE, SAM

    2003-01-01

    The KwaZulu‐Natal region of South Africa hosts a large diversity of asclepiads (Apocynaceae: Asclepiadoideae), many of which are endemic to the area. The asclepiads are of particular interest because of their characteristically highly evolved floral morphology. During 3 months of fieldwork (November 2000 to January 2001) the flower visitors and pollinators to an assemblage of nine asclepiads at an upland grassland site were studied. These observations were augmented by laboratory studies of flower morphology (including scanning electron microscopy) and flower colour (using a spectrometer). Two of the specialized pollination systems that were documented are new to the asclepiads: fruit chafer pollination and pompilid wasp pollination. The latter is almost unique in the angiosperms. Taxa possessing these specific pollination systems cluster together in multidimensional phenotype space, suggesting that there has been convergent evolution in response to similar selection to attract identical pollinators. Pollination niche breadth varied from the very specialized species, with only one pollinator, to the more generalized, with up to ten pollinators. Pollinator sharing by the specialized taxa does not appear to have resulted in niche differentiation in terms of the temporal or spatial dimensions, or with regards to placement of pollinaria. Nestedness analysis of the data set showed that there was predictability and structure to the pattern of plant‐pollinator interactions, with generalist insects visiting specialized plants and vice versa. The research has shown that there is still much to be learned about plant–pollinator interactions in areas of high plant diversity such as South Africa. PMID:14612378

  7. Drought, pollen and nectar availability, and pollination success.

    PubMed

    Waser, Nickolas M; Price, Mary V

    2016-06-01

    Pollination success of animal-pollinated flowers depends on rate of pollinator visits and on pollen deposition per visit, both of which should vary with the pollen and nectar "neighborhoods" of a plant, i.e., with pollen and nectar availability in nearby plants. One determinant of these neighborhoods is per-flower production of pollen and nectar, which is likely to respond to environmental influences. In this study, we explored environmental effects on pollen and nectar production and on pollination success in order to follow up a surprising result from a previous study: flowers of Ipomopsis aggregata received less pollen in years of high visitation by their hummingbird pollinators. A new analysis of the earlier data indicated that high bird visitation corresponded to drought years. We hypothesized that drought might contribute to the enigmatic prior result if it decreases both nectar and pollen production: in dry years, low nectar availability could cause hummingbirds to visit flowers at a higher rate, and low pollen availability could cause them to deposit less pollen per visit. A greenhouse experiment demonstrated that drought does reduce both pollen and nectar production by I. aggregata flowers. This result was corroborated across 6 yr of variable precipitation and soil moisture in four unmanipulated field populations. In addition, experimental removal of pollen from flowers reduced the pollen received by nearby flowers. We conclude that there is much to learn about how abiotic and biotic environmental drivers jointly affect pollen and nectar production and availability, and how this contributes to pollen and nectar neighborhoods and thus influences pollination success. PMID:27459771

  8. The role of pollinator diversity in the evolution of corolla-shape integration in a pollination-generalist plant clade

    PubMed Central

    Gómez, José María; Perfectti, Francisco; Klingenberg, Christian Peter

    2014-01-01

    Flowers of animal-pollinated plants are integrated structures shaped by the action of pollinator-mediated selection. It is widely assumed that pollination specialization increases the magnitude of floral integration. However, empirical evidence is still inconclusive. In this study, we explored the role of pollinator diversity in shaping the evolution of corolla-shape integration in Erysimum, a plant genus with generalized pollination systems. We quantified floral integration in Erysimum using geometric morphometrics and explored its evolution using phylogenetic comparative methods. Corolla-shape integration was low but significantly different from zero in all study species. Spatial autocorrelation and phylogenetic signal in corolla-shape integration were not detected. In addition, integration in Erysimum seems to have evolved in a way that is consistent with Brownian motion, but with frequent convergent evolution. Corolla-shape integration was negatively associated with the number of pollinators visiting the flowers of each Erysimum species. That is, it was lower in those species having a more generalized pollination system. This negative association may occur because the co-occurrence of many pollinators imposes conflicting selection and cancels out any consistent selection on specific floral traits, preventing the evolution of highly integrated flowers. PMID:25002702

  9. What's the 'buzz' about? The ecology and evolutionary significance of buzz-pollination.

    PubMed

    De Luca, Paul A; Vallejo-Marín, Mario

    2013-08-01

    Many plant species have evolved floral characteristics that restrict pollen access. Some of these species are visited by insects, principally bees, which make use of vibrations to extract pollen from anthers. Buzz-pollination, as this phenomenon is generally known, is a widespread method of fertilization for thousands of species in both natural and agricultural systems. Despite its prevalence in pollination systems, the ecological and evolutionary conditions that favour the evolution of buzz-pollination are poorly known. We briefly summarize the biology of buzz-pollination and review recent studies on plant and pollinator characteristics that affect pollen removal. We suggest that buzz-pollination evolves as the result of an escalation in the competition between plants and pollen-consuming floral visitors (including pollen thieves and true pollinators) to control the rate of pollen removal from flowers. PMID:23751734

  10. Evaluating pollination deficits in pumpkin production in New York.

    PubMed

    Petersen, J D; Huseth, A S; Nault, B A

    2014-10-01

    Potential decreases in crop yield from reductions in bee-mediated pollination services threaten food production demands of a growing population. Many fruit and vegetable growers supplement their fields with bee colonies during crop bloom. The extent to which crop production requires supplementary pollination services beyond those provided by wild bees is not well documented. Pumpkin, Cucurbita pepo L., requires bee-mediated pollination for fruit development. Previous research identified the common eastern bumble bee, Bombus impatiens (Cresson), as the most efficient pumpkin pollinator. Two concomitant studies were conducted to examine pollination deficits in New York pumpkin fields from 2011 to 2013. In the first study, fruit weight, seed set, and B. impatiens visits to pumpkin flowers were compared across fields supplemented with B. impatiens colonies at a recommended stocking density of five colonies per hectare, a high density of 15 colonies per hectare, or not supplemented with bees. In the second study, fruit weight and seed set of pumpkins that received supplemental pollen through hand-pollination were compared with those that were open-pollinated by wild bees. Results indicated that supplementing pumpkin fields with B. impatiens colonies, regardless of stocking density, did not increase fruit weight, seed set, or B. impatiens visits to pumpkin flowers. Fruit weight and seed set did not differ between hand- and open-pollinated treatments. In general, we conclude that pumpkin production in central New York is not limited by inadequate pollination services provided by wild bees and that on average, supplementation with B. impatiens colonies did not improve pumpkin yield. PMID:25198126

  11. Weak trophic links between a crab-spider and the effective pollinators of a rewardless orchid

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Quintero, Carolina; Corley, Juan C.; Aizen, Marcelo A.

    2015-01-01

    Sit and wait predators hunting on flowers are considered to be exploiters of plant-pollinator mutualisms. Several studies have shown that plant-pollinator interactions can be highly susceptible to the impact of a third trophic level, via consumptive (direct) and non-consumptive (indirect) effects that alter pollinator behavior and, ultimately, plant fitness. However, most flowering plants attract a wide array of flower visitors, from which only a subset will be effective pollinators. Hence, a negative effect of an ambush predator on plant fitness should be expected only when: (i) the effective pollinators are part of the predators' diet and/or (ii) the non-consumptive effects of predator presence (e.g. dead prey) alter the behavior of effective pollinators and pollen movement among individual plants. We analyzed the direct and indirect effects of a crab-spider (Misumenops pallidus), on the pollination and reproductive success of Chloraea alpina, a Patagonian rewardless orchid. Our results indicate that most of the flower visitors do not behave as effective pollinators and most effective pollinators were not observed as prey for the crab-spider. In terms of non-consumptive effects, inflorescences with and without spiders and/or dead-prey did not vary the frequency of flower visitors, nor pollinia removal or deposition. Hence, it is not surprising that M. pallidus has a neutral effect on pollinia removal and deposition as well as on fruit and seed set. Similar to other rewardless orchids, the low reproductive success of C. alpina (∼6% fruit set) was associated with the limited number of visits by effective pollinators. Negative top-down effects of a flower-visitor predator on plant pollination may not be anticipated without studying the direct and indirect effects of this predator on the effective pollinators. In pollination systems where effective pollinators visited flowers erratically, such as in deceptive orchids, we expect weak or no effect of predators on

  12. Pollination value of male bees: The specialist bee Peponapis pruinosa (Apidae) at summer squash (Cucurbita pepo)

    Technology Transfer Automated Retrieval System (TEKTRAN)

    Males can comprise a substantial fraction of the bees that visit flowers, particularly at floral hosts of those bee species that are taxonomic floral specialists for pollen. Despite their prevalence in a number of pollination guilds, contributions of male bees to host pollination have been largely ...

  13. Attracting Pollinators to Atemoya: Effects of lures and attractants on yield.

    Technology Transfer Automated Retrieval System (TEKTRAN)

    Atemoya is a delicious fruit with tremendous market potential. Unfortunately it suffers from low fruit set due to inadequate visits by pollinators, small beetles in the sap beetle family. In many regions, atemoya and other species of Annonas are hand pollinated. Our research indicates that commercia...

  14. Production of solitary bees for pollination in the U.S.

    Technology Transfer Automated Retrieval System (TEKTRAN)

    Although honey bees provide the bulk of pollination services to U.S. crops, solitary bees also provide pollination services to a variety of agriculturally-important crops. Solitary bees are a diverse group of hymenopterans, in which all females are reproductive. These bees visit flowers to collect...

  15. Flower constancy in insect pollinators

    PubMed Central

    Ratnieks, Francis L.W.

    2011-01-01

    As first noted by Aristotle in honeybee workers, many insect pollinators show a preference to visit flowers of just one species during a foraging trip. This “flower constancy” probably benefits plants, because pollen is more likely to be deposited on conspecific stigmas. But it is less clear why insects should ignore rewarding alternative flowers. Many researchers have argued that flower constancy is caused by constraints imposed by insect nervous systems rather than because flower constancy is itself an efficient foraging method. We argue that this view is unsatisfactory because it both fails to explain why foragers flexibly adjust the degree of flower constancy and does not explain why foragers of closely related species show different degrees of constancy. While limitations of the nervous system exist and are likely to influence flower constancy to some degree, the observed behavioural flexibility suggests that flower constancy is a successful foraging strategy given the insect’s own information about different foraging options. PMID:22446521

  16. Fly pollination in Ceropegia (Apocynaceae: Asclepiadoideae): biogeographic and phylogenetic perspectives

    PubMed Central

    Ollerton, Jeff; Masinde, Siro; Meve, Ulrich; Picker, Mike; Whittington, Andrew

    2009-01-01

    Background and Aims Ceropegia (Apocynaceae subfamily Asclepiadoideae) is a large, Old World genus of >180 species, all of which possess distinctive flask-shaped flowers that temporarily trap pollinators. The taxonomic diversity of pollinators, biogeographic and phylogenetic patterns of pollinator exploitation, and the level of specificity of interactions were assessed in order to begin to understand the role of pollinators in promoting diversification within the genus. Methods Flower visitor and pollinator data for approx. 60 Ceropegia taxa were analysed with reference to the main centres of diversity of the genus and to a cpDNA–nrDNA molecular phylogeny of the genus. Key Results Ceropegia spp. interact with flower-visiting Diptera from at least 26 genera in 20 families, of which 11 genera and 11 families are pollinators. Size range of flies was 0·5–4·0 mm and approx. 94 % were females. Ceropegia from particular regions do not use specific fly genera or families, though Arabian Peninsula species are pollinated by a wider range of Diptera families than those in other regions. The basal-most clade interacts with the highest diversity of Diptera families and genera, largely due to one hyper-generalist taxon, C. aristolochioides subsp. deflersiana. Species in the more-derived clades interact with a smaller diversity of Diptera. Approximately 60 % of taxa are so far recorded as interacting with only a single genus of pollinators, the remaining 40 % being less conservative in their interactions. Ceropegia spp. can therefore be ecological specialists or generalists. Conclusions The genus Ceropegia has largely radiated without evolutionary shifts in pollinator functional specialization, maintaining its interactions with small Diptera. Intriguing biogeographic and phylogenetic patterns may reflect processes of regional dispersal, diversification and subsequent specialization onto a narrower range of pollinators, though some of the findings may be caused by

  17. Floral thermogenesis: An adaptive strategy of pollination biology in Magnoliaceae

    PubMed Central

    Wang, Ruohan; Zhang, Zhixiang

    2015-01-01

    Floral thermogenesis plays a crucial role in pollination biology, especially in plant–pollinator interactions. We have recently explored how thermogenesis is related to pollinator activity and odour release in Magnolia sprengeri. By analyzing flower temperatures, emission of volatiles, and insect visitation, we found that floral blends released during pistillate and staminate stages were similar and coincided with sap beetle visitation. Thus, odour mimicry of staminate-stage flowers may occur during the pistillate stage and may be an adaptive strategy of Magnolia species to attract pollinators during both stages, ensuring successful pollination. In addition to the biological significance of floral thermogenesis in Magnolia species, we explored the underlying regulatory mechanisms via profiling miRNA expression in M. denudata flowers during thermogenic and non-thermogenic stages. We identified 17 miRNAs that may play regulatory roles in floral thermogenesis. Functional annotation of their target genes indicated that these miRNAs regulate floral thermogenesis by influencing cellular respiration and light reactions. These findings increase our understanding of plant–pollinator interactions and the regulatory mechanisms in thermogenic plants. PMID:26844867

  18. Floral thermogenesis: An adaptive strategy of pollination biology in Magnoliaceae.

    PubMed

    Wang, Ruohan; Zhang, Zhixiang

    2015-01-01

    Floral thermogenesis plays a crucial role in pollination biology, especially in plant-pollinator interactions. We have recently explored how thermogenesis is related to pollinator activity and odour release in Magnolia sprengeri. By analyzing flower temperatures, emission of volatiles, and insect visitation, we found that floral blends released during pistillate and staminate stages were similar and coincided with sap beetle visitation. Thus, odour mimicry of staminate-stage flowers may occur during the pistillate stage and may be an adaptive strategy of Magnolia species to attract pollinators during both stages, ensuring successful pollination. In addition to the biological significance of floral thermogenesis in Magnolia species, we explored the underlying regulatory mechanisms via profiling miRNA expression in M. denudata flowers during thermogenic and non-thermogenic stages. We identified 17 miRNAs that may play regulatory roles in floral thermogenesis. Functional annotation of their target genes indicated that these miRNAs regulate floral thermogenesis by influencing cellular respiration and light reactions. These findings increase our understanding of plant-pollinator interactions and the regulatory mechanisms in thermogenic plants. PMID:26844867

  19. Using metabarcoding to reveal and quantify plant-pollinator interactions

    PubMed Central

    Pornon, André; Escaravage, Nathalie; Burrus, Monique; Holota, Hélène; Khimoun, Aurélie; Mariette, Jérome; Pellizzari, Charlène; Iribar, Amaia; Etienne, Roselyne; Taberlet, Pierre; Vidal, Marie; Winterton, Peter; Zinger, Lucie; Andalo, Christophe

    2016-01-01

    Given the ongoing decline of both pollinators and plants, it is crucial to implement effective methods to describe complex pollination networks across time and space in a comprehensive and high-throughput way. Here we tested if metabarcoding may circumvent the limits of conventional methodologies in detecting and quantifying plant-pollinator interactions. Metabarcoding experiments on pollen DNA mixtures described a positive relationship between the amounts of DNA from focal species and the number of trnL and ITS1 sequences yielded. The study of pollen loads of insects captured in plant communities revealed that as compared to the observation of visits, metabarcoding revealed 2.5 times more plant species involved in plant-pollinator interactions. We further observed a tight positive relationship between the pollen-carrying capacities of insect taxa and the number of trnL and ITS1 sequences. The number of visits received per plant species also positively correlated to the number of their ITS1 and trnL sequences in insect pollen loads. By revealing interactions hard to observe otherwise, metabarcoding significantly enlarges the spatiotemporal observation window of pollination interactions. By providing new qualitative and quantitative information, metabarcoding holds great promise for investigating diverse facets of interactions and will provide a new perception of pollination networks as a whole. PMID:27255732

  20. Using metabarcoding to reveal and quantify plant-pollinator interactions.

    PubMed

    Pornon, André; Escaravage, Nathalie; Burrus, Monique; Holota, Hélène; Khimoun, Aurélie; Mariette, Jérome; Pellizzari, Charlène; Iribar, Amaia; Etienne, Roselyne; Taberlet, Pierre; Vidal, Marie; Winterton, Peter; Zinger, Lucie; Andalo, Christophe

    2016-01-01

    Given the ongoing decline of both pollinators and plants, it is crucial to implement effective methods to describe complex pollination networks across time and space in a comprehensive and high-throughput way. Here we tested if metabarcoding may circumvent the limits of conventional methodologies in detecting and quantifying plant-pollinator interactions. Metabarcoding experiments on pollen DNA mixtures described a positive relationship between the amounts of DNA from focal species and the number of trnL and ITS1 sequences yielded. The study of pollen loads of insects captured in plant communities revealed that as compared to the observation of visits, metabarcoding revealed 2.5 times more plant species involved in plant-pollinator interactions. We further observed a tight positive relationship between the pollen-carrying capacities of insect taxa and the number of trnL and ITS1 sequences. The number of visits received per plant species also positively correlated to the number of their ITS1 and trnL sequences in insect pollen loads. By revealing interactions hard to observe otherwise, metabarcoding significantly enlarges the spatiotemporal observation window of pollination interactions. By providing new qualitative and quantitative information, metabarcoding holds great promise for investigating diverse facets of interactions and will provide a new perception of pollination networks as a whole. PMID:27255732

  1. Divergence on floral traits and vertebrate pollinators of two endemic Encholirium bromeliads.

    PubMed

    Christianini, A V; Forzza, R C; Buzato, S

    2013-03-01

    Shifts in pollen vectors favour diversification of floral traits, and differences in pollination strategies between congeneric sympatric species can contribute to reproductive isolation. Divergence in flowering phenology and selfing could also reduce interspecific crossing between self-compatible species. We investigated floral traits and visitation rates of pollinators of two sympatric Encholirium species on rocky outcrops to evaluate whether prior knowledge of floral characters could indicate actual pollinators. Data on flowering phenology, visitation rates and breeding system were used to evaluate reproductive isolation. Flowering phenology overlapped between species, but there were differences in floral characters, nectar volume and concentration. Several hummingbird species visited flowers of both Encholirium spp., but the endemic bat Lonchophylla bokermanni and an unidentified sphingid only visited E. vogelii. Pollination treatments demonstrated that E. heloisae and E. vogelii were partially self-compatible, with weak pollen limitation to seed set. Herbivores feeding on inflorescences decreased reproductive output of both species, but for E. vogelii the damage was higher. Our results indicate that actual pollinators can be known beforehand through floral traits, in agreement with pollination syndromes stating that a set of floral traits can be associated with the attraction of specific groups of pollinators. Divergence on floral traits and pollinator assemblage indicate that shifts in pollination strategies contribute to reproductive isolation between these Encholirium species, not divergence on flowering phenology or selfing. We suggest that hummingbird pollination might be the ancestral condition in Encholirium and that evolution of bat pollination made a substantial contribution to the diversification of this clade. PMID:22882351

  2. Generalist passerine pollination of a winter-flowering fruit tree in central China

    PubMed Central

    Fang, Qiang; Chen, Ying-Zhuo; Huang, Shuang-Quan

    2012-01-01

    Background and Aims Winter-flowering plants outside the tropics may experience a shortage of pollinator service, given that insect activity is largely limited by low temperature. Birds can be alternative pollinators for these plants, but experimental evidence for the pollination role of birds in winter-flowering plants is scarce. Methods Pollinator visitation to the loquat, Eriobotrya japonica (Rosaceae), was observed across the flowering season from November to January for two years in central China. Self- and cross-hand pollination was conducted in the field to investigate self-compatibility and pollen limitation. In addition, inflorescences were covered by bird cages and nylon mesh nets to exclude birds and all animal pollinators, respectively, to investigate the pollination role of birds in seed production. Results Self-fertilization in the loquat yielded few seeds. In early winter insect visit frequency was relatively higher, while in late winter insect pollinators were absent and two passerine birds (Pycnonotus sinensis and Zosterops japonicus) became the major floral visitors. However, seed-set of open-pollinated flowers did not differ between early and late winter. Exclusion of bird visitation greatly reduced seed-set, indicating that passerine birds were important pollinators for the loquat in late winter. The whitish perigynous flowers reward passerines with relatively large volumes of dilute nectar. Our observation on the loquat and other Rosaceae species suggested that perigyny might be related to bird pollination but the association needs further study. Conclusions These findings suggest that floral traits and phenology would be favoured to attract bird pollinators in cold weather, in which insect activity is limited. PMID:22112440

  3. Evolution of pollination niches and floral divergence in the generalist plant Erysimum mediohispanicum

    PubMed Central

    Gómez, J. M.; Muñoz-Pajares, A. J.; Abdelaziz, M.; Lorite, J.; Perfectti, F.

    2014-01-01

    Background and Aims How generalist plants diverge in response to pollinator selection without becoming specialized is still unknown. This study explores this question, focusing on the evolution of the pollination system in the pollination generalist Erysimum mediohispanicum (Brassicaceae). Methods Pollinator assemblages were surveyed from 2001 to 2010 in 48 geo-referenced populations covering the entire geographic distribution of E. mediohispanicum. Bipartite modularity, a complex network tool, was used to find the pollination niche of each population. Evolution of the pollination niches and the correlated evolution of floral traits and pollination niches were explored using within-species comparative analyses. Key Results Despite being generalists, the E. mediohispanicum populations studied can be classified into five pollination niches. The boundaries between niches were not sharp, the niches differing among them in the relative frequencies of the floral visitor functional groups. The absence of spatial autocorrelation and phylogenetic signal indicates that the niches were distributed in a phylogeographic mosaic. The ancestral E. mediohispanicum populations presumably belonged to the niche defined by a high number of beetle and ant visits. A correlated evolution was found between pollination niches and some floral traits, suggesting the existence of generalist pollination ecotypes. Conclusions It is conjectured that the geographic variation in pollination niches has contributed to the observed floral divergence in E. mediohispanicum. The process mediating this floral divergence presumably has been adaptive wandering, but the adaptation to the local pollinator faunas has been not universal. The outcome is a landscape where a few populations locally adapted to their pollination environment (generalist pollination ecotypes) coexist with many populations where this local adaptation has failed and where the plant phenotype is not primarily shaped by pollinators. PMID

  4. The ant-pollination system of Cytinus hypocistis (Cytinaceae), a Mediterranean root holoparasite

    PubMed Central

    de Vega, Clara; Arista, Montserrat; Ortiz, Pedro L.; Herrera, Carlos M.; Talavera, Salvador

    2009-01-01

    Background and Aims The genus Cytinus is composed of rootless, stemless and leafless parasites whose flowers are only visible during the reproductive period when they arise from the host tissues. Most of the taxa occur in Madagascar and South Africa, where mammal pollination has been suggested for one species. There is only one species in the Mediterranean region, and its pollination system has been unknown. Here, a long-term field observation study is combined with experimental pollination treatments in order to assess the pollination biology and reproductive system in the Mediterranean species Cytinus hypocistis. Methods Field studies were carried out in six populations in southern Spain over 4 years. Temporal and spatial patterns of variation in the composition and behaviour of floral visitors were characterized. Pollen loads and pollen viability were observed, and exclusion and controlled-pollination treatments were also conducted. Key Results Cytinus hypocistis is a self-compatible monoecious species that relies on insects for seed production. Ants were the main visitors, accounting for 97·4 % of total floral visits, and exclusion experiments showed that they act as true pollinators. They consistently touched reproductive organs, carried large pollen loads and transported viable pollen, although the different ant species observed in the flowers differed in their pollination effectiveness. The abundance of flying visitors was surprisingly low, and only the fly Oplisa aterrima contributed to fruit production and cross-pollination. Conclusions Mutualistic services by ant are essential for the pollination of Cytinus hypocistis. Although this parasite does not exhibit typical features of the ‘ant-pollination syndrome’, many other characteristics indicate that it is evolving to a more specialized ant-pollination system. The striking interspecific differences in the pollination systems of Mediterranean Cytinus (ant-pollinated) and some South African Cytinus

  5. Synergistic effects of non-Apis bees and honey bees for pollination services.

    PubMed

    Brittain, Claire; Williams, Neal; Kremen, Claire; Klein, Alexandra-Maria

    2013-03-01

    In diverse pollinator communities, interspecific interactions may modify the behaviour and increase the pollination effectiveness of individual species. Because agricultural production reliant on pollination is growing, improving pollination effectiveness could increase crop yield without any increase in agricultural intensity or area. In California almond, a crop highly dependent on honey bee pollination, we explored the foraging behaviour and pollination effectiveness of honey bees in orchards with simple (honey bee only) and diverse (non-Apis bees present) bee communities. In orchards with non-Apis bees, the foraging behaviour of honey bees changed and the pollination effectiveness of a single honey bee visit was greater than in orchards where non-Apis bees were absent. This change translated to a greater proportion of fruit set in these orchards. Our field experiments show that increased pollinator diversity can synergistically increase pollination service, through species interactions that alter the behaviour and resulting functional quality of a dominant pollinator species. These results of functional synergy between species were supported by an additional controlled cage experiment with Osmia lignaria and Apis mellifera. Our findings highlight a largely unexplored facilitative component of the benefit of biodiversity to ecosystem services, and represent a way to improve pollinator-dependent crop yields in a sustainable manner. PMID:23303545

  6. Long-Proboscid Flies as Pollinators of Cretaceous Gymnosperms.

    PubMed

    Peñalver, Enrique; Arillo, Antonio; Pérez-de la Fuente, Ricardo; Riccio, Mark L; Delclòs, Xavier; Barrón, Eduardo; Grimaldi, David A

    2015-07-20

    The great evolutionary success of angiosperms has traditionally been explained, in part, by the partnership of these plants with insect pollinators. The main approach to understanding the origins of this pervasive relationship has been study of the pollinators of living cycads, gnetaleans, and basal angiosperms. Among the most morphologically specialized living pollinators are diverse, long-proboscid flies. Early such flies include the brachyceran family Zhangsolvidae, previously known only as compression fossils from the Early Cretaceous of China and Brazil. It belongs to the infraorder Stratiomyomorpha, a group that includes the flower-visiting families Xylomyidae and Stratiomyidae. New zhangsolvid specimens in amber from Spain (ca. 105 mega-annum [Ma]) and Myanmar (100 Ma) reveal a detailed proboscis structure adapted to nectivory. Pollen clumped on a specimen from Spain is Exesipollenites, attributed to a Mesozoic gymnosperm, most likely the Bennettitales. Late Mesozoic scorpionflies with a long proboscis have been proposed as specialized pollinators of various extinct gymnosperms, but pollen has never been observed on or in their bodies. The new discovery is a very rare co-occurrence of pollen with its insect vector and provides substantiating evidence that other long-proboscid Mesozoic insects were gymnosperm pollinators. Evidence is thus now gathering that visitors and probable pollinators of early anthophytes, or seed plants, involved some insects with highly specialized morphological adaptations, which has consequences for interpreting the reproductive modes of Mesozoic gymnosperms and the significance of insect pollination in angiosperm success. PMID:26166781

  7. Floral advertisement scent in a changing plant-pollinators market

    PubMed Central

    Filella, Iolanda; Primante, Clara; Llusià, Joan; Martín González, Ana M.; Seco, Roger; Farré-Armengol, Gerard; Rodrigo, Anselm; Bosch, Jordi; Peñuelas, Josep

    2013-01-01

    Plant-pollinator systems may be considered as biological markets in which pollinators choose between different flowers that advertise their nectar/pollen rewards. Although expected to play a major role in structuring plant-pollinator interactions, community-wide patterns of flower scent signals remain largely unexplored. Here we show for the first time that scent advertisement is higher in plant species that bloom early in the flowering period when pollinators are scarce relative to flowers than in species blooming later in the season when there is a surplus of pollinators relative to flowers. We also show that less abundant flowering species that may compete with dominant species for pollinator visitation early in the flowering period emit much higher proportions of the generalist attractant β-ocimene. Overall, we provide a first community-wide description of the key role of seasonal dynamics of plant-specific flower scent emissions, and reveal the coexistence of contrasting plant signaling strategies in a plant-pollinator market. PMID:24305624

  8. Floral advertisement scent in a changing plant-pollinators market.

    PubMed

    Filella, Iolanda; Primante, Clara; Llusià, Joan; Martín González, Ana M; Seco, Roger; Farré-Armengol, Gerard; Rodrigo, Anselm; Bosch, Jordi; Peñuelas, Josep

    2013-01-01

    Plant-pollinator systems may be considered as biological markets in which pollinators choose between different flowers that advertise their nectar/pollen rewards. Although expected to play a major role in structuring plant-pollinator interactions, community-wide patterns of flower scent signals remain largely unexplored. Here we show for the first time that scent advertisement is higher in plant species that bloom early in the flowering period when pollinators are scarce relative to flowers than in species blooming later in the season when there is a surplus of pollinators relative to flowers. We also show that less abundant flowering species that may compete with dominant species for pollinator visitation early in the flowering period emit much higher proportions of the generalist attractant β-ocimene. Overall, we provide a first community-wide description of the key role of seasonal dynamics of plant-specific flower scent emissions, and reveal the coexistence of contrasting plant signaling strategies in a plant-pollinator market. PMID:24305624

  9. Neonicotinoid pesticide exposure impairs crop pollination services provided by bumblebees

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Stanley, Dara A.; Garratt, Michael P. D.; Wickens, Jennifer B.; Wickens, Victoria J.; Potts, Simon G.; Raine, Nigel E.

    2015-12-01

    Recent concern over global pollinator declines has led to considerable research on the effects of pesticides on bees. Although pesticides are typically not encountered at lethal levels in the field, there is growing evidence indicating that exposure to field-realistic levels can have sublethal effects on bees, affecting their foraging behaviour, homing ability and reproductive success. Bees are essential for the pollination of a wide variety of crops and the majority of wild flowering plants, but until now research on pesticide effects has been limited to direct effects on bees themselves and not on the pollination services they provide. Here we show the first evidence to our knowledge that pesticide exposure can reduce the pollination services bumblebees deliver to apples, a crop of global economic importance. Bumblebee colonies exposed to a neonicotinoid pesticide provided lower visitation rates to apple trees and collected pollen less often. Most importantly, these pesticide-exposed colonies produced apples containing fewer seeds, demonstrating a reduced delivery of pollination services. Our results also indicate that reduced pollination service delivery is not due to pesticide-induced changes in individual bee behaviour, but most likely due to effects at the colony level. These findings show that pesticide exposure can impair the ability of bees to provide pollination services, with important implications for both the sustained delivery of stable crop yields and the functioning of natural ecosystems.

  10. Neonicotinoid pesticide exposure impairs crop pollination services provided by bumblebees

    PubMed Central

    Stanley, Dara A.; Garratt, Michael P.D.; Wickens, Jennifer B.; Wickens, Victoria J.; Potts, Simon G.; Raine, Nigel E.

    2015-01-01

    Recent concern over global pollinator declines has led to considerable research on the effects of pesticides on bees1-5. Although pesticides are typically not encountered at lethal levels in the field, there is growing evidence indicating that exposure to field-realistic levels can have sub-lethal effects on bees affecting their foraging behaviour1,6,7, homing ability8,9 and reproductive success2,5. Bees are essential for the pollination of a wide variety of crops and the majority of wild flowering plants10-12, but until now research on pesticide impacts has been limited to direct effects on bees themselves and not on the pollination services they provide. Here we show the first evidence that pesticide exposure can reduce the pollination services bumblebees deliver to apples, a crop of global economic importance. Colonies exposed to a neonicotinoid pesticide provided lower visitation rates to apple trees and collected pollen less often. Most importantly these pesticide exposed colonies produced apples containing fewer seeds demonstrating a reduced delivery of pollination services. Our results also suggest reduced pollination service delivery is not due to pesticide-induced changes in individual bee behaviour but most likely due to impacts at the colony level. These findings show that pesticide exposure can impair the ability of bees to provide pollination services, with important implications for both the sustained delivery of stable crop yields and the function of natural ecosystems. PMID:26580009

  11. Lack of pollinators limits fruit production in commercial blueberry (Vaccinium corymbosum).

    PubMed

    Benjamin, Faye E; Winfree, Rachael

    2014-12-01

    Modern agriculture relies on domesticated pollinators such as the honey bee (Apis mellifera L.), and to a lesser extent on native pollinators, for the production of animal-pollinated crops. There is growing concern that pollinator availability may not keep pace with increasing agricultural production. However, whether crop production is in fact pollen-limited at the field scale has rarely been studied. Here, we ask whether commercial highbush blueberry (Vaccinium corymbosum L.) production in New Jersey is limited by a lack of pollination even when growers provide honey bees at recommended densities. We studied two varieties of blueberry over 3 yr to determine whether blueberry crop production is pollen-limited and to measure the relative contributions of honey bees and native bees to blueberry pollination. We found two lines of evidence for pollen limitation. First, berries receiving supplemental hand-pollination were generally heavier than berries receiving ambient pollination. Second, mean berry mass increased significantly and nonasymptotically with honey bee flower visitation rate. While honey bees provided 86% of pollination and thus drove the findings reported above, native bees still contributed 14% of total pollination even in our conventionally managed, high-input agricultural system. Honey bees and native bees were also similarly efficient as pollinators on a per-visit basis. Overall, our study shows that pollination can be a limiting factor in commercial fruit production. Yields might increase with increased honey bee stocking rates and improved dispersal of hives within crop fields, and with habitat restoration to increase pollination provided by native bees. PMID:25313694

  12. Self-pollination in island and mainland populations of the introduced hummingbird-pollinated plant, Nicotiana glauca (Solanaceae).

    PubMed

    Schueller, Sheila K

    2004-05-01

    Traits associated with self-pollination are common in island plants. This pattern could simply reflect the vestige of selection during colonization. Alternatively (or in addition), the ability to self-pollinate may provide a reproductive assurance benefit in established island plant populations due to inferior island pollinator service. To test these alternatives I studied an introduced plant (Nicotiana glauca; Solanaceae) on the California mainland and on two Channel Islands colonized at different times (approximately 30 and 100 yr ago). I compared these populations in terms of (1) capacity for self-pollination (self-compatibility, autogamy, stigma-anther distance, and incidence of a crumpled floral morph) and (2) current selection for the ability to self-pollinate (pollinator service by hummingbirds and the effect of emasculation on reproductive success). In general, island plants exhibited a higher capacity for self-pollination than mainland plants, especially on the most recently colonized island. However, island plants were not visited less frequently or more variably, nor did I detect current selection for selfing on islands. This supports the hypothesis that selfing traits in island plants are the product of a filter to successful establishment during colonization and not of selection for selfing in established island populations. PMID:21653422

  13. Quantity and quality components of effectiveness in insular pollinator assemblages.

    PubMed

    Rodríguez-Rodríguez, María C; Jordano, Pedro; Valido, Alfredo

    2013-09-01

    Ecologically isolated habitats (e.g., oceanic islands) favor the appearance of small assemblages of pollinators, generally characterized by highly contrasted life modes (e.g., birds, lizards), and opportunistic nectar-feeding behavior. Different life modes should promote a low functional equivalence among pollinators, while opportunistic nectar feeding would lead to reduced and unpredictable pollination effectiveness (PE) compared to more specialized nectarivores. Dissecting the quantity (QNC) and quality (QLC) components of PE, we studied the opportunistic bird-lizard pollinator assemblage of Isoplexis canariensis from the Canary Islands to experimentally evaluate these potential characteristics. Birds and lizards showed different positions in the PE landscape, highlighting their low functional equivalence. Birds were more efficient than lizards due to higher visitation frequency (QNC). Adult lizards differed from juveniles in effecting a higher production of viable seeds (QLC). The disparate life modes of birds and lizards resulted in ample intra- and inter-specific PE variance. The main sources of PE variance were visitation frequency (both lizards and birds), number of flowers probed (lizards) and proportion of viable seeds resulting from a single visit (birds). The non-coincident locations of birds and lizards on the PE landscape indicate potential constraints for effectiveness. Variations in pollinator abundance can result in major effectiveness shifts only if QLC is relatively high, while changes in QLC would increase PE substantially only at high QNC. The low functional equivalence of impoverished, highly contrasted pollinator assemblages may be an early diagnostic signal for pollinator extinction potentially driving the collapse of mutualistic services. PMID:23404070

  14. Pollinator preference and the evolution of floral traits in monkeyflowers (Mimulus).

    PubMed

    Schemske, D W; Bradshaw, H D

    1999-10-12

    A paradigm of evolutionary biology is that adaptation and reproductive isolation are caused by a nearly infinite number of mutations of individually small effect. Here, we test this hypothesis by investigating the genetic basis of pollinator discrimination in two closely related species of monkeyflowers that differ in their major pollinators. This system provides a unique opportunity to investigate the genetic architecture of adaptation and speciation because floral traits that confer pollinator specificity also contribute to premating reproductive isolation. We asked: (i) What floral traits cause pollinator discrimination among plant species? and (ii) What is the genetic basis of these traits? We examined these questions by using data obtained from a large-scale field experiment where genetic markers were employed to determine the genetic basis of pollinator visitation. Observations of F2 hybrids produced by crossing bee-pollinated Mimulus lewisii with hummingbird-pollinated Mimulus cardinalis revealed that bees preferred large flowers low in anthocyanin and carotenoid pigments, whereas hummingbirds favored nectar-rich flowers high in anthocyanins. An allele that increases petal carotenoid concentration reduced bee visitation by 80%, whereas an allele that increases nectar production doubled hummingbird visitation. These results suggest that genes of large effect on pollinator preference have contributed to floral evolution and premating reproductive isolation in these monkeyflowers. This work contributes to growing evidence that adaptation and reproductive isolation may often involve major genes. PMID:10518550

  15. From dusk till dawn: nocturnal and diurnal pollination in the epiphyte Tillandsia heterophylla (Bromeliaceae).

    PubMed

    Aguilar-Rodríguez, P A; Krömer, T; García-Franco, J G; MacSwiney G, M C

    2016-01-01

    In order to compare the effectiveness of diurnal and nocturnal pollinators, we studied the reproductive biology and pollinators of Tillandsia heterophylla E. Morren, an epiphytic tank bromeliad endemic to southeastern Mexico. Since anthesis in T. heterophylla is predominantly nocturnal but lasts until the following day, we hypothesised that this bromeliad would receive visits from both diurnal and nocturnal visitors, but that nocturnal visitors would be the most effective pollinators, since they arrive first to the receptive flower, and that bats would be the most frequent nocturnal visitors, given the characteristics of the nectar. Flowering of T. heterophylla began in May and lasted until July. The species is fully self-compatible, with an anthesis that lasts for ca. 15-16 h. Mean volume of nectar produced per flower was 82.21 μl, with a mean sugar concentration of 6.33%. The highest volume and concentration of nectar were found at 20:00 h, with a subsequent decline in both to almost zero over the following 12-h period. T. heterophylla has a generalist pollination system, since at least four different morphospecies of visitors pollinate its flowers: bats, moths, hummingbirds and bees. Most of the pollinating visits corresponded to bats and took place in the early evening, when stigma receptivity had already begun; making bats the probable pollinator on most occasions. However, diurnal pollinators may be important as a 'fail-safe' system by which to guarantee the pollination of T. heterophylla. PMID:25683682

  16. Distance-dependent pollen limitation of seed set in some insect-pollinated dioecious plants

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    de Jong, Tom J.; Batenburg, Judith C.; Klinkhamer, Peter G. L.

    2005-11-01

    By applying hand pollination, we studied pollen limitation of seed set of female plants in four dioecious plant species with insect-pollination. The effect of hand pollination increased with distance to the nearest male plant. Distances at which seed set was 50% of its maximal value (after hand pollination) were: 2.3 m for Valeriana dioica, 5.3 m for Salix repens, 8.5 m for Asparagus officinale and 10.6 m for Bryonia dioica. We discuss to what extent the reduced seed set was caused by either fewer visits or by visits of a lower quality. We argue that quantifying distance-dependent seed set in dioecious plants may be a good way of studying effects of habitat fragmentation on the breakdown of mutualistic pollination systems.

  17. Folivory affects composition of nectar, floral odor and modifies pollinator behavior.

    PubMed

    Bruinsma, Maaike; Lucas-Barbosa, Dani; ten Broeke, Cindy J M; van Dam, Nicole M; van Beek, Teris A; Dicke, Marcel; van Loon, Joop J A

    2014-01-01

    Herbivory induces changes in plants that influence the associated insect community. The present study addresses the potential trade-off between plant phytochemical responses to insect herbivory and interactions with pollinators. We used a multidisciplinary approach and have combined field and greenhouse experiments to investigate effects of herbivory in plant volatile emission, nectar production, and pollinator behavior, when Pieris brassicae caterpillars were allowed to feed only on the leaves of Brassica nigra plants. Interestingly, volatile emission by flowers changed upon feeding by herbivores on the leaves, whereas, remarkably, volatile emission by leaves did not significantly differ between infested and non-infested flowering plants. The frequency of flower visits by pollinators was generally not influenced by herbivory, but the duration of visits by honeybees and butterflies was negatively affected by herbivore damage to leaves. Shorter duration of pollinator visits could be beneficial for a plant, because it sustains pollen transfer between flowers while reducing nectar consumption per visit. Thus, no trade-off between herbivore-induced plant responses and pollination was evident. The effects of herbivore-induced plant responses on pollinator behavior underpin the importance of including ecological factors, such as herbivore infestation, in studies of the ecology of plant pollination. PMID:24317664

  18. A pollinators' eye view of a shelter mimicry system

    PubMed Central

    Vereecken, Nicolas J.; Dorchin, Achik; Dafni, Amots; Hötling, Susann; Schulz, Stefan; Watts, Stella

    2013-01-01

    Background and Aims ‘Human-red’ flowers are traditionally considered to be rather unpopular with bees, yet some allogamous species in the section Oncocyclus (genus Iris, Iridaceae) have evolved specialized interactions with their pollinators, a narrow taxonomic range of male solitary bees. The dark-red, tubular flowers of these irises are nectarless but provide protective shelters (i.e. a non-nutritive form of reward) primarily to male solitary bees (Apidae, Eucerini) that pollinate the flowers while looking for a shelter. An earlier study on orchids suggested that species pollinated predominantly by male solitary bees produce significantly larger amounts and larger numbers of different n-alkenes (unsaturated cuticular hydrocarbons). Whether or not this also applies to the Oncocyclus irises and whether pollinators are attracted by specific colours or scents of these flowers is unknown. Methods Using Iris atropurpurea, recording of pollinator preferences for shelters with different spatial parameters was combined with analyses of floral colours (by spectrophotometry) and scents (by gas chromatography–mass spectrometry) to test the hypotheses that (a) pollinators significantly prefer floral tunnels facing the rising sun (floral heat-reward hypothesis), and that (b) flowers pollinated predominantly by male solitary bees produce significantly larger amounts and larger numbers of unsaturated cuticular hydrocarbons (n-alkenes) in their floral scent (preadaptation to sexual-deception hypothesis). Key Results Male bees do not significantly prefer shelters facing the rising sun or with the presence of high absolute/relative amounts and numbers of n-alkenes in the floral scent. Conclusions The results suggest that the flowers of I. atropurpurea probably evolved by pollinator-mediated selection acting primarily on floral colours to mimic large achromatic (‘bee-black’) protective shelters used preferentially by male solitary bees, and that pollinator visits are

  19. [Importance of competition for pollination in formation of the entomophylous plants complex structure].

    PubMed

    Dlusskiĭ, G M

    2013-01-01

    Many species of entomophylous plants have a wide range of pollinators, and the same insects visit flowers of many plants. The competition for pollination leads to decreasing in seed production of competing species. However, there exists a variety of adaptations that allow plants to reduce the intensity of competition. A comparative analysis of pollinators spectra has allowed to designate groups (subcomplexes) of plants with regard to dominance of various groups of pollinators: myiophylous (flies from the superfamily Muscomorha dominate), syphidophylous (flies from the family Syrphidae dominate), psychophylous (butterflies dominate), cantharophylous (beetles dominate), nonspecialized and specialized melittophylous (Apidae, mainly bumblebees, dominate). The belonging of plants to a specific subcomplex is defined mainly by the structure of flowers and inflorescences. Modes of mechanical and attractive isolation are discussed that lead to restriction of pollinators composition. Competition abatement between species with similar spectra of pollinators and belonging to the same subcomplex is achieved mainly by spatial (ecological) and temporal (different timing of flowering) isolation. PMID:25438575

  20. Specialist pollinators deplete pollen in the spring ephemeral wildflower Claytonia virginica.

    PubMed

    Parker, Alison J; Williams, Neal M; Thomson, James D

    2016-08-01

    Pollinators that collect pollen - and specifically, pollen-specialist bees - are often considered to be the best pollinators of a (host) plant. Although pollen collectors and pollen specialists often benefit host plants, especially in the pollen that they deliver (their pollination "effectiveness"), they can also exact substantial costs because they are motivated to collect as much pollen as possible, reducing the proportion of pollen removed that is subsequently delivered to stigmas (their pollination "efficiency"). From the plant perspective, pollen grains that do not pollinate conspecific stigmas are "wasted", and potentially costly. We measured costs and benefits of nectar-collecting, pollen-collecting, and pollen-specialist pollinator visitation to the spring ephemeral Claytonia virginica. Visits by the pollen-specialist bee Andrena erigeniae depleted pollen quickly and thoroughly. Although all pollinators delivered roughly the same number of grains, the pollen specialist contributed most to C. virginica pollen delivery because of high visitation rates. However, the pollen specialist also removed a large number of grains; this removal may be especially costly because it resulted in the depletion of pollen grains in C. virginica populations. While C. virginica appears to rely on pollen transfer by the pollen specialist in these populations, nectar-collecting visitors could provide the same benefit at a lower cost if their visitation rates increased. Pollen depletion affects a pollinator's value to plants, but is frequently overlooked. If they lower the effectiveness of future floral visitors, visits by A. erigeniae females to C. virginica may be more detrimental than beneficial compared to other pollinators and may, in some circumstances, reduce plant fitness rather than increase it. Therefore, A. erigeniae and C. virginica may vary in their degree of mutualism depending on the ecological context. PMID:27551374

  1. Pollination Ecology and Breeding Systems of Five Gesneria Species from Puerto Rico

    PubMed Central

    Martén-Rodríguez, Silvana; Fenster, Charles B.

    2008-01-01

    Background and Aims The genus Gesneria diversified in the Greater Antilles giving rise to various floral designs corresponding to different pollination syndromes. The goal of this study was to characterize the pollination and breeding systems of five Puerto Rican Gesneria species. Methods The study was conducted in Arecibo and El Yunke National Forest, Puerto Rico, between 2003 and 2007. Floral visitors were documented by human observers and video cameras. Floral longevity and nectar production were recorded for the five study species. Tests for self-compatibility and autonomous selfing were conducted through hand-pollination and bagging experiments. Key Results Floral phenology and nectar production schedules agree with nocturnal (in bell-shaped flowered G. pedunculosa and G. viridiflora subsp. sintenisii) or diurnal pollination syndromes (in tubular-flowered G. citrina, G. cuneifolia and G. reticulata). Nectar concentration is consistently low (8–13 %) across species. Gesneria citrina and G. cuneifolia are exclusively pollinated by hummingbirds, while Gesneria reticulata relies mostly on autonomous self-pollination, despite having classic ornithophilous flowers. A variety of floral visitors was recorded for the two species with bell-shaped flowers; however, not all visitors have the ability to transfer pollen. Bats are the primary pollinators of G. pedunculosa, with bananaquits probably acting as secondary pollinators. For G. viridiflora subsp. sintenisii, both bats and hummingbirds contact the flower's reproductive organs, thus, this species is considered to be a generalist despite its nocturnal floral syndrome. All species are self-compatible but only tubular-flowered Gesneria are capable of autonomous self-pollination. Conclusions The visitation patterns described in this study fit the predicted hummingbird and bat pollination syndromes and support both specialization and generalization of pollination systems in Puerto Rican Gesneria. Specialization is

  2. Beyond the pollination syndrome: nectar ecology and the role of diurnal and nocturnal pollinators in the reproductive success of Inga sessilis (Fabaceae).

    PubMed

    Amorim, F W; Galetto, L; Sazima, M

    2013-03-01

    Inga species present brush-type flower morphology allowing them to be visited by distinct groups of pollinators. Nectar features in relation to the main pollinators have seldom been studied in this genus. To test the hypothesis of floral adaptation to both diurnal and nocturnal pollinators, we studied the pollination ecology of Inga sessilis, with emphasis on the nectar secretion patterns, effects of sequential removals on nectar production, sugar composition and the role of diurnal and nocturnal pollinators in its reproductive success. Inga sessilis is self-incompatible and pollinated by hummingbirds, hawkmoths and bats. Fruit set under natural conditions is very low despite the fact that most stigmas receive polyads with sufficient pollen to fertilise all ovules in a flower. Nectar secretion starts in the bud stage and flowers continually secreting nectar for a period of 8 h. Flowers actively reabsorbed the nectar a few hours before senescence. Sugar production increased after nectar removal, especially when flowers were drained during the night. Nectar sugar composition changed over flower life span, from sucrose-dominant (just after flower opening, when hummingbirds were the main visitors) to hexose-rich (throughout the night, when bats and hawkmoths were the main visitors). Diurnal pollinators contributed less than nocturnal ones to fruit production, but the former were more constant and reliable visitors through time. Our results indicate I. sessilis has floral adaptations, beyond the morphology, that encompass both diurnal and nocturnal pollinator requirements, suggesting a complementary and mixed pollination system. PMID:22823072

  3. Bidirectional flower color and shape changes allow a second opportunity for pollination.

    PubMed

    Willmer, Pat; Stanley, Dara A; Steijven, Karin; Matthews, Iain M; Nuttman, Clive V

    2009-06-01

    Flowers act as "sensory billboards" with multiple signals (color, morphology, odor) attracting and manipulating potential pollinators. Many use changing signals as indicators that visitation and/or pollination have occurred). Floral color change is commonly used to transmit this information (often correlated with reduced nectar reward) and can be specifically triggered by pollination or visitation. By retaining color-changed flowers, plants benefit from larger floral displays but also indicate at close range which flowers are still rewarding (and still unpollinated), so that visitors forage more efficiently. However, the legume Desmodium setigerum shows a unique ability, if inadequately pollinated, to reverse its flowers' color and shape changes. Single visits by bees mechanically depress the keel and expose stigma and anthers (termed "tripping"); visits also initiate a rapid color change from lilac to white and turquoise and a slower morphological change, the upper petal folding downwards over the reproductive parts. But flowers receiving insufficient pollen can partially reopen, re-exposing the stigma, with a further color change to deeper turquoise and/or lilac. Thus, most flowers achieve pollination from one bee visit, but those with inadequate pollen receipt can reverse their signals, earning a "second chance" by eliciting attention from other potential pollinators. PMID:19409788

  4. Pollinator Interactions with Yellow Starthistle (Centaurea solstitialis) across Urban, Agricultural, and Natural Landscapes

    PubMed Central

    Leong, Misha; Kremen, Claire; Roderick, George K.

    2014-01-01

    Pollinator-plant relationships are found to be particularly vulnerable to land use change. Yet despite extensive research in agricultural and natural systems, less attention has focused on these interactions in neighboring urban areas and its impact on pollination services. We investigated pollinator-plant interactions in a peri-urban landscape on the outskirts of the San Francisco Bay Area, California, where urban, agricultural, and natural land use types interface. We made standardized observations of floral visitation and measured seed set of yellow starthistle (Centaurea solstitialis), a common grassland invasive, to test the hypotheses that increasing urbanization decreases 1) rates of bee visitation, 2) viable seed set, and 3) the efficiency of pollination (relationship between bee visitation and seed set). We unexpectedly found that bee visitation was highest in urban and agricultural land use contexts, but in contrast, seed set rates in these human-altered landscapes were lower than in natural sites. An explanation for the discrepancy between floral visitation and seed set is that higher plant diversity in urban and agricultural areas, as a result of more introduced species, decreases pollinator efficiency. If these patterns are consistent across other plant species, the novel plant communities created in these managed landscapes and the generalist bee species that are favored by human-altered environments will reduce pollination services. PMID:24466050

  5. An altitudinal cline in UV floral pattern corresponds with a behavioral change of a generalist pollinator assemblage.

    PubMed

    Koski, Matthew H; Ashman, Tia-Lynn

    2015-12-01

    Spatial variation in pollinator communities or behaviors can underlie floral diversification. Floral traits in the UV spectrum are common and mediate plant-pollinator interactions, but the role of pollinators in driving or maintaining their geographic variation has not been fully explored. We identify an altitudinal cline of increasing relative size of the UV bullseye pattern in Argentina anserina (Rosaceae) flowers, and assess whether pollination context contributes to clinal variation. At four sites that varied in altitude, we document the pollinator assemblage, and pollinator preference and visitation behavior. We then determine how pollinator visits affected pollen receipt and export. Finally, we describe how the functional relationship between UV floral phenotype and pollen receipt changed with altitude. Floral UV bullseye size increased with altitude, which corresponded with a change from a hymenopteran- to a dipteran-dominated pollinator assemblage. While dipteran and hymenopteran preferences for bullseye size were similar, flowers with large bullseyes received more foraging visits than those with small bullseyes at higher altitude. The reverse was observed at the lower altitudes; pollinators approached large-bullseye flowers often but rarely foraged. These differences are expected to affect fitness because foraging visits increased pollen export and receipt. Indeed, when natural variation in bullseye size was considered, it had a stronger effect on pollen receipt than other traits (flower size, display, or color). Plants with larger bullseyes tended to receive more pollen at the highest-altitude site, while those with smaller ones received more pollen at the lowest-altitude site. Results suggest that altitudinal changes in preference and behavior of the overall pollinator assemblage, but not differential preferences of pollinator taxonomic groups, could contribute to clinal variation in a UV floral trait for a generalist-pollinated plant. PMID:26909439

  6. Carbohydrates, pollinators, and cycads

    PubMed Central

    Marler, Thomas E; Lindström, Anders J

    2015-01-01

    Cycad biology, ecology, and horticulture decisions are not supported by adequate research, and experiments in cycad physiology in particular have been deficient. Our recent report on free sugar content in a range of cycad taxa and tissues sets the stage for developing continued carbohydrate research. Growth and development of cycad pollen, mediation of the herbivory traits of specialist pollinators, and support of expensive strobilus behavioral traits are areas of cycad pollination biology that would benefit from a greater understanding of the role of carbohydrate relations. PMID:26479502

  7. Pollen loads and specificity of native pollinators of lowbush blueberry.

    PubMed

    Moisan-Deserres, J; Girard, M; Chagnon, M; Fournier, V

    2014-06-01

    The reproduction of lowbush blueberry (Vaccinium angustifolium Aiton) is closely tied to insect pollination, owing to self-incompatibility. Many species are known to have greater pollination efficiency than the introduced Apis mellifera L., commonly used for commercial purposes. In this study, we measured the pollen loads of several antophilous insect species, mostly Apoidea and Syrphidae, present in four lowbush blueberry fields in Lac-St-Jean, Québec. To measure pollen loads and species specificity toward V. angustifolium, we net-collected 627 specimens of pollinators, retrieved their pollen loads, identified pollen taxa, and counted pollen grains. We found that the sizes of pollen loads were highly variable among species, ranging from a few hundred to more than 118,000 pollen grains per individual. Bombus and Andrena species in particular carried large amounts of Vaccinium pollen and thus may have greater pollination efficiency. Also, two species (Andrena bradleyi Viereck and Andrena carolina Viereck) showed nearly monolectic behavior toward lowbush blueberry. Finally, we identified alternative forage plants visited by native pollinators, notably species of Acer, Rubus, Ilex mucronata, Ledum groenlandicum, and Taraxacum. Protecting these flowering plants should be part of management practices to maintain healthy pollinator communities in a lowbush blueberry agroecosystem. PMID:25026677

  8. Relative impact of mate versus pollinator availability on pollen limitation and outcrossing rates in a mass-flowering species.

    PubMed

    Delmas, C E L; Escaravage, N; Cheptou, P-O; Charrier, O; Ruzafa, S; Winterton, P; Pornon, A

    2015-01-01

    Plant mating systems are driven by several pre-pollination factors, including pollinator availability, mate availability and reproductive traits. We investigated the relative contributions of these factors to pollination and to realized outcrossing rates in the patchily distributed mass-flowering shrub Rhododendron ferrugineum. We jointly monitored pollen limitation (comparing seed set from intact and pollen-supplemented flowers), reproductive traits (herkogamy, flower size and autofertility) and mating patterns (progeny array analysis) in 28 natural patches varying in the level of pollinator availability (flower visitation rates) and of mate availability (patch floral display estimated as the total number of inflorescences per patch). Our results showed that patch floral display was the strongest determinant of pollination and of the realized outcrossing rates in this mass-flowering species. We found an increase in pollen limitation and in outcrossing rates with increasing patch floral display. Reproductive traits were not significantly related to patch floral display, while autofertility was negatively correlated to outcrossing rates. These findings suggest that mate limitation, arising from high flower visitation rates in small plant patches, resulted in low pollen limitation and high selfing rates, while pollinator limitation, arising from low flower visitation rates in large plant patches, resulted in higher pollen limitation and outcrossing rates. Pollinator-mediated selfing and geitonogamy likely alleviates pollen limitation in the case of reduced mate availability, while reduced pollinator availability (intraspecific competition for pollinator services) may result in the maintenance of high outcrossing rates despite reduced seed production. PMID:24942604

  9. Twenty-five years of progress in understanding pollination mechanisms in palms (Arecaceae)

    PubMed Central

    Barfod, Anders S.; Hagen, Melanie; Borchsenius, Finn

    2011-01-01

    Background With more than 90 published studies of pollination mechanisms, the palm family is one of the better studied tropical families of angiosperms. Understanding palm–pollinator interactions has implications for tropical silviculture, agroforestry and horticulture, as well as for our understanding of palm evolution and diversification. We review the rich literature on pollination mechanisms in palms that has appeared since the last review of palm pollination studies was published 25 years ago. Scope and Conclusions Visitors to palm inflorescences are attracted by rewards such as food, shelter and oviposition sites. The interaction between the palm and its visiting fauna represents a trade-off between the services provided by the potential pollinators and the antagonistic activities of other insect visitors. Evidence suggests that beetles constitute the most important group of pollinators in palms, followed by bees and flies. Occasional pollinators include mammals (e.g. bats and marsupials) and even crabs. Comparative studies of palm–pollinator interactions in closely related palm species document transitions in floral morphology, phenology and anatomy correlated with shifts in pollination vectors. Synecological studies show that asynchronous flowering and partitioning of pollinator guilds may be important regulators of gene flow between closely related sympatric taxa and potential drivers of speciation processes. Studies of larger plant–pollinator networks point out the importance of competition for pollinators between palms and other flowering plants and document how the insect communities in tropical forest canopies probably influence the reproductive success of palms. However, published studies have a strong geographical bias towards the South American region and a taxonomic bias towards the tribe Cocoseae. Future studies should try to correct this imbalance to provide a more representative picture of pollination mechanisms and their evolutionary

  10. Floral features, pollination biology and breeding system of Chloraea membranacea Lindl. (Orchidaceae: Chloraeinae)

    PubMed Central

    Sanguinetti, Agustin; Buzatto, Cristiano Roberto; Pedron, Marcelo; Davies, Kevin L.; Ferreira, Pedro Maria de Abreu; Maldonado, Sara; Singer, Rodrigo B.

    2012-01-01

    Background and Aims The pollination biology of very few Chloraeinae orchids has been studied to date, and most of these studies have focused on breeding systems and fruiting success. Chloraea membranacea Lindl. is one of the few non-Andean species in this group, and the aim of the present contribution is to elucidate the pollination biology, functional floral morphology and breeding system in native populations of this species from Argentina (Buenos Aires) and Brazil (Rio Grande do Sul State). Methods Floral features were examined using light microscopy, and scanning and transmission electron microscopy. The breeding system was studied by means of controlled pollinations applied to plants, either bagged in the field or cultivated in a glasshouse. Pollination observations were made on natural populations, and pollinator behaviour was recorded by means of photography and video. Key Results Both Argentinean and Brazilian plants were very consistent regarding all studied features. Flowers are nectarless but scented and anatomical analysis indicates that the dark, clavate projections on the adaxial labellar surface are osmophores (scent-producing glands). The plants are self-compatible but pollinator-dependent. The fruit-set obtained through cross-pollination and manual self-pollination was almost identical. The main pollinators are male and female Halictidae bees that withdraw the pollinarium when leaving the flower. Remarkably, the bees tend to visit more than one flower per inflorescence, thus promoting self-pollination (geitonogamy). Fruiting success in Brazilian plants reached 60·78 % in 2010 and 46 % in 2011. Some pollinarium-laden female bees were observed transferring pollen from the carried pollinarium to their hind legs. The use of pollen by pollinators is a rare record for Orchidaceae in general. Conclusions Chloraea membrancea is pollinated by deceit. Together, self-compatibility, pollinarium texture, pollinator abundance and behaviour may account for the

  11. Do pollinators influence the assembly of flower colours within plant communities?

    PubMed

    de Jager, Marinus L; Dreyer, Léanne L; Ellis, Allan G

    2011-06-01

    The co-occurrence of plant species within a community is influenced by local deterministic or neutral processes as well as historical regional processes. Floral trait distributions of co-flowering species that share pollinators may reflect the impact of pollinator preference and constancy on their assembly within local communities. While pollinator sharing may lead to increased visitation rates for species with similar flowers, the receipt of foreign pollen via interspecific pollinator movements can decrease seed set. We investigated the pattern of community flower colour assembly as perceived by native honeybee pollinators within 24 local assemblages of co-flowering Oxalis species within the Greater Cape Floristic Region, South Africa. To explore the influence of pollinators on trait assembly, we assessed the impact of colour similarity on pollinator choices and the cost of heterospecific pollen receipt. We show that flower colour is significantly clustered within Oxalis communities and that this is not due to historical constraint, as flower colour is evolutionarily labile within Oxalis and communities are randomly structured with respect to phylogeny. Pollinator observations reveal that the likelihood of pollinators switching between co-flowering species is low and increases with flower colour similarity. Interspecific hand pollination significantly reduced seed set in the four Oxalis species we investigated, and all were dependant on pollinators for reproduction. Together these results imply that flower colour similarity carries a potential fitness cost. However, pollinators were highly flower constant, and remained so despite the extreme similarity of flower colour as perceived by honeybees. This suggests that other floral traits facilitate discrimination between similarly coloured species, thereby likely resulting in a low incidence of interspecific pollen transfer (IPT). If colour similarity promotes pollinator attraction at the community level, the observed

  12. Variation of Pollinator Assemblages and Pollen Limitation in a Locally Specialized System: The Oil-producing Nierembergia linariifolia (Solanaceae)

    PubMed Central

    Cosacov, Andrea; Nattero, Julieta; Cocucci, Andrea A.

    2008-01-01

    Background and Aims Few studies have examined the dynamics of specialist plant–pollinator interactions at a geographical scale. This knowledge is crucial for a more general evolutionary and ecological understanding of specialized plant–pollinator systems. In the present study, variations in pollinator activity, assemblage composition and pollen limitation were explored in the oil-producing species Nierembergia linariifolia (Solanaceae). Methods Pollen limitation in fruit and seed production was analysed by supplementary hand pollination in five wild populations. Pollinator activity and identity were recorded while carrying out supplementary pollination to assess the effect of pollinators on the degree of pollen limitation. In two populations, pollen limitation was discriminated into quantitative and qualitative components by comparing supplementation and hand cross-pollination in fruit set and seed set. The effect of flower number per plant on the number of flowers pollinated per visitor per visit to a plant was examined in one of these populations as a possible cause of low-quality pollination by increasing geitonogamy. Results and Conclusions Although pollen limitation was evident along time and space, differences in magnitude were detected among populations and years that were greatly explained by pollinator activity, which was significantly different across populations. Floral display size had a significant effect on the visitation rate per flower. Limitation by quality clearly affected one population presumably due to a high proportion of geitonogamous pollen. The great inter-population variation in plant–pollinator interaction (both in pollinator assemblages composition and pollinator activity) and fitness consequences, suggests that this system should be viewed as a mosaic of locally selective processes and locally specialized interactions. PMID:18765440

  13. Low abundance of long-tongued pollinators leads to pollen limitation in four specialized hawkmoth-pollinated plants in the Atlantic Rain forest, Brazil

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Amorim, Felipe W.; Wyatt, Graham E.; Sazima, Marlies

    2014-09-01

    Long-tubed hawkmoth-pollinated species present some of the most remarkable examples of floral specialization depending exclusively on long-tongued hawkmoths for sexual reproduction. Nonetheless, long-tongued hawkmoths do not rely exclusively on specialized plants as nectar sources, which may limit sexual reproduction through pollen limitation. However, very few studies have quantified the level of pollen limitation in plants with highly specialized floral traits in tropical regions. In this context, we studied four sympatric hawkmoth-pollinated species in a highland Atlantic Rain forest and assessed pollen limitation and their dependence on pollinators by analyzing the floral biology, breeding system, pollination mechanisms, and abundance of long-tongued pollinators. We showed that the four species are self-compatible, but are completely dependent on long-tongued hawkmoths to set fruits, and that flower visitation was infrequent in all plant species. Pollen limitation indices ranged from 0.53 to 0.96 showing that fruit set is highly limited by pollen receipt. Long-tongued moths are much less abundant and comprise only one sixth of the hawkmoth fauna. Pollen analyses of 578 sampled moths revealed that hawkmoths visited ca. 80 plant species in the community, but only two of the four species studied. Visited plants included a long-tubed hawkmoth-pollinated species endemic to the lowland forest ca. 15-20 km away from the study site. Specialization index (H 2 ' = 0.20) showed that community-level interactions between hawkmoths and plants are generalized. We suggest that sexual reproduction of these highly specialized hawkmoth-pollinated species is impaired by competition among plants for pollinators, in conjunction with the low abundance and diversity of long-tongued pollinators.

  14. Low abundance of long-tongued pollinators leads to pollen limitation in four specialized hawkmoth-pollinated plants in the Atlantic Rain forest, Brazil

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Amorim, Felipe W.; Wyatt, Graham E.; Sazima, Marlies

    2014-11-01

    Long-tubed hawkmoth-pollinated species present some of the most remarkable examples of floral specialization depending exclusively on long-tongued hawkmoths for sexual reproduction. Nonetheless, long-tongued hawkmoths do not rely exclusively on specialized plants as nectar sources, which may limit sexual reproduction through pollen limitation. However, very few studies have quantified the level of pollen limitation in plants with highly specialized floral traits in tropical regions. In this context, we studied four sympatric hawkmoth-pollinated species in a highland Atlantic Rain forest and assessed pollen limitation and their dependence on pollinators by analyzing the floral biology, breeding system, pollination mechanisms, and abundance of long-tongued pollinators. We showed that the four species are self-compatible, but are completely dependent on long-tongued hawkmoths to set fruits, and that flower visitation was infrequent in all plant species. Pollen limitation indices ranged from 0.53 to 0.96 showing that fruit set is highly limited by pollen receipt. Long-tongued moths are much less abundant and comprise only one sixth of the hawkmoth fauna. Pollen analyses of 578 sampled moths revealed that hawkmoths visited ca. 80 plant species in the community, but only two of the four species studied. Visited plants included a long-tubed hawkmoth-pollinated species endemic to the lowland forest ca. 15-20 km away from the study site. Specialization index ( H 2 ' = 0.20) showed that community-level interactions between hawkmoths and plants are generalized. We suggest that sexual reproduction of these highly specialized hawkmoth-pollinated species is impaired by competition among plants for pollinators, in conjunction with the low abundance and diversity of long-tongued pollinators.

  15. Low abundance of long-tongued pollinators leads to pollen limitation in four specialized hawkmoth-pollinated plants in the Atlantic Rain forest, Brazil.

    PubMed

    Amorim, Felipe W; Wyatt, Graham E; Sazima, Marlies

    2014-11-01

    Long-tubed hawkmoth-pollinated species present some of the most remarkable examples of floral specialization depending exclusively on long-tongued hawkmoths for sexual reproduction. Nonetheless, long-tongued hawkmoths do not rely exclusively on specialized plants as nectar sources, which may limit sexual reproduction through pollen limitation. However, very few studies have quantified the level of pollen limitation in plants with highly specialized floral traits in tropical regions. In this context, we studied four sympatric hawkmoth-pollinated species in a highland Atlantic Rain forest and assessed pollen limitation and their dependence on pollinators by analyzing the floral biology, breeding system, pollination mechanisms, and abundance of long-tongued pollinators. We showed that the four species are self-compatible, but are completely dependent on long-tongued hawkmoths to set fruits, and that flower visitation was infrequent in all plant species. Pollen limitation indices ranged from 0.53 to 0.96 showing that fruit set is highly limited by pollen receipt. Long-tongued moths are much less abundant and comprise only one sixth of the hawkmoth fauna. Pollen analyses of 578 sampled moths revealed that hawkmoths visited ca. 80 plant species in the community, but only two of the four species studied. Visited plants included a long-tubed hawkmoth-pollinated species endemic to the lowland forest ca. 15-20 km away from the study site. Specialization index (H 2 ' = 0.20) showed that community-level interactions between hawkmoths and plants are generalized. We suggest that sexual reproduction of these highly specialized hawkmoth-pollinated species is impaired by competition among plants for pollinators, in conjunction with the low abundance and diversity of long-tongued pollinators. PMID:25204723

  16. Pollination system and the effect of inflorescence size on fruit set in the deceptive orchid Cephalanthera falcata.

    PubMed

    Suetsugu, Kenji; Naito, Risa S; Fukushima, Shigeki; Kawakita, Atsushi; Kato, Makoto

    2015-07-01

    Larger inflorescences in reward-producing plants can benefit plants by increasing both pollinator attraction and the duration of visits by individual pollinators. However, ultimately, inflorescence size is determined by the balance between the benefits of large inflorescences and the increased cost of geitonogamy. At present, little is known about the relationship between inflorescence size and fecundity in deceptive plants. Given that pollinators are likely to leave inflorescences lacking rewards quickly, it seems unlikely that longer pollinator visits and the risk of geitonogamy would be strong selective pressures in these species, which indicates that pollinator attraction might be the most important factor influencing their inflorescence size. Here we examined the pollination ecology of the deceptive orchid Cephalanthera falcata in order to clarify the effects of inflorescence size on the fruit set of this non-rewarding species. Field observations of the floral visitors showed that C. falcata is pollinated by the andrenid bee Andrena aburana, whilst pollination experiments demonstrated that this orchid species is neither autogamous nor apogamous, but is strongly pollinator dependent. Three consecutive years of field observations revealed that fruit set was positively correlated with the number of flowers per inflorescence. These results provide strong evidence that the nectarless orchid C. falcata benefits from producing larger inflorescences that attract a greater number of innate pollinators. Large inflorescences may have a greater positive effect on fruit set in deceptive plants because a growing number of studies suggest that fruit set in reward-producing plants is usually unaffected by display size. PMID:25801274

  17. Conspecific and Heterospecific Plant Densities at Small-Scale Can Drive Plant-Pollinator Interactions

    PubMed Central

    Janovský, Zdeněk; Mikát, Michael; Hadrava, Jiří; Horčičková, Eva; Kmecová, Kateřina; Požárová, Doubravka; Smyčka, Jan; Herben, Tomáš

    2013-01-01

    Generalist pollinators are important in many habitats, but little research has been done on small-scale spatial variation in interactions between them and the plants that they visit. Here, using a spatially explicit approach, we examined whether multiple species of flowering plants occurring within a single meadow showed spatial structure in their generalist pollinator assemblages. We report the results for eight plant species for which at least 200 individual visits were recorded. We found that for all of these species, the proportions of their general pollinator assemblages accounted for by particular functional groups showed spatial heterogeneity at the scale of tens of metres. This heterogeneity was connected either with no or only subtle changes of vegetation and flowering species composition. In five of these species, differences in conspecific plant density influenced the pollinator communities (with greater dominance of main pollinators at low-conspecific plant densities). The density of heterospecific plant individuals influenced the pollinator spectrum in one case. Our results indicate that the picture of plant-pollinator interactions provided by averaging data within large plots may be misleading and that within-site spatial heterogeneity should be accounted for in terms of sampling effort allocation and analysis. Moreover, spatially structured plant-pollinator interactions may have important ecological and evolutionary consequences, especially for plant population biology. PMID:24204818

  18. The forgotten flies: the importance of non-syrphid Diptera as pollinators

    PubMed Central

    Orford, Katherine A.; Vaughan, Ian P.; Memmott, Jane

    2015-01-01

    Bees, hoverflies and butterflies are taxa frequently studied as pollinators in agricultural and conservation contexts. Although there are many records of non-syrphid Diptera visiting flowers, they are generally not regarded as important pollinators. We use data from 30 pollen-transport networks and 71 pollinator-visitation networks to compare the importance of various flower-visiting taxa as pollen-vectors. We specifically compare non-syrphid Diptera and Syrphidae to determine whether neglect of the former in the literature is justified. We found no significant difference in pollen-loads between the syrphid and non-syrphid Diptera. Moreover, there was no significant difference in the level of specialization between the two groups in the pollen-transport networks, though the Syrphidae had significantly greater visitation evenness. Flower visitation data from 33 farms showed that non-syrphid Diptera made up the majority of the flower-visiting Diptera in the agricultural studies (on average 82% abundance and 73% species richness), and we estimate that non-syrphid Diptera carry 84% of total pollen carried by farmland Diptera. As important pollinators, such as bees, have suffered serious declines, it would be prudent to improve our understanding of the role of non-syrphid Diptera as pollinators. PMID:25808886

  19. Getting the smell of it--odour cues structure pollinator networks.

    PubMed

    Hambäck, Peter A

    2016-03-01

    Floral visitors vary greatly among plant species and depend on the volatiles emitted by the flowers. Creeping thistle is normally visited by bees and bumblebees while common yarrow is rather visited by flies. Manipulating the flower volatiles caused pollinator communities to become more similar among the two plant species. Image credit: Robert Junker and Anna-Amelie Larue. In Focus: Larue, A.-A.C., Raguso, R.A. & Junker, R.R. (2015) Experimental manipulation of floral scent bouquets restructures flower-visitor interactions in the field. Journal of Animal Ecology, 85, 396-408. Pollinators use multiple cues to locate suitable flowers, and recent studies argue that flower volatiles are more important than previously believed. However, the role of volatiles is seldom separated from other cues. Larue, Raguso & Junker (2015) manipulated the volatile profile of two plants that are normally visited by different pollinators. Achillea millefolium is normally not visited by honeybees and bumblebees, but these pollinator groups did visit plants that were sprayed with volatiles from Cirsium arvense. Cirsium arvense, on the other hand, was less visited by honeybees and bumblebees when sprayed with volatiles from A. millefolium. These findings highlight the potential role of volatiles in structuring pollinator communities on plants. PMID:26899420

  20. First record of bat-pollination in the species-rich genus Tillandsia (Bromeliaceae)

    PubMed Central

    Aguilar-Rodríguez, Pedro Adrián; MacSwiney G., M. Cristina; Krömer, Thorsten; García-Franco, José G.; Knauer, Anina; Kessler, Michael

    2014-01-01

    Background and Aims Bromeliaceae is a species-rich neotropical plant family that uses a variety of pollinators, principally vertebrates. Tillandsia is the most diverse genus, and includes more than one-third of all bromeliad species. Within this genus, the majority of species rely on diurnal pollination by hummingbirds; however, the flowers of some Tillandsia species show some characteristics typical for pollination by nocturnal animals, particularly bats and moths. In this study an examination is made of the floral and reproductive biology of the epiphytic bromeliad Tillandsia macropetala in a fragment of humid montane forest in central Veracruz, Mexico. Methods The reproductive system of the species, duration of anthesis, production of nectar and floral scent, as well as diurnal and nocturnal floral visitors and their effectiveness in pollination were determined. Key Results Tillandsia macropetala is a self-compatible species that achieves a higher fruit production through outcrossing. Nectar production is restricted to the night, and only nocturnal visits result in the development of fruits. The most frequent visitor (75 % of visits) and the only pollinator of this bromeliad (in 96 % of visits) was the nectarivorous bat Anoura geoffroyi (Phyllostomidae: Glossophaginae). Conclusions This is the first report of chiropterophily within the genus Tillandsia. The results on the pollination biology of this bromeliad suggest an ongoing evolutionary switch from pollination by birds or moths to bats. PMID:24651370

  1. Floral asymmetry and predation risk modify pollinator behavior, but only predation risk decreases plant fitness.

    PubMed

    Antiqueira, Pablo Augusto Poleto; Romero, Gustavo Quevedo

    2016-06-01

    Although predators and floral herbivores can potentially decrease plant fitness by changing pollinator behaviors, studies comparing the strength of these factors as well as their additive and interactive effects on pollinator visitation and plant fitness have not been conducted. In this study, we manipulated the floral symmetry and predator presence (artificial crab spiders) on the flowers of the shrub Rubus rosifolius (Rosaceae) in a 2 × 2 factorial randomized block design. We found that asymmetry and predators decreased pollinator visitation (mainly hymenopterans), and overall these factors did not interact (additive effects). The effect of predation risk on pollinator avoidance behavior was 62 % higher than that of floral asymmetry. Furthermore, path analyses revealed that only predation risk cascaded down to plant fitness, and it significantly decreased fruit biomass by 33 % and seed number by 28 %. We also demonstrated that R. rosifolius fitness is indirectly affected by visiting and avoidance behaviors of pollinators. The strong avoidance behavioral response triggered by predation risk may be related to predator pressure upon flowers. Although floral asymmetry caused by herbivory can alter the quality of resources, it should not exert the same evolutionary pressure as that of predator-prey interactions. Our study highlights the importance of considering simultaneous forces, such as predation risk and floral asymmetry, as well as pollinator behavior when evaluating ecological processes involving mutualistic plant-pollinator systems. PMID:26861474

  2. High generalization in flower-visiting networks of social wasps

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Mello, Marco A. R.; Santos, Gilberto Marcos de Mendonça; Mechi, Maria Rita; Hermes, Marcel G.

    2011-01-01

    Flower-visiting interactions, such as nectarivory and pollination, are considered to form networks with higher interaction specialization than other plant-animal facultative mutualisms. However, subsets within each network sometimes are different from the complete system. Social wasps are one subset within flower-visiting networks; they use nectar as a secondary food of adults. Some of the visited plants depend on wasps for pollination, and many are further benefited through predation of herbivores captured to feed wasp larvae. Therefore, mutual dependence is lower in the wasp subset compared to complete pollination networks, so we expected wasp-flower networks to exhibit more generalistic interactions. Quantitative datasets were built by recording wasp visits to flowers in six Brazilian localities in four ecoregions, and comparisons were made with complete pollination networks from the literature (with different taxa included). Nestedness (NODF = 0.39 ± 0.06) was similar in wasp-flower and complete pollination networks (NODF = 0.32 ± 0.18). Interaction specialization in wasp-flower networks was lower (median H2' = 0.31 ± 0.09) than in complete pollination networks (median H2' = 0.55 ± 0.17). Modularity in wasp-flower networks (M = 0.36 ± 0.05) was also lower than in complete pollination networks (M = 0.47 ± 0.09); there were on average 5 ± 1 modules on each network formed by species of different genera. In summary, our findings confirm that wasps that feed on nectar interact with similar subsets of plants; therefore, wasp-flower networks are more generalistic than other pollination networks. Our results corroborate the hypothesis that, despite some universal properties found in facultative mutualisms, parts of a system differ from the complete system. Furthermore, mutual dependence influences interaction specialization, and so it is an important structuring factor of mutualistic networks.

  3. Multilevel spatial structure impacts on the pollination services of Comarum palustre (Rosaceae).

    PubMed

    Somme, Laurent; Mayer, Carolin; Jacquemart, Anne-Laure

    2014-01-01

    Habitat destruction and fragmentation accelerate pollinator decline, consequently disrupting ecosystem processes such as pollination. To date, the impacts of multilevel spatial structure on pollination services have rarely been addressed. We focused on the effects of population spatial structure on the pollination services of Comarum palustre at three levels (i.e. within-population, between-populations and landscape). For three years, we investigated 14 Belgian populations, which differed in their within-population flower density, population surface, closure (i.e. proportion of the population edge that consisted of woody elements) and isolation (i.e. percentage of woody area cover within a 500 m radius from the population centre). We tested whether these spatial characteristics impact on pollinator abundance and visitation rate and thus, reproductive success of C. palustre. Insects were observed in 15 randomly-chosen plots in each population. We tested for pollen limitation with supplemental hand-cross pollination. Bumble bees and solitary bees were the major pollinators through all populations. Within populations, plots with high flower densities attracted high numbers of bumble bees and other insects. High bumble bee and solitary bee abundance was observed in populations presenting high proportions of woody edges and in populations within landscapes presenting high proportions of woody areas. Seed set resulting from open pollination varied with bumble bee and solitary bee visitation rate, leading to increased pollen limitation when pollinators were scarce. Since the reproductive success depended on the visitation rate of the main pollinators, which depended on multilevel spatial structure, wetland management plans should pay special attention to favour a mosaic of biotopes, including nesting sites and food resources for insects. This study particularly supports the relevance of a mix wetlands and woody habitats to bees. PMID:24915450

  4. Pollinators of Richardia grandiflora (Rubiaceae): an Important Ruderal Species for Bees.

    PubMed

    Cruz, R M; Martins, C F

    2015-02-01

    Ruderal species may provide pollen and nectar to maintain the pollinators of crops in periods of floral resource shortage. The knowledge about the floral biology of these plant species and their interaction with insects is important for management strategies of agricultural systems. The study was carried out at an experimental research station in two different periods (August 2010-April 2011 and August 2012-January 2013). Floral biology was studied, and the reproductive system and reproductive efficacy (RE) were analyzed using controlled pollination experiments. Furthermore, floral visitors and pollination were identified and quantified. Reproductive success obtained in the open pollination and cross-pollination experiments was higher than those obtained in spontaneous self, hand self, and wind pollination. Richardia grandiflora bloomed throughout the experimental period, and flowers were visited by Coleoptera, Diptera, Hymenoptera, and Lepidoptera, which were observed foraging for pollen and/or nectar. Among the floral visitors, bees were the richest and most frequent group and often contacted anthers and stigmas during visits. Africanized honeybees touched the floral reproductive structures in all visits, and their frequency may be related to changes in the reproductive efficacy between the study periods. Pollinator species of crops cultivated at the experimental research station were frequent bee visitors of R. grandiflora. We demonstrated that R. grandiflora requires cross-pollination and biotic pollen vectors. Among floral visitors, bees are the main pollinators, especially the Africanized honeybees. R. grandiflora can be considered an important ruderal species for maintaining bee pollinator populations at the study site, providing resources during the period that crops are not blooming. PMID:26013009

  5. Multilevel Spatial Structure Impacts on the Pollination Services of Comarum palustre (Rosaceae)

    PubMed Central

    Somme, Laurent; Mayer, Carolin; Jacquemart, Anne-Laure

    2014-01-01

    Habitat destruction and fragmentation accelerate pollinator decline, consequently disrupting ecosystem processes such as pollination. To date, the impacts of multilevel spatial structure on pollination services have rarely been addressed. We focused on the effects of population spatial structure on the pollination services of Comarum palustre at three levels (i.e. within-population, between-populations and landscape). For three years, we investigated 14 Belgian populations, which differed in their within-population flower density, population surface, closure (i.e. proportion of the population edge that consisted of woody elements) and isolation (i.e. percentage of woody area cover within a 500 m radius from the population centre). We tested whether these spatial characteristics impact on pollinator abundance and visitation rate and thus, reproductive success of C. palustre. Insects were observed in 15 randomly-chosen plots in each population. We tested for pollen limitation with supplemental hand-cross pollination. Bumble bees and solitary bees were the major pollinators through all populations. Within populations, plots with high flower densities attracted high numbers of bumble bees and other insects. High bumble bee and solitary bee abundance was observed in populations presenting high proportions of woody edges and in populations within landscapes presenting high proportions of woody areas. Seed set resulting from open pollination varied with bumble bee and solitary bee visitation rate, leading to increased pollen limitation when pollinators were scarce. Since the reproductive success depended on the visitation rate of the main pollinators, which depended on multilevel spatial structure, wetland management plans should pay special attention to favour a mosaic of biotopes, including nesting sites and food resources for insects. This study particularly supports the relevance of a mix wetlands and woody habitats to bees. PMID:24915450

  6. Extremely Long-Lived Stigmas Allow Extended Cross-Pollination Opportunities in a High Andean Plant

    PubMed Central

    Torres-Díaz, Cristian; Gómez-González, Susana; Stotz, Gisela C.; Torres-Morales, Patricio; Paredes, Brayam; Pérez-Millaqueo, Matías; Gianoli, Ernesto

    2011-01-01

    High-elevation ecosystems are traditionally viewed as environments in which predominantly autogamous breeding systems should be selected because of the limited pollinator availability. Chaetanthera renifolia (Asteraceae) is an endemic monocarpic triennial herb restricted to a narrow altitudinal range within the high Andes of central Chile (3300–3500 m a.s.l.), just below the vegetation limit. This species displays one of the larger capitulum within the genus. Under the reproductive assurance hypothesis, and considering its short longevity (monocarpic triennial), an autogamous breeding system and low levels of pollen limitation would be predicted for C. renifolia. In contrast, considering its large floral size, a xenogamous breeding system, and significant levels of pollen limitation could be expected. In addition, the increased pollination probability hypothesis predicts prolonged stigma longevity for high alpine plants. We tested these alternative predictions by performing experimental crossings in the field to establish the breeding system and to measure the magnitude of pollen limitation in two populations of C. renifolia. In addition, we measured the stigma longevity in unpollinated and open pollinated capitula, and pollinator visitation rates in the field. We found low levels of self-compatibility and significant levels of pollen limitation in C. renifolia. Pollinator visitation rates were moderate (0.047–0.079 visits per capitulum per 30 min). Although pollinator visitation rate significantly differed between populations, they were not translated into differences in achene output. Finally, C. renifolia stigma longevity of unpollinated plants was extremely long and significantly higher than that of open pollinated plants (26.3±2.8 days vs. 10.1±2.2, respectively), which gives support to the increased pollination probability hypothesis for high-elevation flowering plants. Our results add to a growing number of studies that show that xenogamous breeding

  7. Functional decoupling between flowers and leaves in the Ameroglossum pernambucense complex can facilitate local adaptation across a pollinator and climatic heterogeneous landscape.

    PubMed

    Wanderley, A M; Galetto, L; Machado, I C S

    2016-03-01

    Decoupling between floral and leaf traits is expected in plants with specialized pollination systems to assure a precise flower-pollinator fit, irrespective of leaf variation associated with environmental heterogeneity (functional modularity). Nonetheless, developmental interactions among floral traits also decouple flowers from leaves regardless of selection pressures (developmental modularity). We tested functional modularity in the hummingbird-pollinated flowers of the Ameroglossum pernambucense complex while controlling for developmental modularity. Using two functional traits responsible for flower-pollinator fit [floral tube length (TL) and anther-nectary distance (AN)], one floral trait not linked to pollination [sepal length (SL), control for developmental modularity] and one leaf trait [leaf length (LL)], we found evidence of flower functional modularity. Covariation between TL and AN was ca. two-fold higher than the covariation of either of these traits with sepal and leaf lengths, and variations in TL and AN, important for a precise flower-pollinator fit, were smaller than SL and LL variations. Furthermore, we show that previously reported among-population variation of flowers associated with local pollinator phenotypes was independent from SL and LL variations. These results suggest that TL and AN are functionally linked to fit pollinators and sufficiently decoupled from developmentally related floral traits (SL) and vegetative traits (LL). These results support previous evidences of population differentiation due to local adaptation in the A. pernambucense complex and shed light on the role of flower-leaf decoupling for local adaptation in species distributed across biotic and abiotic heterogeneous landscapes. PMID:26663030

  8. Reproductive isolation and pollination success of rewarding Galearis diantha and non-rewarding Ponerorchis chusua (Orchidaceae)

    PubMed Central

    Sun, Hai-Qin; Huang, Bao-Qiang; Yu, Xiao-Hong; Kou, Yong; An, De-Jun; Luo, Yi-Bo; Ge, Song

    2011-01-01

    Background and Aims Increasing evidence challenges the conventional perception that orchids are the most distinct example of floral diversification due to floral or prezygotic isolation. Regarding the relationship between co-flowering plants, rewarding and non-rewarding orchids in particular, few studies have investigated whether non-rewarding plants affect the pollination success of rewarding plants. Here, floral isolation and mutual effects between the rewarding orchid Galearis diantha and the non-rewarding orchid Ponerorchis chusua were investigated. Methods Flowering phenological traits were monitored by noting the opening and wilting dates of the chosen individual plants. The pollinator pool and pollinator behaviour were assessed from field observations. Key morphological traits of the flowers and pollinators were measured directly in the field. Pollinator limitation and interspecific compatibility were evaluated by hand-pollination experiments. Fruit set was surveyed in monospecific and heterospecific plots. Key Results The species had overlapping peak flowering periods. Pollinators of both species displayed a certain degree of constancy in visiting each species, but they also visited other flowers before landing on the focal orchids. A substantial difference in spur size between the species resulted in the deposition of pollen on different regions of the body of the shared pollinator. Hand-pollination experiments revealed that fruit set was strongly pollinator-limited in both species. No significant difference in fruit set was found between monospecific plots and heterospecific plots. Conclusions A combination of mechanical isolation and incomplete ethological isolation eliminates the possibility of pollen transfer between the species. These results do not support either the facilitation or competition hypothesis regarding the effect of nearby rewarding flowers on non-rewarding plants. The absence of a significant effect of non-rewarding P. chusua on

  9. Non-bee insects are important contributors to global crop pollination.

    PubMed

    Rader, Romina; Bartomeus, Ignasi; Garibaldi, Lucas A; Garratt, Michael P D; Howlett, Brad G; Winfree, Rachael; Cunningham, Saul A; Mayfield, Margaret M; Arthur, Anthony D; Andersson, Georg K S; Bommarco, Riccardo; Brittain, Claire; Carvalheiro, Luísa G; Chacoff, Natacha P; Entling, Martin H; Foully, Benjamin; Freitas, Breno M; Gemmill-Herren, Barbara; Ghazoul, Jaboury; Griffin, Sean R; Gross, Caroline L; Herbertsson, Lina; Herzog, Felix; Hipólito, Juliana; Jaggar, Sue; Jauker, Frank; Klein, Alexandra-Maria; Kleijn, David; Krishnan, Smitha; Lemos, Camila Q; Lindström, Sandra A M; Mandelik, Yael; Monteiro, Victor M; Nelson, Warrick; Nilsson, Lovisa; Pattemore, David E; Pereira, Natália de O; Pisanty, Gideon; Potts, Simon G; Reemer, Menno; Rundlöf, Maj; Sheffield, Cory S; Scheper, Jeroen; Schüepp, Christof; Smith, Henrik G; Stanley, Dara A; Stout, Jane C; Szentgyörgyi, Hajnalka; Taki, Hisatomo; Vergara, Carlos H; Viana, Blandina F; Woyciechowski, Michal

    2016-01-01

    Wild and managed bees are well documented as effective pollinators of global crops of economic importance. However, the contributions by pollinators other than bees have been little explored despite their potential to contribute to crop production and stability in the face of environmental change. Non-bee pollinators include flies, beetles, moths, butterflies, wasps, ants, birds, and bats, among others. Here we focus on non-bee insects and synthesize 39 field studies from five continents that directly measured the crop pollination services provided by non-bees, honey bees, and other bees to compare the relative contributions of these taxa. Non-bees performed 25-50% of the total number of flower visits. Although non-bees were less effective pollinators than bees per flower visit, they made more visits; thus these two factors compensated for each other, resulting in pollination services rendered by non-bees that were similar to those provided by bees. In the subset of studies that measured fruit set, fruit set increased with non-bee insect visits independently of bee visitation rates, indicating that non-bee insects provide a unique benefit that is not provided by bees. We also show that non-bee insects are not as reliant as bees on the presence of remnant natural or seminatural habitat in the surrounding landscape. These results strongly suggest that non-bee insect pollinators play a significant role in global crop production and respond differently than bees to landscape structure, probably making their crop pollination services more robust to changes in land use. Non-bee insects provide a valuable service and provide potential insurance against bee population declines. PMID:26621730

  10. Non-bee insects are important contributors to global crop pollination

    PubMed Central

    Bartomeus, Ignasi; Garibaldi, Lucas A.; Garratt, Michael P. D.; Howlett, Brad G.; Winfree, Rachael; Cunningham, Saul A.; Mayfield, Margaret M.; Arthur, Anthony D.; Andersson, Georg K. S.; Bommarco, Riccardo; Brittain, Claire; Carvalheiro, Luísa G.; Chacoff, Natacha P.; Entling, Martin H.; Foully, Benjamin; Freitas, Breno M.; Gemmill-Herren, Barbara; Ghazoul, Jaboury; Griffin, Sean R.; Gross, Caroline L.; Herbertsson, Lina; Herzog, Felix; Hipólito, Juliana; Jaggar, Sue; Jauker, Frank; Klein, Alexandra-Maria; Kleijn, David; Krishnan, Smitha; Lemos, Camila Q.; Lindström, Sandra A. M.; Mandelik, Yael; Monteiro, Victor M.; Nelson, Warrick; Nilsson, Lovisa; Pattemore, David E.; de O. Pereira, Natália; Pisanty, Gideon; Potts, Simon G.; Reemer, Menno; Rundlöf, Maj; Sheffield, Cory S.; Scheper, Jeroen; Schüepp, Christof; Smith, Henrik G.; Stanley, Dara A.; Stout, Jane C.; Szentgyörgyi, Hajnalka; Taki, Hisatomo; Vergara, Carlos H.; Viana, Blandina F.; Woyciechowski, Michal

    2016-01-01

    Wild and managed bees are well documented as effective pollinators of global crops of economic importance. However, the contributions by pollinators other than bees have been little explored despite their potential to contribute to crop production and stability in the face of environmental change. Non-bee pollinators include flies, beetles, moths, butterflies, wasps, ants, birds, and bats, among others. Here we focus on non-bee insects and synthesize 39 field studies from five continents that directly measured the crop pollination services provided by non-bees, honey bees, and other bees to compare the relative contributions of these taxa. Non-bees performed 25–50% of the total number of flower visits. Although non-bees were less effective pollinators than bees per flower visit, they made more visits; thus these two factors compensated for each other, resulting in pollination services rendered by non-bees that were similar to those provided by bees. In the subset of studies that measured fruit set, fruit set increased with non-bee insect visits independently of bee visitation rates, indicating that non-bee insects provide a unique benefit that is not provided by bees. We also show that non-bee insects are not as reliant as bees on the presence of remnant natural or seminatural habitat in the surrounding landscape. These results strongly suggest that non-bee insect pollinators play a significant role in global crop production and respond differently than bees to landscape structure, probably making their crop pollination services more robust to changes in land use. Non-bee insects provide a valuable service and provide potential insurance against bee population declines. PMID:26621730

  11. Shades of red: bird-pollinated flowers target the specific colour discrimination abilities of avian vision.

    PubMed

    Shrestha, Mani; Dyer, Adrian G; Boyd-Gerny, Skye; Wong, Bob B M; Burd, Martin

    2013-04-01

    Colour signals are a major cue in putative pollination syndromes. There is evidence that the reflectance spectra of many flowers target the distinctive visual discrimination abilities of hymenopteran insects, but far less is known about bird-pollinated flowers. Birds are hypothesized to exert different selective pressures on floral colour compared with hymenopterans because of differences in their visual systems. We measured the floral reflectance spectra of 206 Australian angiosperm species whose floral visitors are known from direct observation rather than inferred from floral characteristics. We quantified the match between these spectra and the hue discrimination abilities of hymenopteran and avian vision, and analysed these metrics in a phylogenetically informed comparison of flowers in different pollination groups. We show that bird-visited flowers and insect-visited flowers differ significantly from each other in the chromatic cues they provide, and that the differences are concentrated near wavelengths of optimal colour discrimination by whichever class of pollinator visits the flowers. Our results indicate that angiosperms have evolved the spectral signals most likely to reinforce their pollinators' floral constancy (the tendency of individual pollinators to visit flowers of the same species) in communities of similarly coloured floral competitors. PMID:23368754

  12. Delivery of crop pollination services is an insufficient argument for wild pollinator conservation

    PubMed Central

    Kleijn, David; Winfree, Rachael; Bartomeus, Ignasi; Carvalheiro, Luísa G; Henry, Mickaël; Isaacs, Rufus; Klein, Alexandra-Maria; Kremen, Claire; M'Gonigle, Leithen K; Rader, Romina; Ricketts, Taylor H; Williams, Neal M; Lee Adamson, Nancy; Ascher, John S; Báldi, András; Batáry, Péter; Benjamin, Faye; Biesmeijer, Jacobus C; Blitzer, Eleanor J; Bommarco, Riccardo; Brand, Mariëtte R; Bretagnolle, Vincent; Button, Lindsey; Cariveau, Daniel P; Chifflet, Rémy; Colville, Jonathan F; Danforth, Bryan N; Elle, Elizabeth; Garratt, Michael P.D.; Herzog, Felix; Holzschuh, Andrea; Howlett, Brad G; Jauker, Frank; Jha, Shalene; Knop, Eva; Krewenka, Kristin M; Le Féon, Violette; Mandelik, Yael; May, Emily A; Park, Mia G; Pisanty, Gideon; Reemer, Menno; Riedinger, Verena; Rollin, Orianne; Rundlöf, Maj; Sardiñas, Hillary S; Scheper, Jeroen; Sciligo, Amber R; Smith, Henrik G; Steffan-Dewenter, Ingolf; Thorp, Robbin; Tscharntke, Teja; Verhulst, Jort; Viana, Blandina F; Vaissière, Bernard E; Veldtman, Ruan; Westphal, Catrin; Potts, Simon G

    2015-01-01

    There is compelling evidence that more diverse ecosystems deliver greater benefits to people, and these ecosystem services have become a key argument for biodiversity conservation. However, it is unclear how much biodiversity is needed to deliver ecosystem services in a cost-effective way. Here we show that, while the contribution of wild bees to crop production is significant, service delivery is restricted to a limited subset of all known bee species. Across crops, years and biogeographical regions, crop-visiting wild bee communities are dominated by a small number of common species, and threatened species are rarely observed on crops. Dominant crop pollinators persist under agricultural expansion and many are easily enhanced by simple conservation measures, suggesting that cost-effective management strategies to promote crop pollination should target a different set of species than management strategies to promote threatened bees. Conserving the biological diversity of bees therefore requires more than just ecosystem-service-based arguments. PMID:26079893

  13. Visiting Professorships

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Applications are now being accepted for the National Science Foundation (NSF) Visiting Professorships for Women Program. Under this program, women scientists and engineers from industry, government, and academia can be visiting professors at academic institutions in the United States.The program's objectives are to provide opportunities for women to advance their careers in the disciplines of science and engineering that are supported by NSF to provide greater visibility and wider opportunities for women scientists and engineers employed in industry, government, and academic institutions, and to provide encouragement for other women to pursue careers in science and engineering through the awardees' research, lecturing, counseling, and mentoring activities.

  14. Pollination biology in the dioecious orchid Catasetum uncatum: How does floral scent influence the behaviour of pollinators?

    PubMed

    Milet-Pinheiro, Paulo; Navarro, Daniela Maria do Amaral Ferraz; Dötterl, Stefan; Carvalho, Airton Torres; Pinto, Carlos Eduardo; Ayasse, Manfred; Schlindwein, Clemens

    2015-08-01

    Catasetum is a neotropical orchid genus that comprises about 160 dioecious species with a remarkable sexual dimorphism in floral morphology. Flowers of Catasetum produce perfumes as rewards, which are collected only by male euglossine bees. Currently, floral scents are known to be involved in the selective attraction of specific euglossine species. However, sexual dimorphism in floral scent and its eventual role in the pollination of Catasetum species have never been investigated. Here, we have investigated the pollination of Catasetum uncatum and asked: (1) Is floral scent a sexual dimorphic trait? (2) Does pollinarium removal/deposition affect scent emission? (3) Does sexual dimorphism in floral scent and changed scent emission have implications with regard to the behaviour of the pollinators? The frequency and behaviour of floral visitors were observed in non-manipulated flowers (both flower sexes) and in manipulated flowers (pistillate only) in which pollinaria were deposited. Scents of staminate and pistillate flowers (both manipulated and non-manipulated) were collected by using dynamic headspace methods and analysed chemically. Electrophysiological analyses were performed to detect compounds triggering antennal depolarisation in the euglossine species. C. uncatum is pollinated mainly by males of Euglossa nanomelanotricha. Pollinators were more frequent in pistillate than in staminate inflorescences. Bees approaching staminate flowers frequently flew away without visiting them, a behavioural pattern not observed in pistillate flowers. In the chemical analyses, we recorded 99 compounds, 31 of which triggered antennal depolarisation in pollinators. Multivariate analyses with the electrophysiological-active compounds did not detect differences between the scent composition of staminate and pistillate flowers. Pollinarium removal or deposition resulted in diminished scent emission within 24h in staminate and pistillate flowers, respectively. Surprisingly, bees

  15. Floral visitation by the Argentine ant reduces bee visitation and plant seed set.

    PubMed

    Hanna, Cause; Naughton, Ida; Boser, Christina; Alarcón, Ruben; Hung, Keng-Lou James; Holway, David

    2015-01-01

    Ants often visit flowers, but have only seldom been documented to provide effective pollination services. Floral visitation by ants can also compromise plant reproduction in situations where ants interfere with more effective pollinators. Introduced ants may be especially likely to reduce plant reproductive success through floral visitation, but existing experimental studies have found little support for this hypothesis. Here, we combine experimental and observational approaches to examine the importance of floral visitation by the nonnative Argentine ant (Linepithema humile) on plant species native to Santa Cruz Island, California, USA. First, we determine how L. humile affects floral visitor diversity, bee visitation rates, and levels of pollen limitation for the common, focal plant species island morning glory (Calystegia macrostegia ssp. macrostegia). Second, we assess the broader ecological consequences of floral visitation by L. humile by comparing floral visitation networks between invaded and uninvaded sites. The Argentine ant and native ants both visited island morning glory flowers, but L. humile was much more likely to behave aggressively towards other floral visitors and to be the sole floral occupant. The presence of L. humile in morning glory flowers reduced floral visitor diversity, decreased rates of bee visitation, and increased levels of pollen limitation. Network comparisons between invaded and uninvaded. sites revealed differences in both network structure and species-level attributes. In. invaded sites, floral visitors were observed on fewer plant species, ants had a higher per-plant interaction strength relative to that of other visitors, and interaction strengths between bees and plants were weaker. These results illustrate that introduced ants can negatively affect plant reproduction and potentially disrupt pollination services at an ecosystem scale. PMID:26236907

  16. Effect of nectar secretion rate on pollination success of Passiflora coccinea (Passifloraceae) in the Central Amazon.

    PubMed

    Fischer, E; Leal, I R

    2006-05-01

    The pollination of Passiflora coccinea by the hummingbird Phaethornis superciliosus was studied in Central Amazon, Brazil. We hypothesized that a greater nectar secretion rate (NSR) increases the pollination success of single flowers through Ph. superciliosus visiting behavior. For control flowers, NSR was an increasing function of flower base diameter (FBD). The total number of Ph. superciliosus probes per flower was an increasing function of FBD. Additionally, deposition of pollen on stigmas increased with the cumulative number of Ph. superciliosus probes. Our results show that larger P. coccinea flowers secrete nectar at higher rates, are probed more times during each hummingbird visit and are more successful at pollination. This seems to be the first non-manipulative study describing such an effect of NSR on the pollination of single flowers in nature. PMID:16906307

  17. Olfaction in context-sources of nuance in plant-pollinator communication.

    PubMed

    Rusch, Claire; Broadhead, Geoffrey T; Raguso, Robert A; Riffell, Jeffrey A

    2016-06-01

    Floral scents act as long-distance signals to attract pollinators, but volatiles emitted from the vegetation and neighboring plant community may modify this mutualistic communication system. What impact does the olfactory background have on pollination systems and their evolution? We consider recent behavioral studies that address the context of when and where volatile backgrounds influence a pollinator's perception of floral blends. In parallel, we review neurophysiological studies that show the importance of blend composition and background in modifying the representation of floral blends in the pollinator brain, as well as experience-dependent plasticity in increasing the representation of a rewarding odor. Here, we suggest that the efficacy of the floral blend in different environments may be an important selective force shaping differences in pollinator olfactory receptor expression and underlying neural mechanisms that mediate flower visitation and plant reproductive isolation. PMID:27436732

  18. [Pollination ecology of three sympatric species of Oenocarpus (Arecaceae) in the Colombian Amazon].

    PubMed

    Núñez A, Luis Alberto; Isaza, Carolina; Galeano, Gloria

    2015-03-01

    The understanding of pollination mechanisms is vital for developing management and conservation actions of economically important species. In order to understand the pollination mechanisms of the promising palms in the genus Oenocarpus (Arecaceae), we studied floral morphology and biology, of three sympatric species in the Colombian Amazon: O. bataua, O. balickii and O. minor. During the period 2010-2012 we made direct and continuous observations of inflorescences (visitors, pollinators, and reproductive success) of the three species in every development phase. We determined the association of the palms with their floral visitors through a complex or interaction network, whereas specificity or preference of the insects for each individual palm was assessed through paired similarity analysis, similarity analysis (ANOSIM), and ordering analysis based on nonmetric multidimensional scaling (NMSD). The three species flowered throughout the year; their inflorescences have long rachillae that hang close to each other from a short rachis, and they bear flowers in dyads or triads. Inflorescences are protandrous, thermogenic; anthesis takes place during daytime but pollination is nocturnal. We recorded 79 species of insects, mainly beetles, 33 of which visited O. balickii, 63 visited O. bataua, and 33 visited 0. minor. Although they shared some visitors, their abundance during the pistillate phase, as well as their pollen loads showed that only a few species of Curculionidae and Nitidulidae are the principal pollinators of the three studied species. Differences in network structure between staminate and pistillate phases, as well as difference in abundance found with the ANOSIM and NMSD similarity tests, suggest a high specificity of pollinators, leading to reproductive isolation among.the three species. Because all pollinating beetles were found to develop their life cycles within the inflorescences, we hypothesize the occurrence of a specialized system of mutual dependence

  19. Nectar secretion dynamic links pollinator behavior to consequences for plant reproductive success in the ornithophilous mistletoe Psittacanthus robustus.

    PubMed

    Guerra, T J; Galetto, L; Silva, W R

    2014-09-01

    The mistletoe Psittacanthus robustus was studied as a model to link flower phenology and nectar secretion strategy to pollinator behaviour and the reproductive consequences for the plant. The bright-coloured flowers presented diurnal anthesis, opened asynchronously throughout the rainy season and produced copious dilute nectar as the main reward for pollinators. Most nectar was secreted just after flower opening, with little sugar replenishment after experimental removals. During the second day of anthesis in bagged flowers, the flowers quickly reabsorbed the offered nectar. Low values of nectar standing crop recorded in open flowers can be linked with high visitation rates by bird pollinators. Eight hummingbirds and two passerines were observed as potential pollinators. The most frequent flower visitors were the hummingbirds Eupetomena macroura and Colibri serrirostris, which actively defended flowering mistletoes. The spatial separation between anthers, stigma and nectar chamber promotes pollen deposition on flapping wings of hovering hummingbirds that usually probe many flowers per visit. Seed set did not differ between hand-, self- and cross-pollinated flowers, but these treatments set significantly more seeds than flowers naturally exposed to flower visitors. We suggest that the limitation observed in the reproductive success of this plant is not related to pollinator scarcity, but probably to the extreme frequency of visitation by territorial hummingbirds. We conclude that the costs and benefits of plant reproduction depend on the interaction strength between flowers and pollinators, and the assessment of nectar secretion dynamics, pollinator behaviour and plant breeding system allows clarification of the complexity of such associations. PMID:24641568

  20. Novel adaptation to hawkmoth pollinators in Clarkia reduces efficiency, not attraction of diurnal visitors

    PubMed Central

    Miller, Timothy J.; Raguso, Robert A.; Kay, Kathleen M.

    2014-01-01

    Background and Aims Plant populations experiencing divergent pollination environments may be under selection to modify floral traits in ways that increase both attractiveness to and efficiency of novel pollinators. These changes may come at the cost of reducing overall effectiveness of other pollinators. The goal of this study was to examine differences in attractiveness and efficiency between Clarkia concinna and C. breweri, sister species of annual plants with parapatric distributions. Methods An assessment was made as to whether observed differences in visitors between natural populations are driven by differences in floral traits or differences in the local pollination environment. Differences in floral attractiveness were quantified by setting out arrays of both species in the geographical range of each species and exposing both species to nocturnal hawkmoths (Hyles lineata) in flight cages. Differences in visitor efficiency were estimated by measuring stigma–visitor contact frequency and pollen loads for diurnal visitors, and pollen deposition on stigmas for hawkmoths. Key Results The composition of visitors to arrayed plants was similar between plant species at any particular site, but highly divergent among sites, and reflected differences in visitors to natural populations. Diurnal insects visited both species, but were more common at C. concinna populations. Hummingbirds and hawkmoths were only observed visiting within the range of C. breweri. Despite attracting similar species when artificially presented together, C. concinna and C. breweri showed large differences in pollinator efficiency. All visitors except hawkmoths pollinated C. concinna more efficiently. Conclusions Differences in the available pollinator community may play a larger role than differences in floral traits in determining visitors to natural populations of C. concinna and C. breweri. However, floral traits mediate differences in pollinator efficiency. Increased effectiveness of the

  1. Floral traits mediate the vulnerability of aloes to pollen theft and inefficient pollination by bees

    PubMed Central

    Hargreaves, Anna L.; Harder, Lawrence D.; Johnson, Steven D.

    2012-01-01

    Background and Aims Pollen-collecting bees are among the most important pollinators globally, but are also the most common pollen thieves and can significantly reduce plant reproduction. The pollination efficiency of pollen collectors depends on the frequency of their visits to female(-phase) flowers, contact with stigmas and deposition of pollen of sufficient quantity and quality to fertilize ovules. Here we investigate the relative importance of these components, and the hypothesis that floral and inflorescence characteristics mediate the pollination role of pollen collection by bees. Methods For ten Aloe species that differ extensively in floral and inflorescence traits, we experimentally excluded potential bird pollinators to quantify the contributions of insect visitors to pollen removal, pollen deposition and seed production. We measured corolla width and depth to determine nectar accessibility, and the phenology of anther dehiscence and stigma receptivity to quantify herkogamy and dichogamy. Further, we compiled all published bird-exclusion studies of aloes, and compared insect pollination success with floral morphology. Key Results Species varied from exclusively insect pollinated, to exclusively bird pollinated but subject to extensive pollen theft by insects. Nectar inaccessibility and strong dichogamy inhibited pollination by pollen-collecting bees by discouraging visits to female-phase (i.e. pollenless) flowers. For species with large inflorescences of pollen-rich flowers, pollen collectors successfully deposited pollen, but of such low quality (probably self-pollen) that they made almost no contribution to seed set. Indeed, considering all published bird-exclusion studies (17 species in total), insect pollination efficiency varied significantly with floral shape. Conclusions Species-specific floral and inflorescence characteristics, especially nectar accessibility and dichogamy, control the efficiency of pollen-collecting bees as pollinators of aloes

  2. Pollination syndromes in African Marantaceae

    PubMed Central

    Ley, Alexandra C.; Claßen-Bockhoff, Regine

    2009-01-01

    Background and Aims The Marantaceae (550 spp.) is the most derived family in the order Zingiberales and exhibits a complex explosive pollination mechanism. To understand the evolutionary significance of this unique process of pollen transfer, comparative morphological and ecological studies were conducted in Gabon. Methods During a total stay of 11 months, 31 species of Marantaceae were investigated at different sites in Gabon. The study included analyses of floral diversity, observations on the pollinator spectrum as well as ecological measurements (e.g. nectar sugar concentration and volume). Key Results Analyses reveal five flower types based on flower size and pigmentation, spatial arrangement of the floral tube and presence/absence of nectar guides and conspicuous outer staminodes. Each type is associated with a specific functional pollinator group leading to the description of distinct pollination syndromes. The ‘small (horizontal)’ flowers are predominantly pollinated by small bees (Thrinchostoma spp., Allodapula ornaticeps), the ‘large (horizontal)’ and ‘medium-sized (horizontal)’ flowers by medium-sized bees (Amegilla vivida, Thrinchostoma bicometes), the ‘locked (horizontal)’ flowers by large bees (Xylocopa nigrita, X. varipes) and the ‘(large) vertical’ flowers by sunbirds. Conclusions The longevity of Marantaceae individuals and the omnipresence of their pollinators allowed the specialization to a given functional pollinator group. Intermediate ecological values, however, make occasional pollinator overlaps possible, indicating potential pathways of pollinator shifts. Similar radiation tendencies observed on other continents hint at similar selective pressures and evolutionary constraints. PMID:19443460

  3. Population size, pollination and phenotypic trait selection in Phyteuma spicatum

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Weber, Anne; Kolb, Annette

    2013-02-01

    Plants in small populations may receive fewer visits, smaller pollen loads or pollen of poorer quality and suffer from reduced reproductive success compared to plants in larger populations. Consequently, pollen limitation of plants in small populations has been suggested to result in the evolution of reduced reliance on pollinators or the enhancement of traits that attract pollinators. The main aim of this study was to experimentally quantify the strength of pollinator-mediated selection on floral display size and flowering phenology in populations of varying size, using the self-incompatible, perennial herb Phyteuma spicatum as study species. We conducted supplementary hand pollinations in six populations (ranging in size between ca. 20-3000 flowering individuals) over two consecutive years and assessed selection gradients (i.e., trait-fitness relationships) in open- and hand-pollinated plants. Our results show that some populations are pollen limited in some years, but, contrary to our expectation, the degree of pollen limitation was not significantly related to population size. We found phenotypic selection for increased inflorescence size (in most populations and in both years), but we obtained no or no strong evidence that selection was pollinator-mediated or that the strength of selection was related to population size. This may have been the result of low statistical power, an inherent problem of studies examining effects of population size that require the inclusion of populations with only few individuals. In addition, given that selection appeared to be spatially and temporally variable, abiotic or biotic factors other than pollinators may have contributed to selection on inflorescence size.

  4. Managed Bumblebees Outperform Honeybees in Increasing Peach Fruit Set in China: Different Limiting Processes with Different Pollinators

    PubMed Central

    Williams, Paul H.; Vaissière, Bernard E.; Zhou, Zhiyong; Gai, Qinbao; Dong, Jie; An, Jiandong

    2015-01-01

    Peach Prunus persica (L.) Batsch is self-compatible and largely self-fertile, but under greenhouse conditions pollinators must be introduced to achieve good fruit set and quality. Because little work has been done to assess the effectiveness of different pollinators on peach trees under greenhouse conditions, we studied ‘Okubo’ peach in greenhouse tunnels near Beijing between 2012 and 2014. We measured pollen deposition, pollen-tube growth rates, ovary development, and initial fruit set after the flowers were visited by either of two managed pollinators: bumblebees, Bombus patagiatus Nylander, and honeybees, Apis mellifera L. The results show that B. patagiatus is more effective than A. mellifera as a pollinator of peach in greenhouses because of differences in two processes. First, B. patagiatus deposits more pollen grains on peach stigmas than A. mellifera, both during a single visit and during a whole day of open pollination. Second, there are differences in the fertilization performance of the pollen deposited. Half of the flowers visited by B. patagiatus are fertilized 9–11 days after bee visits, while for flowers visited by A. mellifera, half are fertilized 13–15 days after bee visits. Consequently, fruit development is also accelerated by bumblebees, showing that the different pollinators have not only different pollination efficiency, but also influence the subsequent time course of fertilization and fruit set. Flowers visited by B. patagiatus show faster ovary growth and ultimately these flowers produce more fruit. Our work shows that pollinators may influence fruit production beyond the amount of pollen delivered. We show that managed indigenous bumblebees significantly outperform introduced honeybees in increasing peach initial fruit set under greenhouse conditions. PMID:25799170

  5. Pollination value of male bees: the specialist bee Peponapis pruinosa (Apidae) at summer squash (Cucurbita pepo).

    PubMed

    Cane, James H; Sampson, Blair J; Miller, Stephanie A

    2011-06-01

    Male bees can be abundant at flowers, particularly floral hosts of those bee species whose females are taxonomic pollen specialists (oligolecty). Contributions of male bees to host pollination are rarely studied directly despite their prevalence in a number of pollination guilds, including those of some crop plants. In this study, males of the oligolectic bee, Peponapis pruinosa Say, were shown to be effective pollinators of summer squash, Cucurbita pepo L. Seven sequential visits from male P. pruinosa maximized squash fruit set and growth. This number of male visits accumulated during the first hour of their foraging and mate searching at flowers soon after sunrise. Pollination efficacy of male P. pruinosa and their abundances at squash flowers were sufficient to account for most summer squash production at our study sites, and by extrapolation, to two-thirds of all 87 North American farms and market gardens growing squashes that were surveyed for pollinators by collaborators in the Squash Pollinators of the Americas Survey. We posit that the substantial pollination value of male Peponapis bees is a consequence of their species' oligolecty, their mate seeking strategy, and some extreme traits of Cucurbita flowers (massive rewards, flower size, phenology). PMID:22251639

  6. Pollination biology and floral scent chemistry of the Neotropical chiropterophilous Parkia pendula.

    PubMed

    Piechowski, D; Dötterl, S; Gottsberger, G

    2010-01-01

    During the past several decades, the pollination biology of Old World plant species pollinated by flying foxes and of New World plants pollinated by highly specialized nectar-feeding glossophagine bats has been studied in detail. However, little is known about Neotropical plants that are pollinated by less specialized phyllostomid bats. Therefore, we studied the pollination biology of Parkia pendula, a tree pollinated by Phyllostomus. Flowers of P. pendula are arranged in capitula, and a capitulum is composed of approximately 800 hermaphrodite flowers and 260 sterile flowers. The sterile flowers produced a total of 7.4 ml nectar per night, with a sugar concentration of 14.95%, and proline as the dominant amino acid. Nectar production is highest at dusk and ends at 03:00 h. The floral scent is dominated by monoterpenoids (97.9%), with (E)-beta-ocimene being the dominant (84.0%) compound. No sulfur compounds were detected. The capitula are heavily visited by four species of phyllostomid bats, of which Phyllostomus discolor is the most abundant (98.9%). Nectar production per capitulum is within the reported range of nectar produced by this pantropical genus (5.0-8.0 ml). This genus-wide range seems to be optimal for attracting non-specialized nectar-feeding bats and forces them to visit capitula of several trees to satisfy their dietary needs, thus increasing the probability of cross-pollination for this plant. PMID:20653900

  7. Phenotypic integration in style dimorphic daffodils (Narcissus, Amaryllidaceae) with different pollinators.

    PubMed

    Pérez-Barrales, Rocío; Simón-Porcar, Violeta I; Santos-Gally, Rocío; Arroyo, Juan

    2014-08-19

    Different pollinators can exert different selective pressures on floral traits, depending on how they fit with flowers, which should be reflected in the patterns of variation and covariation of traits. Surprisingly, empirical evidence in support of this view is scarce. Here, we have studied whether the variation observed in floral phenotypic integration and covariation of traits in Narcissus species is associated with different groups of pollinators. Phenotypic integration was studied in two style dimorphic species, both with dimorphic populations mostly visited by long-tongued pollinators (close fit with flowers), and monomorphic populations visited by short-tongued insects (loose fit). For N. papyraceus, the patterns of variation and correlation among traits involved in different functions (attraction and fit with pollinators, transfer of pollen) were compared within and between population types. The genetic diversity of populations was also studied to control for possible effects on phenotypic variation. In both species, populations with long-tongued pollinators displayed greater phenotypic integration than those with short-tongued pollinators. Also, the correlations among traits involved in the same function were stronger than across functions. Furthermore, traits involved in the transfer of pollen were consistently more correlated and less variable than traits involved in the attraction of insects, and these differences were larger in dimorphic than monomorphic populations. In addition, population genetic parameters did not correlate with phenotypic integration or variation. Altogether, our results support current views of the role of pollinators in the evolution of floral integration. PMID:25002703

  8. A generalized pollination system in the tropics: bats, birds and Aphelandra acanthus

    PubMed Central

    Muchhala, Nathan; Caiza, Angelica; Vizuete, Juan Carlos; Thomson, James D.

    2009-01-01

    Background and Aims A number of different types of flower-visiting animals coexist in any given habitat. What evolutionary and ecological factors influence the subset of these that a given plant relies on for its pollination? Addressing this question requires a mechanistic understanding of the importance of different potential pollinators in terms of visitation rate (pollinator ‘quantity’) and effectiveness at transferring pollen (pollinator ‘quality’) is required. While bat-pollinated plants typically are highly specialized to bats, there are some instances of bat-pollinated plants that use other pollinators as well. These generalized exceptions tend to occur in habitats where bat ‘quantity’ is poor due to low or fluctuating bat densities. Methods Aphelandra acanthus occurs in tropical cloud forests with relatively high densities of bat visitors, yet displays a mix of floral syndrome characteristics, suggesting adaptation to multiple types of pollinators. To understand its pollination system better, aspects of its floral phenology and the ‘quantity’ and ‘quality’ components of pollination by its floral visitors are studied here. Key Results Flowers were found to open and senesce throughout the day and night, although anther dehiscence was restricted to the late afternoon and night. Videotaping reveals that flowers are visited nocturnally by bats and moths, and diurnally by hummingbirds. Analysis of pollen deposition shows that bats regularly transfer large amounts of conspecific pollen, while hummingbirds occasionally transfer some pollen, and moths rarely do so. Conclusions Hummingbirds and bats were comparable in terms of pollination ‘quantity’, while bats were the most effective in terms of ‘quality’. Considering these components together, bats are responsible for approx. 70 % of A. acanthus pollination. However, bats also transferred remarkably large amounts of foreign pollen along with the conspecific grains (three of four grains

  9. The good, the bad and the flexible: plant interactions with pollinators and herbivores over space and time are moderated by plant compensatory responses

    PubMed Central

    Lay, C. R.; Linhart, Y. B.; Diggle, P. K.

    2011-01-01

    Background and Aims Plants are sessile organisms that face selection by both herbivores and pollinators. Herbivores and pollinators may select on the same traits and/or mediate each others' effects. Erysimum capitatum (Brassicaceae) is a widespread and variable plant species with generalized pollination that is attacked by a number of herbivores. The following questions were addressed. (a) Are pollinators and herbivores attracted by similar plant traits? (b) Does herbivory affect pollinator preferences? (c) Do pollinators and/or herbivores affect fitness and select on plant traits? (d) Do plant compensatory responses affect the outcome of interactions among plants, pollinators and herbivores? (e) Do interactions among E. capitatum and its pollinators and herbivores differ among sites and years? Methods In 2005 and 2006, observational and experimental studies were combined in four populations at different elevations to examine selection by pollinators and herbivores on floral traits of E. capitatum. Key Results Pollinator and herbivore assemblages varied spatially and temporally, as did their effects on plant fitness and selection. Both pollinators and herbivores preferred plants with more flowers, and herbivory sometimes reduced pollinator visitation. Pollinators did not select on plant traits in any year or population and E. capitatum was not pollen limited; however, supplemental pollen resulted in altered plant resource allocation. Herbivores reduced fitness and selected for plant traits in some populations, and these effects were mediated by plant compensatory responses. Conclusions Individuals of Erysimum capitatum are visited by diverse groups of pollinators and herbivores that shift in abundance and importance in time and space. Compensatory reproductive mechanisms mediate interactions with both pollinators and herbivores and may allow E. capitatum to succeed in this complex selective environment. PMID:21724655

  10. The town Crepis and the country Crepis: How does fragmentation affect a plant-pollinator interaction?

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Andrieu, Emilie; Dornier, Antoine; Rouifed, Soraya; Schatz, Bertrand; Cheptou, Pierre-Olivier

    2009-01-01

    In fragmented habitats, one cause of the decrease of plant diversity and abundance is the disruption of plant-animal interactions, and in particular plant-pollinator interactions. Since habitat fragmentation acts both on pollinator behaviour and plant reproduction, its consequences for the stability of such interactions are complex. An extreme case of habitat fragmentation occurs in urbanised areas where suitable habitat (in the present study small patches around ornamental trees) is embedded in a highly unsuitable environment (concrete matrix). Based on simple experiments, we ask whether pollinators can adapt their foraging behaviour in response to the amount of available resources (flowers) in the fragments and their isolation, as predicted by the optimal foraging theory. To do so we analysed the effect of fragmentation on the behaviour of pollinators visiting Crepis sancta (L.) Bornm. (Asteraceae), which forms large populations in the countryside and patchy populations in urban environments. More precisely we studied pollinator visitation rates, capitulum visit durations, capitulum search durations and capitulum size choice. Pollinators chose larger capitula in both types of populations and their foraging behaviour differed between the two population types in three ways: (1) pollinator visits were lower in urban fragmented populations, perhaps due to the lower accessibility of urban patches; (2) capitulum visit durations were longer in urban fragmented populations, a possible compensation of energy lost during flights among patches; and (3) capitulum search durations where longer in urban fragmented populations, which may represent an increase in capitulum prospecting effort. We discuss the possible impacts of such differences for plant population functioning in the two types of populations.

  11. Effective pollinators of Asian sacred lotus (Nelumbo nucifera): contemporary pollinators may not reflect the historical pollination syndrome

    PubMed Central

    Li, Jiao-Kun; Huang, Shuang-Quan

    2009-01-01

    Background and Aims If stabilizing selection by pollinators is a prerequisite for pollinator-mediated floral evolution, spatiotemporal variation in the pollinator assemblage may confuse the plant–pollinator interaction in a given species. Here, effective pollinators in a living fossil plant Nelumbo nucifera (Nelumbonaceae) were examined to test whether beetles are major pollinators as predicted by its pollination syndrome. Methods Pollinators of N. nucifera were investigated in 11 wild populations and one cultivated population, and pollination experiments were conducted to examine the pollinating role of two major pollinators (bees and beetles) in three populations. Key Results Lotus flowers are protogynous, bowl shaped and without nectar. The fragrant flowers can be self-heating during anthesis and produce around 1 million pollen grains per flower. It was found that bees and flies were the most frequent flower visitors in wild populations, contributing on average 87·9 and 49·4 % of seed set in Mishan and Lantian, respectively. Beetles were only found in one wild population and in the cultivated population, but the pollinator exclusion experiments showed that beetles were effective pollinators of Asian sacred lotus. Conclusions This study indicated that in their pollinating role, beetles, probable pollinators for this thermoregulating plant, had been replaced by some generalist insects in the wild. This finding implies that contemporary pollinators may not reflect the pollination syndrome. PMID:19617594

  12. High specialisation in the pollination system of Mandevilla tenuifolia (J.C. Mikan) Woodson (Apocynaceae) drives the effectiveness of butterflies as pollinators.

    PubMed

    de Araújo, L D A; Quirino, Z G M; Machado, I C

    2014-09-01

    Butterfly pollination in the tropics is considered somewhat effective or solely effective in a few plant species. In the present study, we tested the hypothesis that Mandevilla tenuifolia (Apocynaceae), which has floral attributes associated with psychophily, has strategies adapted to pollination by butterflies, restricting other floral visitors and making these insects act as efficient pollinators. We analysed the floral and reproductive biology of M. tenuifolia, as well as the frequency and efficiency of its flower visitors. M. tenuifolia is an herb whose flowers have strong herkogamy and secondary pollen presentation on the style head, which corresponds to 60.4% of pollen on the anthers. Flower longevity and the long period of receptivity of the stigmatic region associated with the large amount of pollen removed in the first visits suggest that flowers remain functionally female during part of anthesis. Butterflies, mainly of the families Nymphalidae and Pieridae, are the only pollinators of M. tenuifolia. Despite being self-compatible, M. tenuifolia depends on biotic vectors for fruit production. A non-significant difference in fruit set between controlled treatments and natural conditions suggests that the pollinators are efficient. The inclination resulting from the landing of butterflies on flowers, together with flower morphology, guiding the insect proboscis inside the floral tube, as well as the frequency and efficiency of butterfly visits, are evidence of the close relationship between butterflies and M. tenuifolia, and also of the efficiency of these insects as pollinators. PMID:24628969

  13. Efficiency of local Indonesia honey bees (Apis cerana L.) and stingless bee (Trigona iridipennis) on tomato (Lycopersicon esculentum Mill.) pollination.

    PubMed

    Putra, Ramadhani Eka; Kinasih, Ida

    2014-01-01

    Tomato (Lycopersicon esculentum Mill.) is considered as one of major agricultural commodity of Indonesia farming. However, monthly production is unstable due to lack of pollination services. Common pollinator agent of tomatoes is bumblebees which is unsuitable for tropical climate of Indonesia and the possibility of alteration of local wild plant interaction with their pollinator. Indonesia is rich with wild bees and some of the species already domesticated for years with prospect as pollinating agent for tomatoes. This research aimed to assess the efficiency of local honey bee (Apis cerana L.) and stingless bee (Trigona iridipennis), as pollinator of tomato. During this research, total visitation rate and total numbers of pollinated flowers by honey bee and stingless bee were compared between them with bagged flowers as control. Total fruit production, average weight and size also measured in order to correlated pollination efficiency with quantity and quality of fruit produced. Result of this research showed that A. cerana has slightly higher rate of visitation (p>0.05) and significantly shorter handling time (p < 0.05) than T. iridipennis due to their larger colony demand and low reward provide by tomato flowers. However, honey bee pollinated tomato flowers more efficient pollinator than stingless bee (80.3 and 70.2% efficiency, respectively; p < 0.05) even though the average weight and size of tomatoes were similar (p>0.05). Based on the results, it is concluded that the use of Apis cerana and Trigona spp., for pollinating tomatoes in tropical climates could be an alternative to the use of non-native Apis mellifera and bumblebees (Bombus spp.). However, more researches are needed to evaluate the cost/benefit on large-scale farming and greenhouse pollination using both bees against other bee species and pollination methods. PMID:24783783

  14. Gloss, colour and grip: multifunctional epidermal cell shapes in bee- and bird-pollinated flowers.

    PubMed

    Papiorek, Sarah; Junker, Robert R; Lunau, Klaus

    2014-01-01

    Flowers bear the function of filters supporting the attraction of pollinators as well as the deterrence of floral antagonists. The effect of epidermal cell shape on the visual display and tactile properties of flowers has been evaluated only recently. In this study we quantitatively measured epidermal cell shape, gloss and spectral reflectance of flowers pollinated by either bees or birds testing three hypotheses: The first two hypotheses imply that bee-pollinated flowers might benefit from rough surfaces on visually-active parts produced by conical epidermal cells, as they may enhance the colour signal of flowers as well as the grip on flowers for bees. In contrast, bird-pollinated flowers might benefit from flat surfaces produced by flat epidermal cells, by avoiding frequent visitation from non-pollinating bees due to a reduced colour signal, as birds do not rely on specific colour parameters while foraging. Moreover, flat petal surfaces in bird-pollinated flowers may hamper grip for bees that do not touch anthers and stigmas while consuming nectar and thus, are considered as nectar thieves. Beside this, the third hypothesis implies that those flower parts which are vulnerable to nectar robbing of bee- as well as bird-pollinated flowers benefit from flat epidermal cells, hampering grip for nectar robbing bees. Our comparative data show in fact that conical epidermal cells are restricted to visually-active parts of bee-pollinated flowers, whereas robbing-sensitive parts of bee-pollinated as well as the entire floral surface of bird-pollinated flowers possess on average flat epidermal cells. However, direct correlations between epidermal cell shape and colour parameters have not been found. Our results together with published experimental studies show that epidermal cell shape as a largely neglected flower trait might act as an important feature in pollinator attraction and avoidance of antagonists, and thus may contribute to the partitioning of flower

  15. Identification of major quantitative trait loci underlying floral pollination syndrome divergence in Penstemon.

    PubMed

    Wessinger, Carolyn A; Hileman, Lena C; Rausher, Mark D

    2014-08-01

    Distinct floral pollination syndromes have emerged multiple times during the diversification of flowering plants. For example, in western North America, a hummingbird pollination syndrome has evolved more than 100 times, generally from within insect-pollinated lineages. The hummingbird syndrome is characterized by a suite of floral traits that attracts and facilitates pollen movement by hummingbirds, while at the same time discourages bee visitation. These floral traits generally include large nectar volume, red flower colour, elongated and narrow corolla tubes and reproductive organs that are exerted from the corolla. A handful of studies have examined the genetic architecture of hummingbird pollination syndrome evolution. These studies find that mutations of relatively large effect often explain increased nectar volume and transition to red flower colour. In addition, they suggest that adaptive suites of floral traits may often exhibit a high degree of genetic linkage, which could facilitate their fixation during pollination syndrome evolution. Here, we explore these emerging generalities by investigating the genetic basis of floral pollination syndrome divergence between two related Penstemon species with different pollination syndromes--bee-pollinated P. neomexicanus and closely related hummingbird-pollinated P. barbatus. In an F2 mapping population derived from a cross between these two species, we characterized the effect size of genetic loci underlying floral trait divergence associated with the transition to bird pollination, as well as correlation structure of floral trait variation. We find the effect sizes of quantitative trait loci for adaptive floral traits are in line with patterns observed in previous studies, and find strong evidence that suites of floral traits are genetically linked. This linkage may be due to genetic proximity or pleiotropic effects of single causative loci. Interestingly, our data suggest that the evolution of floral traits

  16. Gloss, Colour and Grip: Multifunctional Epidermal Cell Shapes in Bee- and Bird-Pollinated Flowers

    PubMed Central

    Papiorek, Sarah; Junker, Robert R.; Lunau, Klaus

    2014-01-01

    Flowers bear the function of filters supporting the attraction of pollinators as well as the deterrence of floral antagonists. The effect of epidermal cell shape on the visual display and tactile properties of flowers has been evaluated only recently. In this study we quantitatively measured epidermal cell shape, gloss and spectral reflectance of flowers pollinated by either bees or birds testing three hypotheses: The first two hypotheses imply that bee-pollinated flowers might benefit from rough surfaces on visually-active parts produced by conical epidermal cells, as they may enhance the colour signal of flowers as well as the grip on flowers for bees. In contrast, bird-pollinated flowers might benefit from flat surfaces produced by flat epidermal cells, by avoiding frequent visitation from non-pollinating bees due to a reduced colour signal, as birds do not rely on specific colour parameters while foraging. Moreover, flat petal surfaces in bird-pollinated flowers may hamper grip for bees that do not touch anthers and stigmas while consuming nectar and thus, are considered as nectar thieves. Beside this, the third hypothesis implies that those flower parts which are vulnerable to nectar robbing of bee- as well as bird-pollinated flowers benefit from flat epidermal cells, hampering grip for nectar robbing bees. Our comparative data show in fact that conical epidermal cells are restricted to visually-active parts of bee-pollinated flowers, whereas robbing-sensitive parts of bee-pollinated as well as the entire floral surface of bird-pollinated flowers possess on average flat epidermal cells. However, direct correlations between epidermal cell shape and colour parameters have not been found. Our results together with published experimental studies show that epidermal cell shape as a largely neglected flower trait might act as an important feature in pollinator attraction and avoidance of antagonists, and thus may contribute to the partitioning of flower

  17. Reproductive biology of Trichocentrum pumilum: an orchid pollinated by oil-collecting bees.

    PubMed

    Pansarin, E R; Pansarin, L M

    2011-07-01

    The reproductive biology, reward production and pollination mechanism of Trichocentrum pumilum were studied in a gallery forest in the interior of the State of São Paulo, southeast Brazil. The floral visitors and pollination mechanism were recorded, and experimental pollinations were carried out in order to determine the breeding system of this species. Trichocentrum pumilum blooms in spring. Each paniculate inflorescence bears an average of 85 flowers that present a central yellow callus and finger-like trichomes on the lateral lobes of the lip. A lipoidal substance is produced and stored among these trichomes. In the studied population, T. pumilum is exclusively visited and pollinated by two bee species (Tetrapedia diversipes and Lophopedia nigrispinis). Pollinaria are deposited on mouthparts of bees during collection of the lipoidal substance from the lateral lobes of the labellum. Trichocentrum pumilum is self-incompatible and pollinator-limited. Natural fruit set was low (9%, compared to 45% in experimentally cross-pollinated flowers). Potentially viable seed exceed 97% in fruits obtained through cross-pollination and in natural conditions (open pollination). PMID:21668598

  18. Bee pollination and fruit set of Coffea arabica and C. canephora (Rubiaceae).

    PubMed

    Klein, Alexandra-Maria; Steffan-Dewenter, Ingolf; Tscharntke, Teja

    2003-01-01

    Self-sterile Coffea canephora and self-fertile C. arabica are important cash crops in many tropical countries. We examined the relative importance of insect, wind, and spontaneous self-pollination and the degree of self-fertility of these two coffee species in 24 agroforestry coffee fields in Indonesia. In both species, open pollination and cross pollination by hand led to the highest fruit set. Wind pollination (including self-pollination) led to 16% lower fruit set than open pollination in C. canephora and to 12.3% lower fruit set in C. arabica. Self-pollinated flowers and unmanipulated controls achieved an extremely low fruit set of 10% or less in the self-sterile species, and of 60% and 48%, respectively in the self-fertile species. These results constitute experimental evidence that cross pollination by bees causes a significant increase in fruit set of not only the self-sterile, but also the self-fertile coffee species. The practical implication is that coffee yield may be improved by managing fields for increased flower visitation by bees. PMID:21659091

  19. Plant-pollinator interactions and floral convergence in two species of Heliconia from the Caribbean Islands.

    PubMed

    Martén-Rodríguez, Silvana; Kress, W John; Temeles, Ethan J; Meléndez-Ackerman, Elvia

    2011-12-01

    Variation in interspecific interactions across geographic space is a potential driver of diversification and local adaptation. This study quantitatively examined variation in floral phenotypes and pollinator service of Heliconia bihai and H. caribaea across three Antillean islands. The prediction was that floral characters would correspond to the major pollinators of these species on each island. Analysis of floral phenotypes revealed convergence among species and populations of Heliconia from the Greater Antilles. All populations of H. caribaea were similar, characterized by long nectar chambers and short corolla tubes. In contrast, H. bihai populations were strongly divergent: on Dominica, H. bihai had flowers with short nectar chambers and long corollas, whereas on Hispaniola, H. bihai flowers resembled those of H. caribaea with longer nectar chambers and shorter corolla tubes. Morphological variation in floral traits corresponded with geographic differences or similarities in the major pollinators on each island. The Hispaniolan mango, Anthracothorax dominicus, is the principal pollinator of both H. bihai and H. caribaea on Hispaniola; thus, the similarity of floral phenotypes between Heliconia species suggests parallel selective regimes imposed by the principal pollinator. Likewise, divergence between H. bihai populations from Dominica and Hispaniola corresponded with differences in the pollinators visiting this species on the two islands. The study highlights the putative importance of pollinator-mediated selection as driving floral convergence and the evolution of locally-adapted plant variants across a geographic mosaic of pollinator species. PMID:21792557

  20. Floral symmetry: pollinator-mediated stabilizing selection on flower size in bilateral species

    PubMed Central

    Gong, Yan-Bing; Huang, Shuang-Quan

    2009-01-01

    Pollinator-mediated stabilizing selection (PMSS) has been proposed as the driver of the evolutionary shift from radial to bilateral symmetry of flowers. Studies have shown that variation in flower size is lower in bilateral than in radial species, but whether bilateral flowers experience more stabilizing selection pressures by employing fewer, more specialized pollinators than radial flowers remains unclear. To test the PMSS hypothesis, we investigate plant–pollinator interactions from a whole community in an alpine meadow in Hengduan Mountains, China, to examine: (i) variance in flower size and level of ecological generalization (pollinator diversity calculated using functional groups) in 14 bilateral and 13 radial species and (ii) the role pollinator diversity played in explaining the difference of variance in flower size between bilateral and radial species. Our data showed that bilateral species had less variance in flower size and were visited by fewer pollinator groups. Pollinator diversity accounted for up to 40 per cent of the difference in variance in flower size between bilateral and radial species. The mediator effect of pollinator diversity on the relationship between floral symmetry and variance in flower size in the community is consistent with the PMSS hypothesis. PMID:19710062

  1. Evolution of autonomous selfing accompanies increased specialization in the pollination system of Schizanthus (Solanaceae).

    PubMed

    Pérez, Fernanda; Arroyo, Mary T K; Armesto, Juan J

    2009-06-01

    The co-occurrence of elaborate flowers visited by specific groups of pollinators and capacity for autonomous selfing in the same plant species has puzzled evolutionary biologists since the time of Charles Darwin. To examine whether autonomous selfing and floral specialization evolved in association, we quantified the autofertility level (AFI) in nine Schizanthus species characterized by a wide range of pollination specialization, revealing AFI values of 0.02 to complete selfing. An independent contrasts analysis conducted on AFIs and number of functional pollinator groups showed that autonomous selfing evolved from an ancestral outcrossing system as plants became increasingly specialized (r = -0.82). To assess whether autonomous selfing together with specialization acts as a reproductive assurance mechanism, we estimated spatial and interannual variation in fruit set due to pollinator failure in two closely related high Andean Schizanthus species differing in their specialization levels. Variation in pollinator failure rate was more pronounced and autonomous selfing increased fruit production over biotically assisted pollination in the more specialized species. Our study suggests that specialized pollination deems species more vulnerable to pollinator fluctuation thus promoting the evolution of delayed autonomous selfing. PMID:21628267

  2. The Future of Agricultural Pollination

    Technology Transfer Automated Retrieval System (TEKTRAN)

    This chapter summarizes how agricultural production and bees are inter-dependent. Honey bees are the most commonly used agricultural pollinators in the world, but are threatened by an increasing number of hive pests. In addition, not all crops are well pollinated by honey bees (e.g., tomatoes, alfal...

  3. Predicting plant attractiveness to pollinators with passive crowdsourcing

    PubMed Central

    Bahlai, Christie A.; Landis, Douglas A.

    2016-01-01

    Global concern regarding pollinator decline has intensified interest in enhancing pollinator resources in managed landscapes. These efforts frequently emphasize restoration or planting of flowering plants to provide pollen and nectar resources that are highly attractive to the desired pollinators. However, determining exactly which plant species should be used to enhance a landscape is difficult. Empirical screening of plants for such purposes is logistically daunting, but could be streamlined by crowdsourcing data to create lists of plants most probable to attract the desired pollinator taxa. People frequently photograph plants in bloom and the Internet has become a vast repository of such images. A proportion of these images also capture floral visitation by arthropods. Here, we test the hypothesis that the abundance of floral images containing identifiable pollinator and other beneficial insects is positively associated with the observed attractiveness of the same species in controlled field trials from previously published studies. We used Google Image searches to determine the correlation of pollinator visitation captured by photographs on the Internet relative to the attractiveness of the same species in common-garden field trials for 43 plant species. From the first 30 photographs, which successfully identified the plant, we recorded the number of Apis (managed honeybees), non-Apis (exclusively wild bees) and the number of bee-mimicking syrphid flies. We used these observations from search hits as well as bloom period (BP) as predictor variables in Generalized Linear Models (GLMs) for field-observed abundances of each of these groups. We found that non-Apis bees observed in controlled field trials were positively associated with observations of these taxa in Google Image searches (pseudo-R2 of 0.668). Syrphid fly observations in the field were also associated with the frequency they were observed in images, but this relationship was weak. Apis bee

  4. Predicting plant attractiveness to pollinators with passive crowdsourcing.

    PubMed

    Bahlai, Christie A; Landis, Douglas A

    2016-06-01

    Global concern regarding pollinator decline has intensified interest in enhancing pollinator resources in managed landscapes. These efforts frequently emphasize restoration or planting of flowering plants to provide pollen and nectar resources that are highly attractive to the desired pollinators. However, determining exactly which plant species should be used to enhance a landscape is difficult. Empirical screening of plants for such purposes is logistically daunting, but could be streamlined by crowdsourcing data to create lists of plants most probable to attract the desired pollinator taxa. People frequently photograph plants in bloom and the Internet has become a vast repository of such images. A proportion of these images also capture floral visitation by arthropods. Here, we test the hypothesis that the abundance of floral images containing identifiable pollinator and other beneficial insects is positively associated with the observed attractiveness of the same species in controlled field trials from previously published studies. We used Google Image searches to determine the correlation of pollinator visitation captured by photographs on the Internet relative to the attractiveness of the same species in common-garden field trials for 43 plant species. From the first 30 photographs, which successfully identified the plant, we recorded the number of Apis (managed honeybees), non-Apis (exclusively wild bees) and the number of bee-mimicking syrphid flies. We used these observations from search hits as well as bloom period (BP) as predictor variables in Generalized Linear Models (GLMs) for field-observed abundances of each of these groups. We found that non-Apis bees observed in controlled field trials were positively associated with observations of these taxa in Google Image searches (pseudo-R (2) of 0.668). Syrphid fly observations in the field were also associated with the frequency they were observed in images, but this relationship was weak. Apis bee

  5. Pollen transfer in fragmented plant populations: insight from the pollen loads of pollinators and stigmas in a mass-flowering species.

    PubMed

    Delmas, Chloé E L; Fort, Thomas L C; Escaravage, Nathalie; Pornon, André

    2016-08-01

    Pollinator and/or mate scarcity affects pollen transfer, with important ecological and evolutionary consequences for plant reproduction. However, the way in which the pollen loads transported by pollinators and deposited on stigmas are affected by pollination context has been little studied. We investigated the impacts of plant mate and visiting insect availabilities on pollen transport and receipt in a mass-flowering and facultative autogamous shrub (Rhododendron ferrugineum). First, we recorded insect visits to R. ferrugineum in plant patches of diverse densities and sizes. Second, we analyzed the pollen loads transported by R. ferrugineum pollinators and deposited on stigmas of emasculated and intact flowers, in the same patches. Overall, pollinators (bumblebees) transported much larger pollen loads than the ones found on stigmas, and the pollen deposited on stigmas included a high proportion of conspecific pollen. However, comparing pollen loads of emasculated and intact flowers indicated that pollinators contributed only half the conspecific pollen present on the stigma. At low plant density, we found the highest visitation rate and the lowest proportion of conspecific pollen transported and deposited by pollinators. By contrast, at higher plant density and lower visitation rate, pollinators deposited larger proportion of conspecific pollen, although still far from sufficient to ensure that all the ovules were fertilized. Finally, self-pollen completely buffered the detrimental effects on pollination of patch fragmentation and pollinator failure. Our results indicate that pollen loads from pollinators and emasculated flowers should be quantified for an accurate understanding of the relative impacts of pollinator and mate limitation on pollen transfer in facultative autogamous species. PMID:27547345

  6. Thrips pollination of Mesozoic gymnosperms

    PubMed Central

    Peñalver, Enrique; Labandeira, Conrad C.; Barrón, Eduardo; Delclòs, Xavier; Nel, Patricia; Nel, André; Tafforeau, Paul; Soriano, Carmen

    2012-01-01

    Within modern gymnosperms, conifers and Ginkgo are exclusively wind pollinated whereas many gnetaleans and cycads are insect pollinated. For cycads, thrips are specialized pollinators. We report such a specialized pollination mode from Early Cretaceous amber of Spain, wherein four female thrips representing a genus and two species in the family Melanthripidae were covered by abundant Cycadopites pollen grains. These females bear unique ring setae interpreted as specialized structures for pollen grain collection, functionally equivalent to the hook-tipped sensilla and plumose setae on the bodies of bees. The most parsimonious explanation for this structure is parental food provisioning for larvae, indicating subsociality. This association provides direct evidence of specialized collection and transportation of pollen grains and likely gymnosperm pollination by 110–105 million years ago, possibly considerably earlier. PMID:22615414

  7. Pervasiveness of parasites in pollinators.

    PubMed

    Evison, Sophie E F; Roberts, Katherine E; Laurenson, Lynn; Pietravalle, Stéphane; Hui, Jeffrey; Biesmeijer, Jacobus C; Smith, Judith E; Budge, Giles; Hughes, William O H

    2012-01-01

    Many pollinator populations are declining, with large economic and ecological implications. Parasites are known to be an important factor in the some of the population declines of honey bees and bumblebees, but little is known about the parasites afflicting most other pollinators, or the extent of interspecific transmission or vectoring of parasites. Here we carry out a preliminary screening of pollinators (honey bees, five species of bumblebee, three species of wasp, four species of hoverfly and three genera of other bees) in the UK for parasites. We used molecular methods to screen for six honey bee viruses, Ascosphaera fungi, Microsporidia, and Wolbachia intracellular bacteria. We aimed simply to detect the presence of the parasites, encompassing vectoring as well as actual infections. Many pollinators of all types were positive for Ascosphaera fungi, while Microsporidia were rarer, being most frequently found in bumblebees. We also detected that most pollinators were positive for Wolbachia, most probably indicating infection with this intracellular symbiont, and raising the possibility that it may be an important factor in influencing host sex ratios or fitness in a diversity of pollinators. Importantly, we found that about a third of bumblebees (Bombus pascuorum and Bombus terrestris) and a third of wasps (Vespula vulgaris), as well as all honey bees, were positive for deformed wing virus, but that this virus was not present in other pollinators. Deformed wing virus therefore does not appear to be a general parasite of pollinators, but does interact significantly with at least three species of bumblebee and wasp. Further work is needed to establish the identity of some of the parasites, their spatiotemporal variation, and whether they are infecting the various pollinator species or being vectored. However, these results provide a first insight into the diversity, and potential exchange, of parasites in pollinator communities. PMID:22347356

  8. Pervasiveness of Parasites in Pollinators

    PubMed Central

    Evison, Sophie E. F.; Roberts, Katherine E.; Laurenson, Lynn; Pietravalle, Stéphane; Hui, Jeffrey; Biesmeijer, Jacobus C.; Smith, Judith E.; Budge, Giles; Hughes, William O. H.

    2012-01-01

    Many pollinator populations are declining, with large economic and ecological implications. Parasites are known to be an important factor in the some of the population declines of honey bees and bumblebees, but little is known about the parasites afflicting most other pollinators, or the extent of interspecific transmission or vectoring of parasites. Here we carry out a preliminary screening of pollinators (honey bees, five species of bumblebee, three species of wasp, four species of hoverfly and three genera of other bees) in the UK for parasites. We used molecular methods to screen for six honey bee viruses, Ascosphaera fungi, Microsporidia, and Wolbachia intracellular bacteria. We aimed simply to detect the presence of the parasites, encompassing vectoring as well as actual infections. Many pollinators of all types were positive for Ascosphaera fungi, while Microsporidia were rarer, being most frequently found in bumblebees. We also detected that most pollinators were positive for Wolbachia, most probably indicating infection with this intracellular symbiont, and raising the possibility that it may be an important factor in influencing host sex ratios or fitness in a diversity of pollinators. Importantly, we found that about a third of bumblebees (Bombus pascuorum and Bombus terrestris) and a third of wasps (Vespula vulgaris), as well as all honey bees, were positive for deformed wing virus, but that this virus was not present in other pollinators. Deformed wing virus therefore does not appear to be a general parasite of pollinators, but does interact significantly with at least three species of bumblebee and wasp. Further work is needed to establish the identity of some of the parasites, their spatiotemporal variation, and whether they are infecting the various pollinator species or being vectored. However, these results provide a first insight into the diversity, and potential exchange, of parasites in pollinator communities. PMID:22347356

  9. Plant pollinator interactions: comparison between an invasive and a native congeneric species

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Vanparys, Valérie; Meerts, Pierre; Jacquemart, Anne-Laure

    2008-11-01

    Plant-pollinator interactions determine reproductive success for animal-pollinated species and, in the case of invasive plants, they are supposed to play an important role in invasive success. We compared the invasive Senecio inaequidens to its native congener S. jacobaea in terms of interactions with pollinators. Visitor guild, visitation rate, and seed set were compared over 3 years in three sites in Belgium. Floral display (capitula number and arrangement) and phenology were quantified, and visiting insects were individually censused, i.e. number of visited capitula and time per visited capitulum. As expected from capitula resemblance, visitor guilds of both species were very similar (proportional similarity = 0.94). Senecio inaequidens was visited by 33 species, versus 36 for S. jacobaea. For both species, main visitors were Diptera, especially Syrphidae, and Hymenoptera. Visitation rate averaged 0.13 visitor per capitulum per 10 min for S. inaequidens against 0.08 for S. jacobaea. However, insects visited more capitula per plant on S. jacobaea, due to high capitula density (886 m -2 versus 206 m -2 for S. inaequidens), which is likely to increase self-pollen deposition considerably. Seed set of S. jacobaea was lower than that of S. inaequidens. We suggest that floral display is the major factor explaining the differences in insect visitation and seed set between the two Senecio species.

  10. Floral volatile alleles can contribute to pollinator-mediated reproductive isolation in monkeyflowers (Mimulus)

    PubMed Central

    Byers, Kelsey J.R.P.; Vela, James P.; Peng, Foen; Riffell, Jeffrey A.; Bradshaw, H.D.

    2014-01-01

    Summary Pollinator-mediated reproductive isolation is a major factor in driving the diversification of flowering plants. Studies of floral traits involved in reproductive isolation have focused nearly exclusively on visual signals, such as flower color. The role of less obvious signals, such as floral scent, has been studied only recently. In particular, the genetics of floral volatiles involved in mediating differential pollinator visitation remains unknown. The bumblebee-pollinated Mimulus lewisii and hummingbird-pollinated M. cardinalis are a model system for studying reproductive isolation via pollinator preference. We have shown that these two species differ in three floral terpenoid volatiles - D-limonene, β-myrcene, and E-β-ocimene - that are attractive to bumblebee pollinators. By genetic mapping and in vitro enzyme activity analysis we demonstrate that these interspecific differences are consistent with allelic variation at two loci – LIMONENE-MYRCENE SYNTHASE (LMS) and OCIMENE SYNTHASE (OS). M. lewisii LMS (MlLMS) and OS (MlOS) are expressed most strongly in floral tissue in the last stages of floral development. M. cardinalis LMS (McLMS) is weakly expressed and has a nonsense mutation in exon 3. M. cardinalis OS (McOS) is expressed similarly to MlOS, but the encoded McOS enzyme produces no E-β-ocimene. Recapitulating the M. cardinalis phenotype by reducing the expression of MlLMS by RNAi in transgenic M. lewisii produces no behavioral difference in pollinating bumblebees; however, reducing MlOS expression produces a 6% decrease in visitation. Allelic variation at the OCIMENE SYNTHASE locus likely contributes to differential pollinator visitation, and thus promotes reproductive isolation between M. lewisii and M. cardinalis. OCIMENE SYNTHASE joins a growing list of “speciation genes” (“barrier genes”) in flowering plants. PMID:25319242

  11. Floral volatile alleles can contribute to pollinator-mediated reproductive isolation in monkeyflowers (Mimulus).

    PubMed

    Byers, Kelsey J R P; Vela, James P; Peng, Foen; Riffell, Jeffrey A; Bradshaw, Harvey D

    2014-12-01

    Pollinator-mediated reproductive isolation is a major factor in driving the diversification of flowering plants. Studies of floral traits involved in reproductive isolation have focused nearly exclusively on visual signals, such as flower color. The role of less obvious signals, such as floral scent, has been studied only recently. In particular, the genetics of floral volatiles involved in mediating differential pollinator visitation remains unknown. The bumblebee-pollinated Mimulus lewisii and hummingbird-pollinated Mimulus cardinalis are a model system for studying reproductive isolation via pollinator preference. We have shown that these two species differ in three floral terpenoid volatiles - d-limonene, β-myrcene, and E-β-ocimene - that are attractive to bumblebee pollinators. By genetic mapping and in vitro analysis of enzyme activity we demonstrate that these interspecific differences are consistent with allelic variation at two loci, LIMONENE-MYRCENE SYNTHASE (LMS) and OCIMENE SYNTHASE (OS). Mimulus lewisii LMS (MlLMS) and OS (MlOS) are expressed most strongly in floral tissue in the last stages of floral development. Mimulus cardinalis LMS (McLMS) is weakly expressed and has a nonsense mutation in exon 3. Mimulus cardinalis OS (McOS) is expressed similarly to MlOS, but the encoded McOS enzyme produces no E-β-ocimene. Recapitulating the M. cardinalis phenotype by reducing the expression of MlLMS by RNA interference in transgenic M. lewisii produces no behavioral difference in pollinating bumblebees; however, reducing MlOS expression produces a 6% decrease in visitation. Allelic variation at the OCIMENE SYNTHASE locus is likely to contribute to differential pollinator visitation, and thus promote reproductive isolation between M. lewisii and M. cardinalis. OCIMENE SYNTHASE joins a growing list of 'speciation genes' ('barrier genes') in flowering plants. PMID:25319242

  12. Impacts of the use of nonnative commercial bumble bees for pollinator supplementation in raspberry.

    PubMed

    Lye, G C; Jennings, S N; Osborne, J L; Goulson, D

    2011-02-01

    Evidence for pollinator declines has led to concern that inadequate pollination services may limit crop yields. The global trade in commercial bumble bee (Bombus spp.) colonies provides pollination services for both glasshouse and open-field crops. For example, in the United Kingdom, commercial colonies of nonnative subspecies of the bumble bee Bombus terrestris L. imported from mainland Europe are widely used for the pollination of raspberries, Rubus idaeus L. The extent to which these commercial colonies supplement the services provided by wild pollinators has not been formally quantified and the impact of commercial bumble bees on native bees visiting the crop is unknown. Here, the impacts of allowing commercially available bumble bee colonies to forage on raspberry canes are assessed in terms of the yield of marketable fruit produced and the pollinator communities found foraging on raspberry flowers. No differences were found in the abundance, diversity, or composition of social bee species observed visiting raspberry flowers when commercial bumble bees were deployed compared with when they were absent. However, weight of marketable raspberries produced increased when commercial bees were present, indicating that wild pollinator services alone are inadequate for attaining maximum yields. The findings of the study suggests that proportional yield increases associated with deployment of commercial colonies may be small, but that nevertheless, investment in commercial colonies for raspberry pollination could produce very significant increases in net profit for the grower. Given potential environmental risks associated with the importation of nonnative bumble bees, the development of alternative solutions to the pollination deficit in raspberry crops in the United Kingdom may be beneficial. PMID:21404847

  13. Insects, birds and lizards as pollinators of the largest-flowered Scrophularia of Europe and Macaronesia

    PubMed Central

    Ortega-Olivencia, Ana; Rodríguez-Riaño, Tomás; Pérez-Bote, José L.; López, Josefa; Mayo, Carlos; Valtueña, Francisco J.; Navarro-Pérez, Marisa

    2012-01-01

    Background and Aims It has traditionally been considered that the flowers of Scrophularia are mainly pollinated by wasps. We studied the pollination system of four species which stand out for their large and showy flowers: S. sambucifolia and S. grandiflora (endemics of the western Mediterranean region), S. trifoliata (an endemic of the Tyrrhenian islands) and S. calliantha (an endemic of the Canary Islands). Our principal aim was to test whether these species were pollinated by birds or showed a mixed pollination system between insects and birds. Methods Censuses and captures of insects and birds were performed to obtain pollen load transported and deposited on the stigmas. Also, a qualitative and quantitative analysis of the flowers and inflorescences was carried out. Key Results Flowers were visited by Hymenoptera and by passerine birds. The Canarian species was the most visited by birds, especially by Phylloscopus canariensis, and its flowers were also accessed by juveniles of the lizard Gallotia stehlini. The most important birds in the other three species were Sylvia melanocephala and S. atricapilla. The most important insect-functional groups in the mixed pollination system were: honey-bees and wasps in S. sambucifolia; bumble-bees and wasps in S. grandiflora; wasps in S. trifoliata; and a small bee in S. calliantha. Conclusions The species studied show a mixed pollination system between insects and passerine birds. In S. calliantha there is, in addition, a third agent (juveniles of Gallotia stehlini). The participation of birds in this mixed pollination system presents varying degrees of importance because, while in S. calliantha they are the main pollinators, in the other species they interact to complement the insects which are the main pollinators. A review of different florae showed that the large showy floral morphotypes of Scrophularia are concentrated in the western and central Mediterranean region, Macaronesia and USA (New Mexico). PMID:22021816

  14. Phenological change in a spring ephemeral: implications for pollination and plant reproduction.

    PubMed

    Gezon, Zachariah J; Inouye, David W; Irwin, Rebecca E

    2016-05-01

    Climate change has had numerous ecological effects, including species range shifts and altered phenology. Altering flowering phenology often affects plant reproduction, but the mechanisms behind these changes are not well-understood. To investigate why altering flowering phenology affects plant reproduction, we manipulated flowering phenology of the spring herb Claytonia lanceolata (Portulacaceae) using two methods: in 2011-2013 by altering snow pack (snow-removal vs. control treatments), and in 2013 by inducing flowering in a greenhouse before placing plants in experimental outdoor arrays (early, control, and late treatments). We measured flowering phenology, pollinator visitation, plant reproduction (fruit and seed set), and pollen limitation. Flowering occurred approx. 10 days earlier in snow-removal than control plots during all years of snow manipulation. Pollinator visitation patterns and strength of pollen limitation varied with snow treatments, and among years. Plants in the snow removal treatment were more likely to experience frost damage, and frost-damaged plants suffered low reproduction despite lack of pollen limitation. Plants in the snow removal treatment that escaped frost damage had higher pollinator visitation rates and reproduction than controls. The results of the array experiment supported the results of the snow manipulations. Plants in the early and late treatments suffered very low reproduction due either to severe frost damage (early treatment) or low pollinator visitation (late treatment) relative to control plants. Thus, plants face tradeoffs with advanced flowering time. While early-flowering plants can reap the benefits of enhanced pollination services, they do so at the cost of increased susceptibility to frost damage that can overwhelm any benefit of flowering early. In contrast, delayed flowering results in dramatic reductions in plant reproduction through reduced pollination. Our results suggest that climate change may constrain the

  15. Cockroach pollination and breeding system of Uvaria elmeri (Annonaceae) in a lowland mixed-dipterocarp forest in Sarawak.

    PubMed

    Nagamitsu, T; Inoue, T

    1997-02-01

    Tropical forest plants are known to be pollinated by a diverse array of animals. Here we report on the pollination of a woody climber species, Uvaria elmeri (Annonaceae), by cockroaches in a lowland mixed-dipterocarp forest in Sarawak, Malaysia. To the best of our knowledge, this is the first report of pollination by cockroaches. The cauliflorous flowers in the understory are protogynous and bloomed for 50 h. An odor similar to decayed wood or a mushroom was secreted by flowers and was stronger during the male stage. Pollinators were cockroaches (Blattellidae) and drosophilid flies (Drosophilidae). Cockroaches, the main pollinators, visited flowers during both female and male stages at night, feeding on stigmatic exudate and pollen. Drosophilids, the secondary pollinators. mainly visited female-stage flowers during daytime, fed on stigmatic exudate. and laid eggs on stigmas. Neither autogamy nor self-compatibility was observed. Fruit production appeared to be pollen-limited. The fruit set, which was 2% of flowers in natural condition, was significantly lower than the 30% fruit set obtained by artificial cross-pollination. We discuss the traits of cockroaches as pollinators and the breeding system of U. elmeri. PMID:21712200

  16. Rain forest provides pollinating beetles for atemoya crops.

    PubMed

    Blanche, Rosalind; Cunningham, Saul A

    2005-08-01

    Small beetles, usually species of Nitidulidae, are the natural pollinators of atemoya (Annona squamosa L. x A. cherimola Mill. hybrids; custard apple) flowers but commercial atemoya growers often need to carry out labor-intensive hand pollination to produce enough high-quality fruit. Because Australian rain forest has plant species in the same family as atemoya (Annonaceae) and because many rain forest plants are beetle pollinated, we set out to discover whether tropical rain forest in far north Queensland harbors beetles that could provide this ecosystem service for atemoya crops. Orchards were chosen along a gradient of increasing distance from tropical rain forest (0.1-24 km). We sampled 100 flowers from each of nine atemoya orchards and determined the identity and abundance of insects within each flower. To assess the amount of pollination due to insects, we bagged six flowers per tree and left another six flowers per tree accessible to insects on 10 trees at an orchard near rain forest. Results indicated that atemoya orchards < or = 0.5 km from rain forest were predominantly visited by five previously unrecognized native beetle pollinators that are likely to originate in tropical rain forest. These native beetles occurred reliably enough in crops near rain forest to have a positive effect on the quantity of fruit produced but their contribution was not great enough to satisfy commercial production needs. Management changes, aimed at increasing native beetle abundance in crops, are required before these beetles could eliminate the need for growers to hand pollinate atemoya flowers. Appreciation of the value of this resource is necessary if we are to develop landscapes that both conserve native biodiversity and support agricultural production. PMID:16156571

  17. Hawkmoth pollination of Mirabilis longiflora (Nyctaginaceae)

    PubMed Central

    Grant, Verne; Grant, Karen A.

    1983-01-01

    A guild composed of very-long-tubed hawkmoth flowers (nectar tubes, 9 cm or more long), belonging to different genera and families, occurs in the American Southwest. Our knowledge of the hawkmoth associates of these flowers is fragmentary. Mirabilis longiflora, a member of the guild with a tube 10.0-10.5 cm long, was found to be visited and pollinated mainly by Manduca quinquemaculata with a proboscis 10.7-11.6 cm long in the Chiricahua Mountains of southeastern Arizona. This example fits in with four other previously reported cases. The long-tongued Man. quinquemaculata is now known to be associated with five species of very long-tongued hawkmoth flowers in the Southwest, and Man. rustica has been found on one of them. Images PMID:16593287

  18. Imperfect replacement of native species by non-native species as pollinators of endemic Hawaiian plants.

    PubMed

    Aslan, Clare E; Zavaleta, Erika S; Tershy, Bernie; Croll, Don; Robichaux, Robert H

    2014-04-01

    Native plant species that have lost their mutualist partners may require non-native pollinators or seed dispersers to maintain reproduction. When natives are highly specialized, however, it appears doubtful that introduced generalists will partner effectively with them. We used visitation observations and pollination treatments (experimental manipulations of pollen transfer) to examine relationships between the introduced, generalist Japanese White-eye (Zosterops japonicus) and 3 endemic Hawaiian plant species (Clermontia parviflora, C. montis-loa, and C. hawaiiensis). These plants are characterized by curved, tubular flowers, apparently adapted for pollination by curve-billed Hawaiian honeycreepers. Z. japonicus were responsible for over 80% of visits to flowers of the small-flowered C. parviflora and the midsize-flowered C. montis-loa. Z. japonicus-visited flowers set significantly more seed than did bagged flowers. Z. japonicus also demonstrated the potential to act as an occasional Clermontia seed disperser, although ground-based frugivory by non-native mammals likely dominates seed dispersal. The large-flowered C. hawaiiensis received no visitation by any birds during observations. Unmanipulated and bagged C. hawaiiensis flowers set similar numbers of seeds. Direct examination of Z. japonicus and Clermontia morphologies suggests a mismatch between Z. japonicus bill morphology and C. hawaiiensis flower morphology. In combination, our results suggest that Z. japonicus has established an effective pollination relationship with C. parviflora and C. montis-loa and that the large flowers of C. hawaiiensis preclude effective visitation by Z. japonicus. PMID:24372761

  19. The effects of plant density and nectar reward on bee visitation to the endangered orchid Spiranthes romanzoffiana

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Duffy, Karl J.; Stout, Jane C.

    2008-09-01

    Density can affect attraction of pollinators, with rare plants receiving fewer pollinating visits compared with more common co-flowering species. However, if a locally rare species is very attractive in terms of the rewards it offers pollinators, it may be preferentially visited. Spiranthes romanzoffiana is a nectar rewarding, geographically rare, endangered orchid species which forms small populations in Ireland, co-flowering with more common, florally rewarding species. We examined visitation rates to S. romanzoffiana and two nectar rewarding co-flowering species ( Mentha aquatica and Prunella vulgaris) in the west of Ireland. These three plant species were visited by three bee species ( Bombus pascuorum, B. hortorum and Apis mellifera). B. pascuorum was the most common visitor, while A. mellifera was least common. Our results suggest that individual S. romanzoffiana inflorescences compete intraspecifically for visitation from pollinators at high densities. The relationship between visitation to S. romanzoffiana and total floral density appeared to be positive, suggesting interspecific facilitation of pollinator visitation at high densities. Nectar standing crop varied through the season, among species and between open and bagged flowers. Nectar standing crop was not correlated with visitation in S. romanzoffiana. Despite relatively high visitation, S. romanzoffiana produced no mature fruit during this flowering season. The lack of fruit maturation in this species may be a major factor causing its rarity in Europe.

  20. Invasive species management restores a plant-pollinator mutualism in Hawaii

    USGS Publications Warehouse

    Hanna, Cause; Foote, David; Kremen, Claire

    2013-01-01

    1.The management and removal of invasive species may give rise to unanticipated changes in plant–pollinator mutualisms because they can alter the composition and functioning of plant–pollinator interactions in a variety of ways. To utilize a functional approach for invasive species management, we examined the restoration of plant–pollinator mutualisms following the large-scale removal of an invasive nectar thief and arthropod predator, Vespula pensylvanica. 2.We reduced V. pensylvanica populations in large plots managed over multiple years to examine the response of plant–pollinator mutualisms and the fruit production of a functionally important endemic Hawaiian tree species, Metrosideros polymorpha. To integrate knowledge of the invader's behaviour and the plant's mating system, we determined the efficacy of V. pensylvanica as a pollinator of M. polymorpha and quantified the dependence of M. polymorpha on animal pollination (e.g. level of self-compatibility and pollen limitation). 3.The reduction of V. pensylvanica in managed sites, when compared to unmanaged sites, resulted in a significant increase in the visitation rates of effective bee pollinators (e.g. introduced Apis mellifera and native Hylaeus spp.) and in the fruit production of M. polymorpha. 4.Apis mellifera, following the management of V. pensylvanica, appears to be acting as a substitute pollinator for M. polymorpha, replacing extinct or threatened bird and bee species in our study system. 5.Synthesis and applications. Fruit production of the native M. polymorpha was increased after management of the invasive pollinator predator V. pensylvanica; however, the main pollinators were no longer native but introduced. This research thus demonstrates the diverse impacts of introduced species on ecological function and the ambiguous role they play in restoration. We recommend incorporating ecological function and context into invasive species management as this approach may enable conservation

  1. Do alpine plants facilitate each other’s pollination? Experiments at a small spatial scale

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Sieber, Yasemin; Holderegger, Rolf; Waser, Nickolas M.; Thomas, Vera F. D.; Braun, Sabine; Erhardt, Andreas; Reyer, Heinz-Ulrich; Wirth, Lea R.

    2011-07-01

    Short growing seasons, low temperatures, and frequent strong wind classify high mountains as adverse environments, in which pollinator abundance and activity are reduced. In such environments, plants growing in dense stands comprising several species and thus exhibiting larger and more diverse flower displays may profit by attracting more visits from scarce alpine pollinators than do plants that grow alone or in patches only composed of conspecifics. To study whether aggregation of plants increases (facilitation) or decreases (competition) the attraction of pollinators, we measured the rate and numbers with which insects entered experimental plots in the Swiss Alps, and their behaviour at flowers in plots that they entered. The plots contained individuals of the blue-flowering cushion plant Eritrichium nanum, either alone or mixed with white- to yellowish-flowering Saxifraga species. Pollinators were generally rare: in 55% of 236 observation periods, no pollinators were observed. Over 95% of the pollinators were Diptera. The average probability of observing any insect at all was higher in plots that contained some Saxifraga flowers, including mixed plots, than in those containing only E. nanum flowers. However, although insects tended to choose Saxifraga as the first flower visited in mixed plots, in all other regards their visitation of Saxifraga and E. nanum flowers in such plots was statistically indistinguishable. We also detected no effect of floral neighbourhood on the frequencies of potentially geitonogamous visits or of transitions among individual plants of the same or different species. Thus, our study suggests that the presence of Saxifraga may facilitate visitation to E. nanum at larger spatial scales, but gives no evidence for either competition or facilitation at small scales within floral neighbourhoods.

  2. Minimal Effects of an Invasive Flowering Shrub on the Pollinator Community of Native Forbs

    PubMed Central

    Chung, Y. Anny; Burkle, Laura A.; Knight, Tiffany M.

    2014-01-01

    Biological invasions can strongly influence species interactions such as pollination. Most of the documented effects of exotic plant species on plant-pollinator interactions have been observational studies using single pairs of native and exotic plants, and have focused on dominant exotic plant species. We know little about how exotic plants alter interactions in entire communities of plants and pollinators, especially at low to medium invader densities. In this study, we began to address these gaps by experimentally removing the flowers of a showy invasive shrub, Rosa multiflora, and evaluating its effects on the frequency, richness, and composition of bee visitors to co-flowering native plants. We found that while R. multiflora increased plot-level richness of bee visitors to co-flowering native plant species at some sites, its presence had no significant effects on bee visitation rate, visitor richness, bee community composition, or abundance overall. In addition, we found that compared to co-flowering natives, R. multiflora was a generalist plant that primarily received visits from generalist bee species shared with native plant species. Our results suggest that exotic plants such as R. multiflora may facilitate native plant pollination in a community context by attracting a more diverse assemblage of pollinators, but have limited and idiosyncratic effects on the resident plant-pollinator network in general. PMID:25343718

  3. Different pollinator assemblages ensure reproductive success of Cleisostoma linearilobatum (Orchidaceae) in fragmented holy hill forest and traditional tea garden

    PubMed Central

    Zhou, Xiang; Liu, Qiang; Han, Jessie Yc; Gao, JiangYun

    2016-01-01

    Orchids are generally recognized to have specialist pollination systems and low fruit set is often thought to be characteristic of the family. In this study, we investigated the reproductive ecology of Cleisostoma linearilobatum, an epiphytic tropical orchid, in a holy hill forest fragment and a traditional tea garden in SW China using comparable methods. C. linearilobatum is self-compatible and dependent on insects for pollination. Fruit production in natural conditions was both pollinator- and resource-limited. However, the natural fruit set remained stable over multiple years at both sites. Pollination observations showed that C. linearilobatum has a generalized pollination system and seven insect species were observed as legitimate pollinators. Although the visit frequencies of different pollinators were different in the two sites, the pollinator assemblages ensured reproductive success of C. linearilobatum in both study sites over multiple years. The results partly explain why C. linearilobatum is so successful in the area, and also suggest that holy hill forest fragments and traditional tea gardens in Xishuangbanna are important in preserving orchids, especially those with generalist pollination. PMID:26907369

  4. Different pollinator assemblages ensure reproductive success of Cleisostoma linearilobatum (Orchidaceae) in fragmented holy hill forest and traditional tea garden.

    PubMed

    Zhou, Xiang; Liu, Qiang; Han, Jessie Yc; Gao, JiangYun

    2016-01-01

    Orchids are generally recognized to have specialist pollination systems and low fruit set is often thought to be characteristic of the family. In this study, we investigated the reproductive ecology of Cleisostoma linearilobatum, an epiphytic tropical orchid, in a holy hill forest fragment and a traditional tea garden in SW China using comparable methods. C. linearilobatum is self-compatible and dependent on insects for pollination. Fruit production in natural conditions was both pollinator- and resource-limited. However, the natural fruit set remained stable over multiple years at both sites. Pollination observations showed that C. linearilobatum has a generalized pollination system and seven insect species were observed as legitimate pollinators. Although the visit frequencies of different pollinators were different in the two sites, the pollinator assemblages ensured reproductive success of C. linearilobatum in both study sites over multiple years. The results partly explain why C. linearilobatum is so successful in the area, and also suggest that holy hill forest fragments and traditional tea gardens in Xishuangbanna are important in preserving orchids, especially those with generalist pollination. PMID:26907369

  5. Evaluation of inflorescence visitors as pollinators of Echinacea angustifolia (Asteraceae): comparison of techniques.

    PubMed

    Wist, Tyler J; Davis, Arthur R

    2013-10-01

    Inflorescences (heads or capitula) of the putative self-incompatible species, purple coneflower (Echinacea angustifolia (DC) Cronq. (Asteraceae)), were visited by insects representing the Coleoptera, Diptera, Hymenoptera, and Lepidoptera, in accordance with a generalist pollination syndrome. Measurement of the effectiveness of insect species as pollinators was accomplished by permitting solitary visits to receptive, central disc florets of virgin (previously bagged) heads. Four parameters were quantified: total stigmatic pollen load and proportion of pollen grains germinated, numbers of pollen tubes at style bases, and percentages of total receptive florets that had retracted (shrivelled) styles. Quantifying total and germinated pollen grains proved ineffective, partly owing to the tendency of self-pollen to initiate pollen tubes. The most effective pollinators were Apidae, especially bumble bees (Bombus spp.) and the European honey bee (Apis mellifera L.) (mean: 39 - 61% of styles retracted). Other noteworthy pollinators were cloudless sulfur butterflies (Phoebis sennae L.--Pieridae; mean 47% of style bases with pollen tubes), golden blister beetles (Epicauta ferruginea Say--Meloidae; 44%), and grasshopper bee flies (Systoechus vulgaris Loew--Bombyliidae; 22%). Sunflower leafcutter bees (Megachile pugnata Say) were less effective (4% of styles retracted). Promisingly, analysis of the proportion of retracted styles provided similar results to the established technique of pollen-tube quantification, but had the significant advantages of being completed more rapidly, without a microscope, and in the field. The quantitative technique of retracted-style analysis appears well suited for prompt measurement of inflorescence-visiting insects as pollinators of many asteraceans. PMID:24224247

  6. Leaf herbivory and nutrients increase nectar alkaloids.

    PubMed

    Adler, Lynn S; Wink, Michael; Distl, Melanie; Lentz, Amanda J

    2006-08-01

    Correlations between traits may constrain ecological and evolutionary responses to multispecies interactions. Many plants produce defensive compounds in nectar and leaves that could influence interactions with pollinators and herbivores, but the relationship between nectar and leaf defences is entirely unexplored. Correlations between leaf and nectar traits may be mediated by resources and prior damage. We determined the effect of nutrients and leaf herbivory by Manduca sexta on Nicotiana tabacum nectar and leaf alkaloids, floral traits and moth oviposition. We found a positive phenotypic correlation between nectar and leaf alkaloids. Herbivory induced alkaloids in nectar but not in leaves, while nutrients increased alkaloids in both tissues. Moths laid the most eggs on damaged, fertilized plants, suggesting a preference for high alkaloids. Induced nectar alkaloids via leaf herbivory indicate that species interactions involving leaf and floral tissues are linked and should not be treated as independent phenomena in plant ecology or evolution. PMID:16913940

  7. Contribution of diurnal and nocturnal insects to the pollination of Jatropha curcas (Euphorbiaceae) in southwestern China.

    PubMed

    Luo, Chang W; Huang, Zachary Y; Chen, Xiao M; Li, Kun; Chen, You; Sun, Yong Y

    2011-02-01

    Jatropha curcas L. (Euphorbiaceae) is being increasingly planted worldwide, but questions remain regarding its pollination biology. This study examined the contribution of diurnal and nocturnal insects to the pollination of monoecious J. curcas, through its floral biology, pollination ecology, and foraging behavior of potential pollinators. Nectar production of both male and female flowers peaked in the morning, declined in the afternoon, and rapidly bottomed during the night in all of their anthesis days. The diurnal visitors to the flowers of J. curcas are bees and flies, and the nocturnal visitors are moths. Flowers received significantly more visits by diurnal insects than by nocturnal insects. Through bagging flowers during night or day or both or exclusion, we compared fruit and seed production caused by diurnal and nocturnal pollinators. Both nocturnal and diurnal visitors were successful pollinators. However, flowers exposed only to nocturnal visitors produced less fruits than those exposed only to diurnal visitors. Thus, diurnal pollinators contribute more to seed production by J. curcas at the study site. PMID:21404852

  8. Pollination ecology and inbreeding depression control individual flowering phenologies and mixed mating.

    PubMed

    Devaux, Céline; Lande, Russell; Porcher, Emmanuelle

    2014-11-01

    We analyze evolution of individual flowering phenologies by combining an ecological model of pollinator behavior with a genetic model of inbreeding depression for plant viability. The flowering phenology of a plant genotype determines its expected daily floral display which, together with pollinator behavior, governs the population rate of geitonogamous selfing (fertilization among flowers on the same plant). Pollinators select plant phenologies in two ways: they are more likely to visit plants displaying more flowers per day, and they influence geitonogamous selfing and consequent inbreeding depression via their abundance, foraging behavior, and pollen carry-over among flowers on a plant. Our model predicts two types of equilibria at stable intermediate selfing rates for a wide range of pollinator behaviors and pollen transfer parameters. Edge equilibria occur at maximal or minimal selfing rates and are constrained by pollinators. Internal equilibria occur between edge equilibria and are determined by a trade-off between pollinator attraction to large floral displays and avoidance of inbreeding depression due to selfing. We conclude that unavoidable geitonogamous selfing generated by pollinator behavior can contribute to the common occurrence of stable mixed mating in plants. PMID:25130655

  9. Moonlight pollination in the gymnosperm Ephedra (Gnetales).

    PubMed

    Rydin, Catarina; Bolinder, Kristina

    2015-04-01

    Most gymnosperms are wind-pollinated, but some are insect-pollinated, and in Ephedra (Gnetales), both wind pollination and insect pollination occur. Little is, however, known about mechanisms and evolution of pollination syndromes in gymnosperms. Based on four seasons of field studies, we show an unexpected correlation between pollination and the phases of the moon in one of our studied species, Ephedra foeminea. It is pollinated by dipterans and lepidopterans, most of them nocturnal, and its pollination coincides with the full moon of July. This may be adaptive in two ways. Many nocturnal insects navigate using the moon. Further, the spectacular reflection of the full-moonlight in the pollination drops is the only apparent means of nocturnal attraction of insects in these plants. In the sympatric but wind-pollinated Ephedra distachya, pollination is not correlated to the full moon but occurs at approximately the same dates every year. The lunar correlation has probably been lost in most species of Ephedra subsequent an evolutionary shift to wind pollination in the clade. When the services of insects are no longer needed for successful pollination, the adaptive value of correlating pollination with the full moon is lost, and conceivably also the trait. PMID:25832814

  10. Moonlight pollination in the gymnosperm Ephedra (Gnetales)

    PubMed Central

    Rydin, Catarina; Bolinder, Kristina

    2015-01-01

    Most gymnosperms are wind-pollinated, but some are insect-pollinated, and in Ephedra (Gnetales), both wind pollination and insect pollination occur. Little is, however, known about mechanisms and evolution of pollination syndromes in gymnosperms. Based on four seasons of field studies, we show an unexpected correlation between pollination and the phases of the moon in one of our studied species, Ephedra foeminea. It is pollinated by dipterans and lepidopterans, most of them nocturnal, and its pollination coincides with the full moon of July. This may be adaptive in two ways. Many nocturnal insects navigate using the moon. Further, the spectacular reflection of the full-moonlight in the pollination drops is the only apparent means of nocturnal attraction of insects in these plants. In the sympatric but wind-pollinated Ephedra distachya, pollination is not correlated to the full moon but occurs at approximately the same dates every year. The lunar correlation has probably been lost in most species of Ephedra subsequent an evolutionary shift to wind pollination in the clade. When the services of insects are no longer needed for successful pollination, the adaptive value of correlating pollination with the full moon is lost, and conceivably also the trait. PMID:25832814

  11. Specialization and phenological synchrony of plant-pollinator interactions along an altitudinal gradient.

    PubMed

    Benadi, Gita; Hovestadt, Thomas; Poethke, Hans-Joachim; Blüthgen, Nico

    2014-05-01

    One of the most noticeable effects of anthropogenic climate change is the shift in timing of seasonal events towards earlier occurrence. The high degree of variation in species' phenological shifts has raised concerns about the temporal decoupling of interspecific interactions, but the extent and implications of this effect are largely unknown. In the case of plant-pollinator systems, more specialized species are predicted to be particularly threatened by phenological decoupling, since they are assumed to be less flexible in the choice of interaction partners, but until now this hypothesis has not been tested. In this paper, we studied phenology and interactions of plant and pollinator communities along an altitudinal gradient in the Alps as a model for the possible effects of climate change in time. Our results show that even relatively specialized pollinators were much more flexible in their use of plant species as floral resources than their local flower visitation suggested. We found no relationship between local specialization of pollinators and the consistency of their visitation patterns across sites, and also no relationship between specialization and phenological synchrony of pollinators with particular plants. Thus, in contrast to the conclusions of a recent simulation study, our results suggest that most pollinator species included in this study are not threatened by phenological decoupling from specific flowering plants. However, the flexibility of many rarely observed pollinator species remains unknown. Moreover, our results suggest that specialized flower visitors select plant species based on certain floral traits such as the length of the nectar holder tube. If that is the case, the observed flexibility of plant-pollinator interactions likely depends on a high degree of functional redundancy in the plant community, which may not exist in less diverse systems. PMID:24219131

  12. Multitasking in a plant-ant interaction: how does Acacia myrtifolia manage both ants and pollinators?

    PubMed

    Martínez-Bauer, Angélica E; Martínez, Gerardo Cerón; Murphy, Daniel J; Burd, Martin

    2015-06-01

    Plant associations with protective ants are widespread among angiosperms, but carry the risk that ants will deter pollinators as well as herbivores. Such conflict, and adaptations to ameliorate or prevent the conflict, have been documented in African and neotropical acacias. Ant-acacia associations occur in Australia, but little is known of their ecology. Moreover, recent phylogenetic evidence indicates that Australian acacias are only distantly related to African and American acacias, providing an intercontinental natural experiment in the management of ant-pollinator conflict. We examined four populations of Acacia myrtifolia over a 400-km environmental gradient in southeastern Australia using ant and pollinator exclusion as well as direct observation of ants and pollinators to assess the potential for ant-pollinator conflict to affect seed set. Native bees were the only group of floral visitors whose visitation rates were a significant predictor of fruiting success, although beetles and wasps may play an important role as "insurance" pollinators. We found no increase in pollinator visitation or fruiting success following ant exclusion, even with large sample sizes and effective exclusion. Because ants are facultative visitors to A. myrtifolia plants, their presence may be insufficient to interfere greatly with floral visitors. It is also likely that the morphological location of extrafloral nectaries tends to draw ants away from reproductive parts, although we commonly observed ants on inflorescences, so the spatial separation is not strict. A. myrtifolia appears to maintain a generalized mutualism over a wide geographic range without the need for elaborate adaptations to resolve ant-pollinator conflict. PMID:25571873

  13. Adding Perches for Cross-Pollination Ensures the Reproduction of a Self-Incompatible Orchid

    PubMed Central

    Li, Li-Qiang; Rao, Wen-Hui; Zhang, Yu-Ting; Tang, Guang-Da; Huang, Lai-Qiang

    2013-01-01

    Background Outcrossing is known to carry genetic advantages in comparison with inbreeding. In many cases, flowering plants develop a self-incompatibility mechanism, along with a floral component adaptation mechanism, to avoid self-pollination and to promote outbreeding. Orchids commonly have a lip in their flower that functions as the a visiting plate for insect pollinators. Aside from the lip, however, many species (including Coelogyne rigida) have sheaths around the axis of inflorescence. The function of these sheaths remains unknown, and has long been a puzzle to researchers. Methodology/Principal Findings We investigated the function of these sheaths in relation to the lip and the pollinators, as well as their role in the modes of pollination and reproduction of Coelogyne rigida in 30 flowering populations of orchids in the limestone area of Southeast Yunnan, China. We found that self-incompatible C. rigida developed specialized bird perches around the basal axis of inflorescence to attract sunbirds and to complement their behavioral tendency to change foraging locations frequently. This self-incompatibility mechanism operates separately from the floral component adaptation mechanism. This mechanism thus prevents bees from repeatedly visiting the floral lip of the same plant which, in turn, results in autogamy. In this way, instead of preventing autogamy, C. rigida responds to these negative effects through a highly efficient cross-pollination method that successfully transfers pollen to different plants. Conclusions The proposed method ensures reproductive success, while offsetting the infertile self-pollination by insects, thereby reducing mating costs and addressing the lack of cross-pollination. The adaptation provides a novel and striking example of structural adaptation that promotes cross-pollination in angiosperms. PMID:23308277

  14. Poor correlation between the removal or deposition of pollen grains and frequency of pollinator contact with sex organs

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Sakamoto, Ryota L.; Morinaga, Shin-Ichi

    2013-09-01

    Pollinators deposit pollen grains on stigmas and remove pollen grains from anthers. The mechanics of these transfers can now be quantified with the use of high-speed video. We videoed hawkmoths, carpenter bees, and swallowtail butterflies pollinating Clerodendrum trichotomum. The number of grains deposited on stigmas did not vary significantly with the number of times pollinators contacted stigmas. In contrast, pollen removal from the anthers increased significantly with the number of contacts to anthers. Pollen removal varied among the three types of pollinators. Also, the three types carried pollen on different parts of their bodies. In hawkmoths and carpenter bees, a large number of contacted body part with anthers differed significantly from the body part that attached a large number of pollen grains. Our results indicate that a large number of contacts by pollinators does not increase either the male or female reproductive success of plants compared to a small number of contacts during a visit.

  15. Poor correlation between the removal or deposition of pollen grains and frequency of pollinator contact with sex organs.

    PubMed

    Sakamoto, Ryota L; Morinaga, Shin-Ichi

    2013-09-01

    Pollinators deposit pollen grains on stigmas and remove pollen grains from anthers. The mechanics of these transfers can now be quantified with the use of high-speed video. We videoed hawkmoths, carpenter bees, and swallowtail butterflies pollinating Clerodendrum trichotomum. The number of grains deposited on stigmas did not vary significantly with the number of times pollinators contacted stigmas. In contrast, pollen removal from the anthers increased significantly with the number of contacts to anthers. Pollen removal varied among the three types of pollinators. Also, the three types carried pollen on different parts of their bodies. In hawkmoths and carpenter bees, a large number of contacted body part with anthers differed significantly from the body part that attached a large number of pollen grains. Our results indicate that a large number of contacts by pollinators does not increase either the male or female reproductive success of plants compared to a small number of contacts during a visit. PMID:23928839

  16. The impact of distinct insect pollinators on the movement of genes via pollen

    Technology Transfer Automated Retrieval System (TEKTRAN)

    Differences in the foraging behavior and grooming patterns of pollinators can influence the patterns of gene dispersal and the resulting genetic structure of plant populations. Bumblebees groom and are thought to visit nearest neighbor plants, behaviors which are both expected to generate more local...

  17. Local adaptation: Mechanical fit between floral ecotypes of Nerine humilis (Amaryllidaceae) and pollinator communities.

    PubMed

    Newman, Ethan; Manning, John; Anderson, Bruce

    2015-09-01

    Geographic variation in floral morphology is often assumed to reflect geographic variation in pollinator communities and associated divergence in selective pressures. We studied populations of Nerine humilis (Amaryllidaceae) to assess whether geographic variation in floral form is the result of local adaptation to different pollinator communities. We first tested for associations between floral traits and visitor communities, and found that populations with similar floral morphologies were visited by similar insect communities. Mean style length in each population was also closely associated with the mean body length of the local visitor community. A reciprocal translocation experiment demonstrated that native phenotypes set more seed than translocated phenotypes. Single visitation experiments showed that native flowers received more pollen, and set more seed per visit, than introduced phenotypes in both populations. This suggests that the effectiveness of pollinator visits is determined by the degree of mechanical fit between flowers and visitors. We provide strong evidence that the observed among-population variation in floral traits is an adaptive response to geographic variation in the pollinator community. PMID:26194119

  18. Pollinator-mediated competition between two co-flowering Neotropical mangrove species, Avicennia germinans (Avicenniaceae) and Laguncularia racemosa (Combretaceae)

    PubMed Central

    Landry, C. L.

    2013-01-01

    Background and Aims Three ecological relationships are possible between co-flowering plant species; they may have no effect on one another, compete for pollination services, or facilitate one another by attracting more pollinators to the area. In this study, the pollinator-mediated relationship between two mangrove species with overlapping flowering phenologies was investigated in one south Florida community. Methods Pollinator observations were recorded between 0900 h and 1700 h during June and July, 2008–2010. Insect visitation rates to Avicennia germinans and Laguncularia racemosa were estimated from 522 observation intervals of 10 min during three phenological time periods, when each species flowered alone and when they co-flowered. The number of timed intervals varied between years due to differences in flowering phenology, from four to 42 for A. germinans and from nine to 94 for L. racemosa. Key Results Avicennia germinans began flowering first in all years, and insect visitation rates were significantly greater to A. germinans than to L. racemosa (P<0·001). Flowers of both species received visits from bees, wasps, flies and butterflies; Apis mellifera was the most common floral visitor to both species. Visitation rates to L. racemosa increased significantly when A. germinans stopped flowering (P<0·001). However, there was no significant change in visitation rates to A. germinans after L. racemosa began flowering (P=0·628). Conclusions When they co-flowered, A. germinans outcompeted L. racemosa for pollinators. Laguncularia racemosa hermaphrodites self-pollinate autogamously when not visited by insects, so reduced visitation to L. racemosa flowers reduced the frequency of outcrossing and increased the frequency of selfing. Reduced outcrossing limits male reproductive success in this androdioecious species, which could lead to changes in the breeding system. The degree of overlap in flowering phenologies varied between years, so the effect on the mating

  19. Evolution and diversity of floral scent chemistry in the euglossine bee-pollinated orchid genus Gongora

    PubMed Central

    Hetherington-Rauth, Molly C.; Ramírez, Santiago R.

    2016-01-01

    •Background and Aims Animal-pollinated angiosperms have evolved a variety of signalling mechanisms to attract pollinators. Floral scent is a key component of pollinator attraction, and its chemistry modulates both pollinator behaviour and the formation of plant–pollinator networks. The neotropical orchid genus Gongora exhibits specialized pollinator associations with male orchid bees (Euglossini). Male bees visit orchid flowers to collect volatile chemical compounds that they store in hind-leg pouches to use subsequently during courtship display. Hence, Gongora floral scent compounds simultaneously serve as signalling molecules and pollinator rewards. Furthermore, because floral scent acts as the predominant reproductive isolating barrier among lineages, it has been hypothesized that chemical traits are highly species specific. A comparative analysis of intra- and inter-specific variation of floral scent chemistry was conducted to investigate the evolutionary patterns across the genus. •Methods Gas chromatography–mass spectrometry (GC-MS) was used to analyse the floral scent of 78 individuals belonging to 28 different species of Gongora from two of the three major lineages sampled across the neotropical region. Multidimensional scaling and indicator value analyses were implemented to investigate the patterns of chemical diversity within and among taxonomic groups at various geographic scales. Additionally, pollinator observations were conducted on a sympatric community of Gongora orchids exhibiting distinct floral scent phenotypes. •Key Results A total of 83 floral volatiles, mainly terpenes and aromatic compounds, were detected. Many of the identified compounds are common across diverse angiosperm families (e.g. cineole, eugenol, β-ocimene, β-pinene and terpinen-4-ol), while others are relatively rare outside euglossine bee-pollinated orchid lineages. Additionally, 29 volatiles were identified that are known to attract and elicit collection behaviour

  20. The diversity and abundance of small arthropods in onion, Allium cepa, seed crops, and their potential role in pollination.

    PubMed

    Walker, M K; Howlett, B G; Wallace, A R; McCallum, J A; Teulon, D A J

    2011-01-01

    Onion, Allium cepa L. (Asparagales: Amaryllidaceae), crop fields grown for seed production require arthropod pollination for adequate seed yield. Although many arthropod species visit A. cepa flowers, for most there is little information on their role as pollinators. Small flower visiting arthropods (body width < 3 mm) in particular are rarely assessed. A survey of eight flowering commercial A. cepa seed fields in the North and South Islands of New Zealand using window traps revealed that small arthropods were highly abundant among all except one field. Insects belonging to the orders Diptera and Thysanoptera were the most abundant and Hymenoptera, Collembola, Psocoptera, Hemiptera, and Coleoptera were also present. To test whether small arthropods might contribute to pollination, seed sets from umbels caged within 3 mm diameter mesh cages were compared with similarly caged, hand-pollinated umbels and uncaged umbels. Caged umbels that were not hand-pollinated set significantly fewer seeds (average eight seeds/umbel, n = 10) than caged hand-pollinated umbels (average 146 seeds/umbel) and uncaged umbels (average 481 seeds/umbel). Moreover, sticky traps placed on umbels within cages captured similar numbers of small arthropods as sticky traps placed on uncaged umbels, suggesting cages did not inhibit the movement of small arthropods to umbels. Therefore, despite the high abundance of small arthropods within fields, evidence to support their role as significant pollinators of commercial A. cepa seed crops was not found. PMID:22208869

  1. The Diversity and Abundance of Small Arthropods in Onion, Allium cepa, Seed Crops, and their Potential Role in Pollination

    PubMed Central

    Walker, M. K.; Howlett, B. G.; Wallace, A. R.; Mccallum, J. A.; Teulon, D. A. J.

    2011-01-01

    Onion, Allium cepa L. (Asparagales: Amaryllidaceae), crop fields grown for seed production require arthropod pollination for adequate seed yield. Although many arthropod species visit A. cepa flowers, for most there is little information on their role as pollinators. Small flower visiting arthropods (body width < 3 mm) in particular are rarely assessed. A survey of eight flowering commercial A. cepa seed fields in the North and South Islands of New Zealand using window traps revealed that small arthropods were highly abundant among all except one field. Insects belonging to the orders Diptera and Thysanoptera were the most abundant and Hymenoptera, Collembola, Psocoptera, Hemiptera, and Coleoptera were also present. To test whether small arthropods might contribute to pollination, seed sets from umbels caged within 3 mm diameter mesh cages were compared with similarly caged, hand-pollinated umbels and uncaged umbels. Caged umbels that were not hand-pollinated set significantly fewer seeds (average eight seeds/umbel, n = 10) than caged hand-pollinated umbels (average 146 seeds/umbel) and uncaged umbels (average 481 seeds/umbel). Moreover, sticky traps placed on umbels within cages captured similar numbers of small arthropods as sticky traps placed on uncaged umbels, suggesting cages did not inhibit the movement of small arthropods to umbels. Therefore, despite the high abundance of small arthropods within fields, evidence to support their role as significant pollinators of commercial A. cepa seed crops was not found. PMID:22208869

  2. Nectar yeasts in the tall Larkspur Delphinium barbeyi (Ranunculaceae) and effects on components of pollinator foraging behavior.

    PubMed

    Schaeffer, Robert N; Phillips, Cody R; Duryea, M Catherine; Andicoechea, Jonathan; Irwin, Rebecca E

    2014-01-01

    Microorganisms frequently colonize the nectar of angiosperm species. Though capable of altering a suite of traits important for pollinator attraction, few studies exist that test the degree to which they mediate pollinator foraging behavior. The objective of our study was to fill this gap by assessing the abundance and diversity of yeasts associated with the perennial larkspur Delphinium barbeyi (Ranunculaceae) and testing whether their presence affected components of pollinator foraging behavior. Yeasts frequently colonized D. barbeyi nectar, populating 54-77% of flowers examined depending on site. Though common, the yeast community was species-poor, represented by a single species, Metschnikowia reukaufii. Female-phase flowers of D. barbeyi were more likely to have higher densities of yeasts in comparison to male-phase flowers. Pollinators were likely vectors of yeasts, as virgin (unvisited) flowers rarely contained yeasts compared to flowers open to pollinator visitation, which were frequently colonized. Finally, pollinators responded positively to the presence of yeasts. Bombus foragers both visited and probed more flowers inoculated with yeasts in comparison to uninoculated controls. Taken together, our results suggest that variation in the occurrence and density of nectar-inhabiting yeasts have the potential to alter components of pollinator foraging behavior linked to pollen transfer and plant fitness. PMID:25272164

  3. Decadal trends in the pollinator assemblage of Eucryphia cordifolia in Chilean rainforests.

    PubMed

    Smith-Ramírez, Cecilia; Ramos-Jiliberto, Rodrigo; Valdovinos, Fernanda S; Martínez, Paula; Castillo, Jessica A; Armesto, Juan J

    2014-09-01

    Long-term studies of plant-pollinator interactions are almost nonexistent in the scientific literature. The objective of the present study was to determine changes and trends in the pollinator assemblage of ulmo (Eucryphia cordifolia; Cunoniaceae), a canopy-emergent tree found in Chilean temperate rainforests. We assessed the temporal variability of the pollinator assemblage and identified possible modulators of the observed temporal shifts. We sampled insect visitors to the flowers of 16 individual trees of E. cordifolia during 10 consecutive flowering seasons (2000-2009), recording a total of 137 pollinator species with a mean number of species per year of 44. Only three pollinator species (2.2%) were recorded every year. Two bee species accounted for 50% of all insect visits to flowers. One bee species, Bombus dahlbomii (native), was dominant in one season, whereas Apis mellifera (exotic) dominated during the next season. These interannual shifts in population abundances presented first-order dynamics that were characterized by oscillations with a period of 2 years. Changes in the abundances of the dominant pollinators, as well as differences in temperature and precipitation during insect emergence and flowering, led to a nested temporal structure of pollinator composition. Furthermore, the abundances of less common pollinators were sensitive to the abundance of the dominant bee species and to monthly maximum temperatures and the average precipitation during spring and summer. Based on our results and those from other studies, we predict a decline in the numbers of Bombus dahlbomii and nondominant native pollinators in response to new exotic arrivals. PMID:25001339

  4. Site fidelity by bees drives pollination facilitation in sequentially blooming plant species.

    PubMed

    Ogilvie, Jane E; Thomson, James D

    2016-06-01

    Plant species can influence the pollination and reproductive success of coflowering neighbors that share pollinators. Because some individual pollinators habitually forage in particular areas, it is also possible that plant species could influence the pollination of neighbors that bloom later. When flowers of a preferred forage plant decline in an area, site-fidelity may cause individual flower feeders to stay in an area and switch plant species rather than search for preferred plants in a new location. A newly blooming plant species may quickly inherit a set of visitors from a prior plant species, and therefore experience higher pollination success than it would in an area where the first species never bloomed. To test this, we manipulated the placement and timing of two plant species, Delphinium barbeyi and later-blooming Gentiana parryi. We recorded the responses of individually marked bumble bee pollinators. About 63% of marked individuals returned repeatedly to the same areas to forage on Delphinium. When Delphinium was experimentally taken out of bloom, most of those site-faithful individuals (78%) stayed and switched to Gentiana. Consequently, Gentiana flowers received more visits in areas where Delphinium had previously flowered, compared to areas where Delphinium was still flowering or never occurred. Gentiana stigmas received more pollen in areas where Delphinium disappeared than where it never bloomed, indicating that Delphinium increases the pollination of Gentiana when they are separated in time. Overall, we show that individual bumble bees are often site-faithful, causing one plant species to increase the pollination of another even when separated in time, which is a novel mechanism of pollination facilitation. PMID:27459775

  5. Effects of non-native Melilotus albus on pollination and reproduction in two boreal shrubs.

    PubMed

    Spellman, Katie V; Schneller, Laura C; Mulder, Christa P H; Carlson, Matthew L

    2015-10-01

    The establishment of abundantly flowered, highly rewarding non-native plant species is expected to have strong consequences for native plants through altered pollination services, particularly in boreal forest where the flowering season is short and the pollinator pool is small. In 18 boreal forest sites, we added flowering Melilotus albus to some sites and left some sites as controls in 2 different years to test if the invasive plant influences the pollination and reproductive success of two co-flowering ericaceous species: Vaccinium vitis-idaea and Rhododendron groenlandicum. We found that M. albus increased the pollinator diversity and tended to increase visitation rates to the focal native plant species compared to control sites. Melilotus albus facilitated greater seed production per berry in V. vitis-idaea when we added 120 plants compared to when we added 40 plants or in control sites. In R. groenlandicum, increasing numbers of M. albus inflorescences lowered conspecific pollen loads and percentage of flowers pollinated; however, no differences in fruit set were detected. The number of M. albus inflorescences had greater importance in explaining R. groenlandicum pollination compared to other environmental variables such as weather and number of native flowers, and had greater importance in lower quality black spruce sites than in mixed deciduous and white spruce sites for explaining the percentage of V. vitis-idaea flowers pollinated. Our data suggest that the identity of new pollinators attracted to the invaded sites, degree of shared pollinators between invasive and native species, and variation in resource limitation among sites are likely determining factors in the reproductive responses of boreal native plants in the presence of an invasive. PMID:26071209

  6. Self-pollination rate and floral-display size in Asclepias syriaca (Common Milkweed) with regard to floral-visitor taxa

    PubMed Central

    2014-01-01

    Background Animals fertilize thousands of angiosperm species whose floral-display sizes can significantly influence pollinator behavior and plant reproductive success. Many studies have measured the interactions among pollinator behavior, floral-display size, and plant reproductive success, but few studies have been able to separate the effects of pollinator behavior and post-pollination processes on angiosperm sexual reproduction. In this study, we utilized the highly self-incompatible pollinium-pollination system of Asclepias syriaca (Common Milkweed) to quantify how insect visitors influenced male reproductive success measured as pollen removal, female reproductive success measured as pollen deposition, and self-pollination rate. We also determined how floral-display size impacts both visitor behavior and self-pollination rate. Results Four insect taxonomic orders visited A. syriaca: Coleoptera, Diptera, Hymenoptera, and Lepidoptera. We focused on three groups of visitor taxa within two orders (Hymenoptera and Lepidoptera) with sample sizes large enough for quantitative analysis: Apis mellifera (Western Honey Bee), Bombus spp. (bumble bees) and lepidopterans (butterflies and moths). Qualitatively, lepidopterans had the highest pollinator importance values, but the large variability in the lepidopteran data precluded meaningful interpretation of much of their behavior. The introduced A. mellifera was the most effective and most important diurnal pollinator with regard to both pollen removal and pollen deposition. However, when considering the self-incompatibility of A. syriaca, A. mellifera was not the most important pollinator because of its high self-pollination rate as compared to Bombus spp. Additionally, the rate of self-pollination increased more rapidly with the number of flowers per inflorescence in A. mellifera than in the native Bombus spp. Conclusions Apis mellifera’s high rate of self-pollination may have significant negative effects on both male

  7. Managing honey bees (Hymenoptera: Apidae) for greenhouse tomato pollination.

    PubMed

    Sabara, Holly A; Winston, Mark L

    2003-06-01

    Although commercially reared colonies of bumble bees (Bombus sp.) are the primary pollinator world-wide for greenhouse tomatoes (Lycopersicon esculentum Mill.) previous research indicates that honey bees (Apis mellifera L.) might be a feasible alternative or supplement to bumble bee pollination. However, management methods for honey bee greenhouse tomato pollination scarcely have been explored. We 1) tested the effect of initial amounts of brood on colony population size and flight activity in screened greenhouses during the winter, and 2) compared foraging from colonies with brood used within screened and unscreened greenhouses during the summer. Brood rearing was maintained at low levels in both brood and no-brood colonies after 21 d during the winter, and emerging honey bees from both treatments had significantly lower weights than bees from outdoor colonies. Honey bee flight activity throughout the day and over the 21 d in the greenhouse was not influenced by initial brood level. In our summer experiment, brood production in screened greenhouses neared zero after 21 d but higher levels of brood were reared in unscreened greenhouses with access to outside forage. Flower visitation measured throughout the day and over the 21 d the colonies were in the greenhouse was not influenced by screening treatment. An economic analysis indicated that managing honey bees for greenhouse tomato pollination would be financially viable for both beekeepers and growers. We conclude that honey bees can be successfully managed for greenhouse tomato pollination in both screened and unscreened greenhouses if the foraging force is maintained by replacing colonies every 3 wk. PMID:12852587

  8. A quantitative review of pollination syndromes: do floral traits predict effective pollinators?

    PubMed

    Rosas-Guerrero, Víctor; Aguilar, Ramiro; Martén-Rodríguez, Silvana; Ashworth, Lorena; Lopezaraiza-Mikel, Martha; Bastida, Jesús M; Quesada, Mauricio

    2014-03-01

    The idea of pollination syndromes has been largely discussed but no formal quantitative evaluation has yet been conducted across angiosperms. We present the first systematic review of pollination syndromes that quantitatively tests whether the most effective pollinators for a species can be inferred from suites of floral traits for 417 plant species. Our results support the syndrome concept, indicating that convergent floral evolution is driven by adaptation to the most effective pollinator group. The predictability of pollination syndromes is greater in pollinator-dependent species and in plants from tropical regions. Many plant species also have secondary pollinators that generally correspond to the ancestral pollinators documented in evolutionary studies. We discuss the utility and limitations of pollination syndromes and the role of secondary pollinators to understand floral ecology and evolution. PMID:24393294

  9. Bee Pollination in Agricultural Eco-Systems

    Technology Transfer Automated Retrieval System (TEKTRAN)

    For many agricultural crops, bees play a vital role as pollinators, and this book discusses the interplay between bees, agriculture and the environment. Although honey bees are well recognized as pollinators, managed bumble bees and solitary bees are also critical for the successful pollination of c...

  10. Fruit set of highland coffee increases with the diversity of pollinating bees.

    PubMed Central

    Klein, Alexandra-Maria; Steffan-Dewenter, Ingolf; Tscharntke, Teja

    2003-01-01

    The worldwide decline of pollinators may negatively affect the fruit set of wild and cultivated plants. Here, we show that fruit set of the self-fertilizing highland coffee (Coffea arabica) is highly variable and related to bee pollination. In a comparison of 24 agroforestry systems in Indonesia, the fruit set of coffee could be predicted by the number of flower-visiting bee species, and it ranged from ca. 60% (three species) to 90% (20 species). Diversity, not abundance, explained variation in fruit set, so the collective role of a species-rich bee community was important for pollination success. Additional experiments showed that single flower visits from rare solitary species led to higher fruit set than with abundant social species. Pollinator diversity was affected by two habitat parameters indicating guild-specific nesting requirements: the diversity of social bees decreased with forest distance, whereas the diversity of solitary bees increased with light intensity of the agroforestry systems. These results give empirical evidence for a positive relationship between ecosystem functions such as pollination and biodiversity. Conservation of rainforest adjacent to adequately managed agroforestry systems could improve the yields of farmers. PMID:12803911