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Sample records for pollinator visits leaf

  1. 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

  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. 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

  4. 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

  5. Floral acoustics: conspicuous echoes of a dish-shaped leaf attract bat pollinators.

    PubMed

    Simon, Ralph; Holderied, Marc W; Koch, Corinna U; von Helversen, Otto

    2011-07-29

    The visual splendor of many diurnal flowers serves to attract visually guided pollinators such as bees and birds, but it remains to be seen whether bat-pollinated flowers have evolved analogous echo-acoustic signals to lure their echolocating pollinators. Here, we demonstrate how an unusual dish-shaped leaf displayed above the inflorescences of the vine Marcgravia evenia attracts bat pollinators. Specifically, this leaf's echoes fulfilled requirements for an effective beacon, that is, they were strong, multidirectional, and had a recognizable invariant echo signature. In behavioral experiments, presence of the leaves halved foraging time for flower-visiting bats.

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

    PubMed

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

    2014-06-01

    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.

  7. 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

  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. 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

  10. 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

  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. 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.

  13. 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

  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.

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

    Technology Transfer Automated Retrieval System (TEKTRAN)

    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. We examined flowering dynamics, polli...

  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. 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

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

    PubMed

    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

    2015-03-22

    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 km(2)) 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.

  20. 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

  1. 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.

  2. 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

  3. 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

  4. 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.

  5. 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

  6. 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

  7. 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

  8. 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

  9. Pollination biology of fruit-bearing hedgerow plants and the role of flower-visiting insects in fruit-set

    PubMed Central

    Jacobs, Jennifer H.; Clark, Suzanne J.; Denholm, Ian; Goulson, Dave; Stoate, Chris; Osborne, Juliet L.

    2009-01-01

    Background and Aims In the UK, the flowers of fruit-bearing hedgerow plants provide a succession of pollen and nectar for flower-visiting insects for much of the year. The fruits of hedgerow plants are a source of winter food for frugivorous birds on farmland. It is unclear whether recent declines in pollinator populations are likely to threaten fruit-set and hence food supply for birds. The present study investigates the pollination biology of five common hedgerow plants: blackthorn (Prunus spinosa), hawthorn (Crataegus monogyna), dog rose (Rosa canina), bramble (Rubus fruticosus) and ivy (Hedera helix). Methods The requirement for insect pollination was investigated initially by excluding insects from flowers by using mesh bags and comparing immature and mature fruit-set with those of open-pollinated flowers. Those plants that showed a requirement for insect pollination were then tested to compare fruit-set under two additional pollination service scenarios: (1) reduced pollination, with insects excluded from flowers bagged for part of the flowering period, and (2) supplemental pollination, with flowers hand cross-pollinated to test for pollen limitation. Key Results The proportions of flowers setting fruit in blackthorn, hawthorn and ivy were significantly reduced when insects were excluded from flowers by using mesh bags, whereas fruit-set in bramble and dog rose were unaffected. Restricting the exposure of flowers to pollinators had no significant effect on fruit-set. However, blackthorn and hawthorn were found to be pollen-limited, suggesting that the pollination service was inadequate in the study area. Conclusions Ensuring strong populations of insect pollinators may be essential to guarantee a winter fruit supply for birds in UK hedgerows. PMID:19770165

  10. 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

  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. 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

    Phillips, Benjamin W; Gardiner, Mary M

    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.

  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. Leaf morphology and ozone sensitivity of two open pollinated genotypes of black cherry (Prunus serotina) seedlings.

    PubMed

    Ferdinand, J A; Fredericksen, T S; Kouterick, K B; Skelly, J M

    2000-05-01

    Two black cherry families differing in sensitivity to ozone (O(3)) were used to test the hypothesis that leaf morphology is related to foliar sensitivity to O(3). Two uninjured sections of leaf tissue were sampled from a single leaf collected from each of 12 open-grown O(3)-tolerant and 12 O(3)-sensitive seedlings. Standard histological techniques and light microscopy were used to examine 11 morphological characteristics. The O(3)-sensitive genotype had significantly greater stomatal density, thinner palisade mesophyll layer and thicker spongy mesophyll layer, lower ratio of palisade to spongy mesophyll, greater leaf weight and leaf area. In addition, total leaf thickness, guard cell length, and specific leaf mass were also slightly greater for the O(3)-sensitive genotype.

  17. Leaf morphology and ozone sensitivity of two open pollinated genotypes of black cherry (Prunus serotina) seedlings.

    PubMed

    Ferdinand, J A; Fredericksen, T S; Kouterick, K B; Skelly, J M

    2000-05-01

    Two black cherry families differing in sensitivity to ozone (O(3)) were used to test the hypothesis that leaf morphology is related to foliar sensitivity to O(3). Two uninjured sections of leaf tissue were sampled from a single leaf collected from each of 12 open-grown O(3)-tolerant and 12 O(3)-sensitive seedlings. Standard histological techniques and light microscopy were used to examine 11 morphological characteristics. The O(3)-sensitive genotype had significantly greater stomatal density, thinner palisade mesophyll layer and thicker spongy mesophyll layer, lower ratio of palisade to spongy mesophyll, greater leaf weight and leaf area. In addition, total leaf thickness, guard cell length, and specific leaf mass were also slightly greater for the O(3)-sensitive genotype. PMID:15092960

  18. 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

  19. 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.

  20. Intraspecific Combinations of Flower and Leaf Volatiles Act Together in Attracting Hawkmoth Pollinators

    PubMed Central

    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

  1. 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

  2. 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.

  3. 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

  4. 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.

  5. Pollination crisis in the butterfly-pollinated wild carnation Dianthus carthusianorum?

    PubMed

    Bloch, Daniel; Werdenberg, Niels; Erhardt, Andreas

    2006-01-01

    Knowledge of pollination services provided by flower visitors is a prerequisite for understanding (co)evolutionary processes between plants and their pollinators, for evaluating the degree of specialization in the pollination system, and for assessing threats from a potential pollination crisis. This study examined pollination efficiency and visitation frequency of pollinators--key traits of pollinator-mediated fecundity--in a natural population of the wild carnation Dianthus carthusianorum. The five lepidopteran pollinator species observed differed in pollination efficiency and visitation frequency. Pollinator importance, the product of pollination efficiency and visitation frequency, was determined by the pollinator's visitation frequency. Pollination of D. carthusianorum depended essentially on only two of the five recorded pollinator species. Seed set was pollen-limited and followed a saturating dose-response function with a threshold of c. 50 deposited pollen grains for fruit development. Our results confirm that D. carthusianorum is specialized to lepidopteran pollinators, but is not particularly adapted to the two main pollinator species identified. The local persistence of D. carthusianorum is likely to be at risk as its reproduction depends essentially on only two of the locally abundant, but generally vulnerable, butterfly species.

  6. 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

  7. 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.

  8. 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

  9. 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.

  10. Diverse pollinator communities enhance plant reproductive success

    PubMed Central

    Albrecht, Matthias; Schmid, Bernhard; Hautier, Yann; Müller, Christine B.

    2012-01-01

    Understanding the functional consequences of biodiversity loss is a major goal of ecology. Animal-mediated pollination is an essential ecosystem function and service provided to mankind. However, little is known how pollinator diversity could affect pollination services. Using a substitutive design, we experimentally manipulated functional group (FG) and species richness of pollinator communities to investigate their consequences on the reproductive success of an obligate out-crossing model plant species, Raphanus sativus. Both fruit and seed set increased with pollinator FG richness. Furthermore, seed set increased with species richness in pollinator communities composed of a single FG. However, in multiple-FG communities, highest species richness resulted in slightly reduced pollination services compared with intermediate species richness. Our analysis indicates that the presence of social bees, which showed roughly four times higher visitation rates than solitary bees or hoverflies, was an important factor contributing to the positive pollinator diversity–pollination service relationship, in particular, for fruit set. Visitation rate at different daytimes, and less so among flower heights, varied among social bees, solitary bees and hoverflies, indicating a niche complementarity among these pollinator groups. Our study demonstrates enhanced pollination services of diverse pollinator communities at the plant population level and suggests that both the niche complementarity and the presence of specific taxa in a pollinator community drive this positive relationship. PMID:23034701

  11. Pollination by flies, bees, and beetles of Nuphar ozarkana and N. advena (Nymphaeaceae).

    PubMed

    Lippok, B; Gardine, A A; Williamson, P S; Renner, S S

    2000-06-01

    Nuphar comprises 13 species of aquatic perennials distributed in the temperate Northern Hemisphere. The European species N. lutea and N. pumila in Norway, the Netherlands, and Germany are pollinated by bees and flies, including apparent Nuphar specialists. This contrasts with reports of predominant beetle pollination in American N. advena and N. polysepala. We studied pollination in N. ozarkana in Missouri and N. advena in Texas to assess whether (1) there is evidence of pollinator shifts associated with floral-morphological differences between Old World and New World species as hypothesized by Padgett, Les, and Crow (American Journal of Botany 86: 1316-1324. 1999) and (2) whether beetle pollination characterizes American species of Nuphar. Ninety-seven and 67% of flower visits in the two species were by sweat bees, especially Lasioglossum (Evylaeus) nelumbonis. Syrphid fly species visiting both species were Paragus sp., Chalcosyrphus metallicus, and Toxomerus geminatus. The long-horned leaf beetle Donacia piscatrix was common on leaves and stems of N. ozarkana but rarely visited flowers. Fifteen percent of visits to N. advena flowers were by D. piscatrix and D. texana. The beetles' role as pollinators was investigated experimentally by placing floating mesh cages that excluded flies and bees over N. advena buds about to open and adding beetles. Beetles visited 40% of the flowers in cages, and flowers that received visits had 69% seed set, likely due to beetle-mediated geitonogamy of 1st-d flowers. Experimentally outcrossed 1st-d flowers had 62% seed set, and open-pollinated flowers 76%; 2nd-d selfed or outcrossed flowers had low seed sets (9 and 12%, respectively). Flowers are strongly protogynous and do not self spontaneously. Flowers shielded from pollinators set no seeds. A comparison of pollinator spectra in the two Old World and three New World Nuphar species studied so far suggests that the relative contribution of flies, bees, and beetles to pollen transfer

  12. 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

  13. 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

  14. 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.

  15. [Entomophilic pollination of squash, Cucurbita moschata (Cucurbitaceae)].

    PubMed

    Serra, Bruna D V; Campos, Lucio A de O

    2010-01-01

    The objectives of this work were to determine the squash entomofauna in the region of Viçosa, Minas Gerais state, to study their behavior on flowers and their importance for pollination, verifying the role of each pollinator. The most common species were Trigona spinipes (Fabricius), Trigona hyalinata (Lepeletier), Apis mellifera (L.) and Melipona quadrifasciata (Lepeletier). The visitation behavior of A. mellifera, M. quadrifasciata, and Bombus morio (Swederus) were similar. They visited flowers for nectar collection, positioning themselves vertically between the corolla and the sexual structures of the flowers, with the back directed toward the floral axis, which permitted the removal of pollen from the anthers of flowers with stamens and its deposition on the stigma of flowers with pistils, being considered therefore effective pollinators. Trigona spinipes and T. hyalinata foraged in groups, preventing other species from landing on the flowers which they occupied. Due to their small body size and only infrequent contact with the sexual structures of the flowers, these species are considered occasional pollinators. The number of fruits produced differed between freely visited flowers, those prevented from receiving visits and those visited only a single time by M. quadrifasciata, B. morio, A. mellifera, T. hyalinata or T. spinipes. Flowers prevented from receiving visits or visited only once by T. spinipes did not produce fruits. The remaining pollination systems led to fruitification, with open pollination or a single visit from either M. quadrifasciata or B. morio leading to most fruit production.

  16. 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.

  17. 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

  18. 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...

  19. 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

  20. 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

  1. 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.

  2. 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.

  3. [Pollination biology of Fritillaria delavayi].

    PubMed

    Gao, Yong-Qian; Zhang, Li-Xuan; Wang, Ming-Run; Song, Bo

    2014-05-01

    In this study, the processes of pollination ecology of Fritillaria delavayi were investigated to document its reproductive characteristics. Some individuals of F. delavayi could produce seeds under bagging without emasculation (11%), but the rate was significantly lower than that of the natural control (87%). It is suggesting that pollination of F. delavayi largely depends on pollen vectors. Bombus sushikini was the only effective pollinator of F. delavayi and the visitation frequency was 0.003 time xXflower(-1) x min(-1). Flowering of F. delavayi in whole population lasted for 35 d and single flower for 11 d. Pollen viability and stigma receptivity lasted for 9 d and were relatively long compared with other Fritillaria genus plants. Consequently, bumblebee pollination and long floral longevity seem to be important for reproductive assurance of F. delavayi in harsh alpine environments.

  4. Bird pollination of Canary Island endemic plants.

    PubMed

    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.

  5. 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.

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

    PubMed

    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.

  7. 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

  8. 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

  9. 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

  10. 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.

  11. 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.

  12. 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

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

    PubMed

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

    2015-08-17

    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

  14. 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

  15. Attracting pollinators and avoiding herbivores: insects influence plant traits within and across years.

    PubMed

    Buchanan, Amanda Lynn; Underwood, Nora

    2013-10-01

    Perennial plants interact with herbivores and pollinators across multiple growing seasons, and thus may respond to herbivores and pollinators both within and across years. Joint effects of herbivores and pollinators influence plant traits, but while some of the potential interactions among herbivory, pollination, plant size, and plant reproductive traits have been well studied, others are poorly understood. This is particularly true for perennial plants where effects of herbivores and pollinators may manifest across years. Here, we describe two experiments addressing the reciprocal interactions of plant traits with herbivore damage and pollination across 2 years using the perennial plant Chamerion angustifolium. We measured (1) plant responses to manipulation of damage and pollination in the year of treatment and the subsequent season, (2) damage and pollination responses to manipulation of plant size and flowering traits in the year of treatment, and (3) plant-mediated indirect interactions between herbivores and pollinators. We found that plant traits had little effect on damage and pollination, but damage and pollination affected plant traits in both the treatment year and the subsequent year. We found evidence of indirect effects between leaf herbivores and pollinators in both directions; indirect effects of pollinators on leaf herbivores have not been previously demonstrated. Our results indicate that pollen receipt results in shorter plants with fewer stems but does not change flower number, while leaf herbivory results in taller plants with fewer flowers. Together, herbivory and pollination may contribute to intermediate plant height and plants with fewer stems and flowers in our system.

  16. Attracting pollinators and avoiding herbivores: insects influence plant traits within and across years.

    PubMed

    Buchanan, Amanda Lynn; Underwood, Nora

    2013-10-01

    Perennial plants interact with herbivores and pollinators across multiple growing seasons, and thus may respond to herbivores and pollinators both within and across years. Joint effects of herbivores and pollinators influence plant traits, but while some of the potential interactions among herbivory, pollination, plant size, and plant reproductive traits have been well studied, others are poorly understood. This is particularly true for perennial plants where effects of herbivores and pollinators may manifest across years. Here, we describe two experiments addressing the reciprocal interactions of plant traits with herbivore damage and pollination across 2 years using the perennial plant Chamerion angustifolium. We measured (1) plant responses to manipulation of damage and pollination in the year of treatment and the subsequent season, (2) damage and pollination responses to manipulation of plant size and flowering traits in the year of treatment, and (3) plant-mediated indirect interactions between herbivores and pollinators. We found that plant traits had little effect on damage and pollination, but damage and pollination affected plant traits in both the treatment year and the subsequent year. We found evidence of indirect effects between leaf herbivores and pollinators in both directions; indirect effects of pollinators on leaf herbivores have not been previously demonstrated. Our results indicate that pollen receipt results in shorter plants with fewer stems but does not change flower number, while leaf herbivory results in taller plants with fewer flowers. Together, herbivory and pollination may contribute to intermediate plant height and plants with fewer stems and flowers in our system. PMID:23456243

  17. 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

  18. 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.

  19. 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

  20. 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.

  1. 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

  2. Competition for pollinators and intra-communal spectral dissimilarity of flowers.

    PubMed

    van der Kooi, C J; Pen, I; Staal, M; Stavenga, D G; Elzenga, J T M

    2016-01-01

    Competition for pollinators occurs when, in a community of flowering plants, several simultaneously flowering plant species depend on the same pollinator. Competition for pollinators increases interspecific pollen transfer rates, thereby reducing the number of viable offspring. In order to decrease interspecific pollen transfer, plant species can distinguish themselves from competitors by having a divergent phenotype. Floral colour is an important signalling cue to attract potential pollinators and thus a major aspect of the flower phenotype. In this study, we analysed the amount of spectral dissimilarity of flowers among pollinator-competing plants in a Dutch nature reserve. We expected pollinator-competing plants to exhibit more spectral dissimilarity than non-competing plants. Using flower visitation data of 2 years, we determined the amount of competition for pollinators by different plant species. Plant species that were visited by the same pollinator were considered specialist and competing for that pollinator, whereas plant species visited by a broad array of pollinators were considered non-competing generalists. We used principal components analysis to quantify floral reflectance, and found evidence for enhanced spectral dissimilarity among plant species within specialist pollinator guilds (i.e. groups of plant species competing for the same pollinator). This is the first study that examined intra-communal dissimilarity in floral reflectance with a focus on the pollination system.

  3. 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.

  4. 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.

  5. 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

  6. 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.

  7. 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

  8. Botany: specialized bird perch aids cross-pollination.

    PubMed

    Anderson, Bruce; Cole, William W; Barrett, Spencer C H

    2005-05-01

    Birds may hover over or perch on flowers when feeding on nectar, and this assists cross-pollination if they then visit other plants. Here we investigate the curious sterile inflorescence axis of the South African Cape endemic 'rat's tail' plant (Babiana ringens, Iridaceae), whose function--unlike in other bird-pollinated plants--is exclusively to provide a perch for foraging birds. We find that this structure promotes the plant's mating success by causing the malachite sunbird (Nectarinia famosa), its main pollinator, to adopt a position ideal for the cross-pollination of its unusual ground-level flowers.

  9. 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

  10. 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.

  11. 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

  12. Pollination ecology of Agave macroacantha (Agavaceae) in a Mexican tropical desert. II. The role of pollinators.

    PubMed

    Arizaga, S; Ezcurra, E; Peters, E; de Arellano, F R; Vega, E

    2000-07-01

    We did a series of observational studies and manipulative experiments on the guild of nocturnal visitors of Agave macroacantha, including (1) a description of the hourly patterns of visits by moths and bats, (2) an evaluation of the relative contribution of bats and moths to flowering success, and (3) an evaluation of the pollination efficiency of the different bat species. Scapes exposed to moths but excluded to bats yielded ∼50% fewer fruits than those exposed to both pollinator groups. Flowers exposed to the bat species Leptonycteris curasoae showed similar fruiting success to those exposed to Choeronycteris mexicana and to those exposed to the whole nocturnal visitor guild. However, the fruits originated from flowers pollinated by Leptonycteris curasoae yielded significantly more seed than those exposed to Choeronycteris mexicana or to the whole pollinator guild. It is concluded that Agave macroacantha is extremely dependent on nocturnal pollinators for its reproductive success and that bats are especially important for successful pollination. Some of these pollinators are migratory and have been reported to be steadily declining. A continuing decline in the populations of pollinators may impede the successful sexual reproduction of the plant host and may put the long-term survival of this agave species under risk.

  13. 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

  14. 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

  15. Selection by Pollinators on Floral Traits in Generalized Trollius ranunculoides (Ranunculaceae) along Altitudinal Gradients

    PubMed Central

    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

  16. Plant-pollinator interactions in New Caledonia influenced by introduced honey bees.

    PubMed

    Kato, Makoto; Kawakita, Atsushi

    2004-11-01

    The flora of New Caledonia is characterized by remarkably high species diversity, high endemicity, and an unusual abundance of archaic plant taxa. To investigate community-level pollination mutualism in this endemic ecosystem, we observed flower visitors on 99 plant species in 42 families of various types of vegetation. Among the 95 native plant species, the most dominant pollination system was melittophily (bee-pollinated, 46.3%), followed by phalaenophily (moth-pollinated, 20.0%), ornithophily (bird-pollinated, 11.6%), cantharophily (beetle-pollinated, 8.4%), myophily (fly-pollinated, 3.2%), chiropterophily (bat-pollinated, 3.2%), and anemophily (wind-pollinated, 3.2%). The prevalence of ornithophily by honeyeaters shows an ecological link to pollination mutualism in Australia. The relative dominance of phalaenophily is unique to New Caledonia, and is proposed to be related to the low diversity of the original bee fauna and the absence of long-tongued bees. Although some archaic plants maintain archaic plant-pollinator interactions, e.g., Zygogynum pollinated by micropterigid moths, or Hedycarya pollinated by thrips and staphylinid beetles, the most dominant organism observed on flowers was the introduced honey bee, Apis mellifera. The plant species now visited by honey bees are thought to have originally been pollinated by native solitary short-tongued bees. Our data suggest that the unique systems of pollination mutualism in New Caledonia are now endangered by the establishment of highly invasive honey bees.

  17. Change of floral orientation within an inflorescence affects pollinator behavior and pollination efficiency in a bee-pollinated plant, Corydalis sheareri.

    PubMed

    Wang, Hui; Tie, Shuang; Yu, Dan; Guo, You-Hao; Yang, Chun-Feng

    2014-01-01

    Vertical raceme or spike inflorescences that are bee-pollinated tend to present their flowers horizontally. Horizontal presentation of flowers is hypothesized to enhance pollinator recognition and pollination precision, and it may also ensure greater consistency of pollinator movement on inflorescences. We tested the hypotheses using bee-pollinated Corydalis sheareri which has erect inflorescences consisting of flowers with horizontal orientation. We altered the orientation of individual flowers and prepared three types of inflorescences: (i) unmanipulated inflorescences with horizontal-facing flowers, (ii) inflorescences with flowers turned upward, and (iii) inflorescences with flowers turned downward. We compared number of inflorescences approached and visited, number of successive probes within an inflorescence, the direction percentage of vertical movement on inflorescences, efficiency of pollen removal and seed production per inflorescence. Deviation from horizontal orientation decreased both approaches and visits by leafcutter bees and bumble bees to inflorescences. Changes in floral orientation increased the proportion of downward movements by leafcutter bees and decreased the consistency of pollinator movement on inflorescences. In addition, pollen removal per visit and seed production per inflorescence also declined with changes of floral orientation. In conclusion, floral orientation seems more or less optimal as regards bee behavior and pollen transfer for Corydalis sheareri. A horizontal orientation may be under selection of pollinators and co-adapt with other aspects of the inflorescence and floral traits.

  18. 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

  19. 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

  20. 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.

  1. 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

  2. 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

  3. Relative pollination effectiveness of floral visitors of Pitcairnia angustifolia (Bromeliaceae).

    PubMed

    Fumero-Cabán, José J; Meléndez-Ackerman, Elvia J

    2007-03-01

    The effectiveness of flower visitors as pollinators will determine their potential role as selective agents on flower traits. Pitcairnia angustifolia has floral characters that would fit pollination by long-billed hummingbirds, and they should be the most effective pollinators for this plant. To test this prediction, we characterized the behavior of visitors toward flowers and their pollination effectiveness. Coereba flaveola (bananaquits) was the most frequent flower visitor and acted as a primary nectar robber; however, they pollinated incidentally and deposited pollen on stigmas. The endemic short-billed hummingbird Chlorostilbon maugaeus behaved as a secondary robber and did not pollinate flowers. As expected, the long-billed hummingbird, Anthracothorax viridis, was the most efficient visitor in terms of pollen deposition; however, it was the least frequent flower visitor. Introduced Apis mellifera (honeybees) were second in efficiency at depositing pollen and performed one third of the flower visits. Estimates of the expected rate of pollen deposition by each pollinator did not identify a single most effective pollinator. For P. angustifolia at least three flower visitors including an exotic bee and a nectar robber may be equally important to reproductive success. While these results limit our ability to make predictions on the role of hummingbird-pollination on current flower evolution, they do suggest the potential for pollination redundancy among flower visitors for P. angustifolia populations.

  4. 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

  5. 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

  6. Contribution of insect pollinators to crop yield and quality varies with agricultural intensification

    PubMed Central

    Potts, Simon G.; Steffan-Dewenter, Ingolf; Vaissière, Bernard E.; Woyciechowski, Michal; Krewenka, Kristin M.; Tscheulin, Thomas; Roberts, Stuart P.M.; Szentgyörgyi, Hajnalka; Westphal, Catrin; Bommarco, Riccardo

    2014-01-01

    Background. Up to 75% of crop species benefit at least to some degree from animal pollination for fruit or seed set and yield. However, basic information on the level of pollinator dependence and pollinator contribution to yield is lacking for many crops. Even less is known about how insect pollination affects crop quality. Given that habitat loss and agricultural intensification are known to decrease pollinator richness and abundance, there is a need to assess the consequences for different components of crop production. Methods. We used pollination exclusion on flowers or inflorescences on a whole plant basis to assess the contribution of insect pollination to crop yield and quality in four flowering crops (spring oilseed rape, field bean, strawberry, and buckwheat) located in four regions of Europe. For each crop, we recorded abundance and species richness of flower visiting insects in ten fields located along a gradient from simple to heterogeneous landscapes. Results. Insect pollination enhanced average crop yield between 18 and 71% depending on the crop. Yield quality was also enhanced in most crops. For instance, oilseed rape had higher oil and lower chlorophyll contents when adequately pollinated, the proportion of empty seeds decreased in buckwheat, and strawberries’ commercial grade improved; however, we did not find higher nitrogen content in open pollinated field beans. Complex landscapes had a higher overall species richness of wild pollinators across crops, but visitation rates were only higher in complex landscapes for some crops. On the contrary, the overall yield was consistently enhanced by higher visitation rates, but not by higher pollinator richness. Discussion. For the four crops in this study, there is clear benefit delivered by pollinators on yield quantity and/or quality, but it is not maximized under current agricultural intensification. Honeybees, the most abundant pollinator, might partially compensate the loss of wild pollinators in

  7. Contribution of insect pollinators to crop yield and quality varies with agricultural intensification.

    PubMed

    Bartomeus, Ignasi; Potts, Simon G; Steffan-Dewenter, Ingolf; Vaissière, Bernard E; Woyciechowski, Michal; Krewenka, Kristin M; Tscheulin, Thomas; Roberts, Stuart P M; Szentgyörgyi, Hajnalka; Westphal, Catrin; Bommarco, Riccardo

    2014-01-01

    Background. Up to 75% of crop species benefit at least to some degree from animal pollination for fruit or seed set and yield. However, basic information on the level of pollinator dependence and pollinator contribution to yield is lacking for many crops. Even less is known about how insect pollination affects crop quality. Given that habitat loss and agricultural intensification are known to decrease pollinator richness and abundance, there is a need to assess the consequences for different components of crop production. Methods. We used pollination exclusion on flowers or inflorescences on a whole plant basis to assess the contribution of insect pollination to crop yield and quality in four flowering crops (spring oilseed rape, field bean, strawberry, and buckwheat) located in four regions of Europe. For each crop, we recorded abundance and species richness of flower visiting insects in ten fields located along a gradient from simple to heterogeneous landscapes. Results. Insect pollination enhanced average crop yield between 18 and 71% depending on the crop. Yield quality was also enhanced in most crops. For instance, oilseed rape had higher oil and lower chlorophyll contents when adequately pollinated, the proportion of empty seeds decreased in buckwheat, and strawberries' commercial grade improved; however, we did not find higher nitrogen content in open pollinated field beans. Complex landscapes had a higher overall species richness of wild pollinators across crops, but visitation rates were only higher in complex landscapes for some crops. On the contrary, the overall yield was consistently enhanced by higher visitation rates, but not by higher pollinator richness. Discussion. For the four crops in this study, there is clear benefit delivered by pollinators on yield quantity and/or quality, but it is not maximized under current agricultural intensification. Honeybees, the most abundant pollinator, might partially compensate the loss of wild pollinators in

  8. Contribution of insect pollinators to crop yield and quality varies with agricultural intensification.

    PubMed

    Bartomeus, Ignasi; Potts, Simon G; Steffan-Dewenter, Ingolf; Vaissière, Bernard E; Woyciechowski, Michal; Krewenka, Kristin M; Tscheulin, Thomas; Roberts, Stuart P M; Szentgyörgyi, Hajnalka; Westphal, Catrin; Bommarco, Riccardo

    2014-01-01

    Background. Up to 75% of crop species benefit at least to some degree from animal pollination for fruit or seed set and yield. However, basic information on the level of pollinator dependence and pollinator contribution to yield is lacking for many crops. Even less is known about how insect pollination affects crop quality. Given that habitat loss and agricultural intensification are known to decrease pollinator richness and abundance, there is a need to assess the consequences for different components of crop production. Methods. We used pollination exclusion on flowers or inflorescences on a whole plant basis to assess the contribution of insect pollination to crop yield and quality in four flowering crops (spring oilseed rape, field bean, strawberry, and buckwheat) located in four regions of Europe. For each crop, we recorded abundance and species richness of flower visiting insects in ten fields located along a gradient from simple to heterogeneous landscapes. Results. Insect pollination enhanced average crop yield between 18 and 71% depending on the crop. Yield quality was also enhanced in most crops. For instance, oilseed rape had higher oil and lower chlorophyll contents when adequately pollinated, the proportion of empty seeds decreased in buckwheat, and strawberries' commercial grade improved; however, we did not find higher nitrogen content in open pollinated field beans. Complex landscapes had a higher overall species richness of wild pollinators across crops, but visitation rates were only higher in complex landscapes for some crops. On the contrary, the overall yield was consistently enhanced by higher visitation rates, but not by higher pollinator richness. Discussion. For the four crops in this study, there is clear benefit delivered by pollinators on yield quantity and/or quality, but it is not maximized under current agricultural intensification. Honeybees, the most abundant pollinator, might partially compensate the loss of wild pollinators in

  9. Contribution of Pollinators to Seed Production as Revealed by Differential Pollinator Exclusion in Clerodendrum trichotomum (Lamiaceae)

    PubMed Central

    Sakamoto, Ryota L.; Ito, Motomi; Kawakubo, Nobumitsu

    2012-01-01

    A diverse assemblage of pollinators, such as bees, beetles, flies, and butterflies, will often visit a single plant species. However, evaluating the effect of several insects on fruit and seed production is difficult in plants visited by a variety of insects. Here, we analyzed the effect of three types of pollinators, Papilio spp., Macroglossum pyrrhosticta, and Xylocopa appendiculata on fruit and seed production in Clerodendrum trichotomum by using a flower visitor barrier experiment with nets of specific mesh sizes. As a result, fruit/flower and seed/ovule ratios were significantly lower under Papilio exclusion than under natural conditions. On the other hand, ratios were not significantly different between Papilio excluded and both Papilio and M. pyrrhosticta excluded treatments. Therefore, Papilio and X. appendiculata are effective pollinators, whereas M. pyrrhosticta, which was the most frequent visitor, of C. trichotomum, is not. From our observations of visiting behaviors, we believe that because M. pyrrhosticta probably promotes self- pollination, this species is a non-effective pollinator. This is the first study to separate and compare the contribution of various visitors to the reproductive success of a plant. PMID:22442724

  10. Herbivory-mediated pollinator limitation: negative impacts of induced volatiles on plant-pollinator interactions.

    PubMed

    Kessler, André; Halitschke, Rayko; Poveda, Katja

    2011-09-01

    Although induced plant responses to herbivory are well studied as mechanisms of resistance, how induction shapes community interactions and ultimately plant fitness is still relatively unknown. Using a wild tomato, Solanum peruvianum, native to the Peruvian Andes, we evaluated the disruption of pollination as a potential ecological cost of induced responses. More specifically, we tested the hypothesis that metabolic changes in herbivore-attacked plants, such as the herbivore-induced emission of volatile organic compounds (VOCs), alter pollinator behavior and consequentially affect plant fitness. We conducted a series of manipulative field experiments to evaluate the role of herbivore-induced vegetative and floral VOC emissions as mechanisms by which herbivory affects pollinator behavior. In field surveys and bioassays in the plants' native habitat, we found that real and simulated herbivory (methyl jasmonate application) reduced attractiveness of S. peruvianum flowers to their native pollinators. We show that reduced pollinator preference, not resource limitation due to leaf tissue removal, resulted in reduced seed set. Solitary bee pollinators use floral plant volatiles, emitted in response to herbivory or methyl jasmonate treatment, as cues to avoid inflorescences on damaged plants. This herbivory-induced pollinator limitation can be viewed as a general cost of induced plant responses as well as a specific cost of herbivory-induced volatile emission.

  11. 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.

  12. 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

  13. 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.

  14. 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

  15. 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.

  16. 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

  17. Tracing impacts of partner abundance in facultative pollination mutualisms: from individuals to populations.

    PubMed

    Geib, Jennifer C; Galen, Candace

    2012-07-01

    Partner abundance affects costs and benefits in obligate mutualisms, but its role in facultative partnerships is less clear. We address this gap in a pollination web consisting of two clovers (Trifolium) that differ in specialization on a bumble bee pollinator Bombus balteatus. We examine how pollination niche breadth affects plant responses to pollinator abundance, comparing early-flowering (specialized) and late-flowering (generalized) cohorts of T. parryi and early T. parryi to T. dasyphyllum, a pollination generalist. Co-pollinators disrupt the link between B. halteatus visitation and pollination rate for both clovers. Only for early-flowering T. parryi do visitation, pollination, and seed set increase with density of B. balteatus. Bumble bee density also alters timing of seed germination in T. parryi, with seeds from plants receiving augmented B. balteatus germinating sooner than seeds of open-pollinated counterparts. Benefits saturate at intermediate bumble bee densities. Despite strong effects of B. balteatus density on individual plant fitness components, population models suggest little impact of B. balteatus density on lamda in T. parryi or T. dasyphyllum. Findings show that functional redundancy in a pollinator guild mediates host-plant responses to partner density. Unexpected effects of pollinator density on life history schedule have implications for recruitment under pollinator decline. PMID:22919905

  18. 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

  19. 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.

  20. 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

  1. Disentangling multiple drivers of pollination in a landscape-scale experiment.

    PubMed

    Schüepp, Christof; Herzog, Felix; Entling, Martin H

    2014-01-01

    Animal pollination is essential for the reproductive success of many wild and crop plants. Loss and isolation of (semi-)natural habitats in agricultural landscapes can cause declines of plants and pollinators and endanger pollination services. We investigated the independent effects of these drivers on pollination of young cherry trees in a landscape-scale experiment. We included (i) isolation of study trees from other cherry trees (up to 350 m), (ii) the amount of cherry trees in the landscape, (iii) the isolation from other woody habitats (up to 200 m) and (iv) the amount of woody habitats providing nesting and floral resources for pollinators. At the local scale, we considered effects of (v) cherry flower density and (vi) heterospecific flower density. Pollinators visited flowers more often in landscapes with high amount of woody habitat and at sites with lower isolation from the next cherry tree. Fruit set was reduced by isolation from the next cherry tree and by a high local density of heterospecific flowers but did not directly depend on pollinator visitation. These results reveal the importance of considering the plant's need for conspecific pollen and its pollen competition with co-flowering species rather than focusing only on pollinators' habitat requirements and flower visitation. It proved to be important to disentangle habitat isolation from habitat loss, local from landscape-scale effects, and direct effects of pollen availability on fruit set from indirect effects via pollinator visitation to understand the delivery of an agriculturally important ecosystem service.

  2. Competitive interactions between neotropical pollinators and africanized honey bees.

    PubMed

    Roubik, D W

    1978-09-15

    The Africanized honey bee, a hybrid of European and African honey bees, is thought to displace native pollinators. After experimental introduction of Africanized honey bee hives near flowers, stingless bees became less abundant or harvested-less resource as visitation by Africanized honey bees increased. Shifts in resource use caused by colonizing Africanized honey bees may lead to population decline of Neotropical pollinators. PMID:17743636

  3. Functional group diversity of bee pollinators increases crop yield

    PubMed Central

    Hoehn, Patrick; Tscharntke, Teja; Tylianakis, Jason M; Steffan-Dewenter, Ingolf

    2008-01-01

    Niche complementarity is a commonly invoked mechanism underlying the positive relationship between biodiversity and ecosystem functioning, but little empirical evidence exists for complementarity among pollinator species. This study related differences in three functional traits of pollinating bees (flower height preference, daily time of flower visitation and within-flower behaviour) to the seed set of the obligate cross-pollinated pumpkin Cucurbita moschata Duch. ex Poir. across a land-use intensity gradient from tropical rainforest and agroforests to grassland in Indonesia. Bee richness and abundance changed with habitat variables and we used this natural variation to test whether complementary resource use by the diverse pollinator community enhanced final yield. We found that pollinator diversity, but not abundance, was positively related to seed set of pumpkins. Bees showed species-specific spatial and temporal variation in flower visitation traits and within-flower behaviour, allowing for classification into functional guilds. Diversity of functional groups explained even more of the variance in seed set (r2=45%) than did species richness (r2=32%) highlighting the role of functional complementarity. Even though we do not provide experimental, but rather correlative evidence, we can link spatial and temporal complementarity in highly diverse pollinator communities to pollination success in the field, leading to enhanced crop yield without any managed honeybees. PMID:18595841

  4. Functional group diversity of bee pollinators increases crop yield.

    PubMed

    Hoehn, Patrick; Tscharntke, Teja; Tylianakis, Jason M; Steffan-Dewenter, Ingolf

    2008-10-01

    Niche complementarity is a commonly invoked mechanism underlying the positive relationship between biodiversity and ecosystem functioning, but little empirical evidence exists for complementarity among pollinator species. This study related differences in three functional traits of pollinating bees (flower height preference, daily time of flower visitation and within-flower behaviour) to the seed set of the obligate cross-pollinated pumpkin Cucurbita moschata Duch. ex Poir. across a land-use intensity gradient from tropical rainforest and agroforests to grassland in Indonesia. Bee richness and abundance changed with habitat variables and we used this natural variation to test whether complementary resource use by the diverse pollinator community enhanced final yield. We found that pollinator diversity, but not abundance, was positively related to seed set of pumpkins. Bees showed species-specific spatial and temporal variation in flower visitation traits and within-flower behaviour, allowing for classification into functional guilds. Diversity of functional groups explained even more of the variance in seed set (r2=45%) than did species richness (r2=32%) highlighting the role of functional complementarity. Even though we do not provide experimental, but rather correlative evidence, we can link spatial and temporal complementarity in highly diverse pollinator communities to pollination success in the field, leading to enhanced crop yield without any managed honeybees.

  5. 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

  6. 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.

  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.

  8. 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

  9. 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 ...

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

    PubMed

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

    2014-08-19

    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.

  11. 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.

  12. Phenology and pollination biology of eight Peperomia species (Piperaceae) in semideciduous forests in southeastern Brazil.

    PubMed

    de Figueiredo, R A; Sazima, M

    2007-01-01

    Data on flowering phenology and pollination of Peperomia species are virtually non-existent. This study presents data on the pollination biology of eight Peperomia species from south-eastern Brazil, including the flowering phenology, pollination system, and reproductive success. Data on flowering phenology were recorded weekly and exclusion experiments on inflorescences provided data on autonomous self- and wind pollination. Direct visual observations were made and insect visits were recorded. Four Peperomia species showed continuous flowering, while the others were seasonal and flowered in the wet season. Pollination by wind and Syrphidae was confirmed for two self-incompatible Peperomia species. The remaining species are self-compatible and their high fruit set may be accounted for by autonomous self-pollination and perhaps agamospermy. Although the floral morphology of Peperomia species suggests wind- and/or insect pollination, most of the species studied exhibit autogamy and perhaps agamospermy as the main method of reproduction.

  13. Reproductive biology and pollination of Utricularia reniformis A.St.-Hil. (Lentibulariaceae).

    PubMed

    Clivati, D; Cordeiro, G D; Płachno, B J; de Miranda, V F O

    2014-05-01

    Utricularia reniformis is an endemic Brazilian carnivorous plant, most common in high-altitude grasslands. Knowledge of the reproductive biology of U. reniformis is essential for planning conservation strategies, but it is currently poorly understood. Thus, we studied the floral morphology, floral biology, breeding system and pollination of this species. U. reniformis produces and stores nectar in the flower spur, a classic feature of bee-pollinated flowers, and we recorded Xylocopa sp. and Bombus sp. as pollinators. Moreover, although it is self-compatible it is an obligate animal-pollinated species, as the sensitive stigma avoids self-pollination. However, in natural conditions reproductive success is low due to the rarity of visits from pollinators. We suggest that the low reproductive success caused by a deficit of pollinators may affect gene flow, causing loss of genetic diversity in U. reniformis.

  14. Reproductive biology and pollination of Utricularia reniformis A.St.-Hil. (Lentibulariaceae).

    PubMed

    Clivati, D; Cordeiro, G D; Płachno, B J; de Miranda, V F O

    2014-05-01

    Utricularia reniformis is an endemic Brazilian carnivorous plant, most common in high-altitude grasslands. Knowledge of the reproductive biology of U. reniformis is essential for planning conservation strategies, but it is currently poorly understood. Thus, we studied the floral morphology, floral biology, breeding system and pollination of this species. U. reniformis produces and stores nectar in the flower spur, a classic feature of bee-pollinated flowers, and we recorded Xylocopa sp. and Bombus sp. as pollinators. Moreover, although it is self-compatible it is an obligate animal-pollinated species, as the sensitive stigma avoids self-pollination. However, in natural conditions reproductive success is low due to the rarity of visits from pollinators. We suggest that the low reproductive success caused by a deficit of pollinators may affect gene flow, causing loss of genetic diversity in U. reniformis. PMID:24834508

  15. 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.

  16. Higher pollinator effectiveness by specialist than generalist flower-visitors of unspecialized Knautia arvensis (Dipsacaceae).

    PubMed

    Larsson, Magnus

    2005-12-01

    A critical issue in pollination ecology is the evolution of generalist pollination systems, and under which conditions floral specializations evolve from these. The gynodioecious herb Knautia arvensis (Dipsacaceae) exhibits a generalized pollination system, but is visited by both generalist and specialist flower-visitors. The present study tested pollinator effectiveness and pollinator importance of the pollen specialist solitary bee Andrena hattorfiana (Andrenidae) vs. the generalist flower-visitors to K. arvensis on the island of Oland, SE Sweden. Females of the specialist bee removed more pollen per inflorescence-visit than the major groups of generalist visitors such as bumblebees and flies. They also deposited more pollen per inflorescence-visit than any of the generalist visitor groups. The females have a preference for pollen-presenting vs. stigma-presenting inflorescences, a pattern shared with most of the generalist flower-visitors. Females of the specialist exert such a strong preference that they, despite their great pollinator effectiveness, make modest contribution to pollen transfer in K. arvensis. The females of A. hattorfiana accounted for 14.2% of the overall visits and 5.8% of the total pollination, the rest being performed by generalist visitors and males of A. hattorfiana. This study shows that pollinator effectiveness of a specialist can be superior while generalist flower-visitors select floral characters towards generalization through their greater contribution to overall pollen flow.

  17. 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...

  18. Pollination syndromes in a specialised plant-pollinator interaction: does floral morphology predict pollinators in Calceolaria?

    PubMed

    Murúa, M; Espíndola, A

    2015-03-01

    Pollination syndromes are defined as suites of floral traits evolved in response to selection imposed by a particular group of pollinators (e.g., butterflies, hummingbirds, bats). Although numerous studies demonstrated their occurrence in plants pollinated by radically different pollinators, it is less known whether it is possible to identify them within species pollinated by one functional pollinator group. In such a framework, we expect floral traits to evolve also in response to pollinator subgroups (e.g., species, genera) within that unique functional group. On this, specialised pollination systems represent appropriate case studies to test such expectations. Calceolaria is a highly diversified plant genus pollinated by oil-collecting bees in genera Centris and Chalepogenus. Variation in floral traits in Calceolaria has recently been suggested to reflect adaptations to pollinator types. However, to date no study has explicitly tested that observation. In this paper, we quantitatively test that hypothesis by evaluating the presence of pollination syndromes within the specialised pollination system formed by several Calceolaria and their insect pollinators. To do so, we use multivariate approaches and explore the structural matching between the morphology of 10 Calceolaria taxa and that of their principal pollinators. Our results identify morphological matching between floral traits related to access to the reward and insect traits involved in oil collection, confirming the presence of pollinator syndromes in Calceolaria. From a general perspective, our findings indicate that the pollination syndrome concept can be also extended to the intra-pollinator group level.

  19. 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

  20. Population dependence in the interactions with neighbors for pollination: A field experiment with Taraxacum officinale.

    PubMed

    Lázaro, Amparo; Totland, Orjan

    2010-05-01

    PREMISE OF THE STUDY. The fitness of plants depends on their immediate biotic and abiotic environmental surroundings. The floral neighborhood of individual plants is part of this immediate environment and affects the frequency and behavior of their pollinators. However, the interactions among plants for pollination might differ among populations because populations differ in floral densities and pollinator assemblages. Despite that, manipulative experiments of the floral neighborhood in different populations with a specific focus on pollinator behavior are still rare. METHODS. We introduced mixtures of two species (Salvia farinacae and Tagetes bonanza) in two populations of Taraxacum officinale and examined their effect on pollinators' foraging behavior on Taraxacum. KEY RESULTS. The effects of the heterospecific neighborhood differed among pollinator groups and between the two populations. Only honeybees consistently preferred both the most diverse (containing three species) and completely pure patches of Taraxacum in both populations. We found a strong and positive effect of patch diversity on visitation to Taraxacum in one population, whereas in the other population either no effect or a negative effect of plant diversity occurred, which we attribute to differences between populations in the ratio of pollinators to inflorescences. Pollinator visitation consistently increased with local Taraxacum density in both populations. CONCLUSIONS. Our study shows that a similar local neighborhood can differentially affect the frequency and foraging behavior of pollinators, even in closely situated populations. Experimental studies conducted in several populations would contribute to determine which factors drive the variation in pollination interactions among populations.

  1. 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

  2. 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

  3. 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

  4. 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.

  5. 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

  6. 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

  7. 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

  8. 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.

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

    PubMed Central

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

    2013-01-01

    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

  10. 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

  11. 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

  12. Experimental evidence of pollination in marine flowers by invertebrate fauna

    PubMed Central

    van Tussenbroek, Brigitta I.; Villamil, Nora; Márquez-Guzmán, Judith; Wong, Ricardo; Monroy-Velázquez, L. Verónica; Solis-Weiss, Vivianne

    2016-01-01

    Pollen transport by water-flow (hydrophily) is a typical, and almost exclusive, adaptation of plants to life in the marine environment. It is thought that, unlike terrestrial environments, animals are not involved in pollination in the sea. The male flowers of the tropical marine angiosperm Thalassia testudinum open-up and release pollen in mucilage at night when invertebrate fauna is active. Here we present experimental evidence that, in the absence of water-flow, these invertebrates visit the flowers, carry and transfer mucilage mass with embedded pollen from the male flowers to the stigmas of the female flowers. Pollen tubes are formed on the stigmas, indicating that pollination is successful. Thus, T. testudinum has mixed abiotic–biotic pollination. We propose a zoobenthophilous pollination syndrome (pollen transfer in the benthic zone by invertebrate animals) which shares many characteristics with hydrophily, but flowers are expected to open-up during the night. PMID:27680661

  13. 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.

  14. 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

  15. 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

  16. 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.

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

    PubMed

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

    2015-12-24

    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.

  18. 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

  19. 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

  20. 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

  1. 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

  2. Benefit and cost curves for typical pollination mutualisms.

    PubMed

    Morris, William F; Vázquez, Diego P; Chacoff, Natacha P

    2010-05-01

    Mutualisms provide benefits to interacting species, but they also involve costs. If costs come to exceed benefits as population density or the frequency of encounters between species increases, the interaction will no longer be mutualistic. Thus curves that represent benefits and costs as functions of interaction frequency are important tools for predicting when a mutualism will tip over into antagonism. Currently, most of what we know about benefit and cost curves in pollination mutualisms comes from highly specialized pollinating seed-consumer mutualisms, such as the yucca moth-yucca interaction. There, benefits to female reproduction saturate as the number of visits to a flower increases (because the amount of pollen needed to fertilize all the flower's ovules is finite), but costs continue to increase (because pollinator offspring consume developing seeds), leading to a peak in seed production at an intermediate number of visits. But for most plant-pollinator mutualisms, costs to the plant are more subtle than consumption of seeds, and how such costs scale with interaction frequency remains largely unknown. Here, we present reasonable benefit and cost curves that are appropriate for typical pollinator-plant interactions, and we show how they can result in a wide diversity of relationships between net benefit (benefit minus cost) and interaction frequency. We then use maximum-likelihood methods to fit net-benefit curves to measures of female reproductive success for three typical pollination mutualisms from two continents, and for each system we chose the most parsimonious model using information-criterion statistics. We discuss the implications of the shape of the net-benefit curve for the ecology and evolution of plant-pollinator mutualisms, as well as the challenges that lie ahead for disentangling the underlying benefit and cost curves for typical pollination mutualisms.

  3. Adaptive pattern of nectar volume within inflorescences: bumblebee foraging behavior and pollinator-mediated natural selection

    PubMed Central

    Zhao, Zhigang; Lu, Ningna; Conner, Jeffrey K.

    2016-01-01

    Larger floral displays increase pollinator visitation as well as among-flower self-pollination (geitonogamy) in self-compatible species. Dichogamy (temporal separation of gender expression) can limit geitonogamy and increase outcrossing but this depends on pollinator behavior within inflorescences. Declining nectar volume from lower to upper flowers is a hypothesized adaptation to increase outcrossing and pollen export by encouraging the upward movment of pollinators from female to male flowers and by reducing the number of flowers probed per inflorescence, but supporting evidence has been equivocal. We tested this hypothesis in Aconitum gymnandrum by studying floral display and rewards, pollinator visitation, and pollinator-mediated selection on floral traits. We found that larger inflorescences of A. gymnandrum attracted more pollinators, but did not increase the number of flowers probed per visit. Nectar production declined with increasing flower height on average, but the opposite pattern was also common. Bumblebees responded strongly to the nectar pattern, moving from higher to lower nectar concentration. Finally, there was significant pollinator-mediated direct selection for this pattern of declining nectar volume after correcting for correlations with flower size, number, and mean nectar volume. Together, the results strongly suggest that declining nectar production in higher flowers is an adaptation to enhance outcrossing in A. gymnandrum. PMID:27687244

  4. Pollinator-mediated reproductive isolation among dioecious fig species (Ficus, Moraceae).

    PubMed

    Moe, Annika M; Weiblen, George D

    2012-12-01

    The extent of isolation among closely related sympatric plant species engaged in obligate pollination mutualisms depends on the fitness consequences of interspecies floral visitation. In figs (Ficus), interspecific gene flow may occur when pollinating wasps (Agaonidae) visit species other than their natal fig species. We studied reproductive isolation in a clade of six sympatric dioecious fig species in New Guinea. Microsatellite genotyping and Bayesian clustering analysis of the fig community indicated strong reproductive barriers among sympatric species. A total of 1-2% of fig populations consisted of hybrid individuals. A new experimental method of manipulating fig wasps investigated the reproductive consequences of conspecific and heterospecific pollinator visitation for both mutualists. Fig wasps introduced to Ficus hispidioides pollinated and oviposited in receptive figs. Seed development and seedling growth were largely comparable between conspecific and heterospecific crosses. Heterospecific pollinator fitness, however, was significantly less than that of conspecific pollinators. Heterospecific pollinators induced gall formation but offspring did not develop to maturity in the new host. Selection on pollinators maintaining host specificity appears to be an important mechanism of contemporary reproductive isolation among these taxa that could potentially influence their diversification.

  5. 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.

  6. 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.

  7. 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

  8. 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.

  9. 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

  10. 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

  11. 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.

  12. 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

  13. Pollinator interactions with yellow starthistle (Centaurea solstitialis) across urban, agricultural, and natural landscapes.

    PubMed

    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.

  14. 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.

  15. 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

  16. Evaluation of the neotropical stingless bee Melipona quadrifasciata (Hymenoptera: Apidae) as pollinator of greenhouse tomatoes.

    PubMed

    Del Sarto, M C L; Peruquetti, R C; Campos, L A O

    2005-04-01

    The Neotropical stingless bee Melipona quadrifasciata Lepeletier was evaluated for pollinating tomatoes (variety Rodas; long-life hybrid) in greenhouses under plastic and with a hydroponic system and "organic concepts" in Minas Gerais State, Brazil. Flowers not pollinated did not set any fruit. Pollination by bees plus manual pollination did not differ from either bee or manual pollination. Maximum fruit diameter, fruit height, and roundness (quotient between maximum fruit diameter and fruit height) were not significantly different between treatments, but fruit visited by M. quadrifasciata had 10.8% less seeds (dry mass) than manual pollination. This apparently low efficiency of M. quadrifasciata pollination was attributed to the overlap of only 30 min between highest bee foraging activity and highest flower stigma receptivity. Thus, it was concluded that M. quadrifasciata is a feasible pollinator of greenhouse tomatoes because of 1) the observed increase in fruit quality with lower mechanical injury than traditional manual pollination, 2) no significant decrease in fruit size, and 3) high price of such product in the market. Some considerations for sustainable use of M. quadrifasciata as greenhouse pollinator are presented. Although techniques for keeping captive colonies of M. quadrifasciata are currently available, the sole current method for acquiring new colonies is removing them from the forest, and if demand was created for large numbers of colonies for commercial use, techniques for captive rearing must be developed to prevent serious declines in wild populations.

  17. 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.

  18. Do floral syndromes predict specialization in plant pollination systems? An experimental test in an "ornithophilous" African Protea.

    PubMed

    Hargreaves, Anna L; Johnson, Steven D; Nol, Erica

    2004-07-01

    We investigated whether the "ornithophilous" floral syndrome exhibited in an African sugarbush, Protea roupelliae (Proteaceae), reflects ecological specialization for bird-pollination. A breeding system experiment established that the species is self-compatible, but dependent on visits by pollinators for seed set. The cup-shaped inflorescences were visited by a wide range of insect and bird species; however inflorescences from which birds, but not insects, were excluded by wire cages set few seeds relative to open-pollinated controls. One species, the malachite sunbird (Nectarinia famosa), accounted for more than 80% of all birds captured in P. roupelliae stands and carried the largest protea pollen loads. A single visit by this sunbird species was enough to increase seed set considerably over unvisited, bagged inflorescences. Our results show that P. roupelliae is largely dependent on birds for pollination, and thus confirm the utility of floral syndromes for generating hypotheses about the ecology of pollination systems.

  19. 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

  20. 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.

  1. Carbohydrates, pollinators, and cycads.

    PubMed

    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

  2. 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

  3. Carbohydrates, pollinators, and cycads.

    PubMed

    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.

  4. 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

  5. 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.

  6. 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

  7. 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

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

    PubMed

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

    2015-04-22

    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.

  9. 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.

  10. 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.

  11. 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.

  12. 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.

  13. 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

  14. Pollinating bees (Hymenoptera: Apiformes) of U.S. alfalfa compared for rates of pod and seed set.

    PubMed

    Cane, James H

    2002-02-01

    Alfalfa (=lucerne) flowers require visiting bees to trip the sexual column, thereby providing pollination and subsequent pod and seed set. Previous studies have compared the pollination values of different bee species solely by the speed with which they handle flowers and the proportion of visited flowers tripped. In this greenhouse study, five species of bees, including the three commercially managed U.S alfalfa pollinators, are likewise compared for their floral tripping frequencies. These bee species are also compared for the pod set and mature seed that results from their single visits to virgin flowers. Regardless of the identity of the pollinating bee, tripped flowers had the same probabilities of pod set and seed set. Thus, differences in the single-visit pollination efficiencies of the various bee species are entirely attributable to the proportion of visited flowers that they trip. Females of the alkali bee, Nomia melanderi Cockerell, and the alfalfa leafcutting bee, Megachile rotundata F, tripped 81 and 78% of visited flowers, respectively. Males of these species are significantly less effective (61 and 51%, respectively), but still significantly superior to the honey bee, Apis mellifera L. (22% of visited flowers tripped). These relationships are supported by field data for tripping frequencies. One candidate pollinator, Osmia sanrafaelae Parker, shows promise (44% tripped), but not the congeneric O. aglaia Sandhouse (13% tripped). PMID:11942760

  15. 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

  16. 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

  17. 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

  18. 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

  19. Pollination ecology of Agave macroacantha (Agavaceae) in a Mexican tropical desert. I. Floral biology and pollination mechanisms.

    PubMed

    Arizaga, S; Ezcurra, E; Peters, E; de Arellano, F R; Vega, E

    2000-07-01

    In a study of sexual reproduction in long-lived semelparous plants, we observed Agave macroacantha in the tropical desert of Tehuacán-Cuicatlán, Mexico, describing duration of flowering, flower phenology, and nectar production patterns. We also performed two manipulative experiments evaluating (a) the seed production efficiency of different crossing systems (selfing, cross-pollination, apomixis, and control), and (b) the effect of different pollinators (diurnal exposure to pollinators, nocturnal exposure, exclusion, and control) on the seeds produced. Flowering occurred from early May to late July and had a mean duration of 29 days in the individual rosettes. The flowers were protandrous; anthesis occurred in the afternoon of the third day after floral opening, and the pistils matured in the afternoon of the fifth day. The stigmas remained receptive from dusk to the following morning. Pollination was mostly allogamous. Nectar was produced principally during the night, from the first stages of floral aperture until the stigmas wilted and flowering ceased. The flowers were visited during the day by hymenoptera, butterflies, and hummingbirds and during the night by bats and moths. Only the nocturnal visitors, however, were successful pollinators. Agave macroacantha is extremely dependent on nocturnal pollinators for its reproductive success.

  20. A meta-analysis of predation risk effects on pollinator behaviour.

    PubMed

    Romero, Gustavo Q; Antiqueira, Pablo A P; Koricheva, Julia

    2011-01-01

    Flower-visiting animals are constantly under predation risk when foraging and hence might be expected to evolve behavioural adaptations to avoid predators. We reviewed the available published and unpublished data to assess the overall effects of predators on pollinator behaviour and to examine sources of variation in these effects. The results of our meta-analysis showed that predation risk significantly decreased flower visitation rates (by 36%) and time spent on flowers (by 51%) by pollinators. The strength of the predator effects depended neither on predator taxa and foraging mode (sit-and-wait or active hunters) nor on pollinator lifestyle (social vs. solitary). However, predator effects differed among pollinator taxa: predator presence reduced flower visitation rates and time spent on flowers by Squamata, Lepidoptera and Hymenoptera, but not by Diptera. Furthermore, larger pollinators showed weaker responses to predation risk, probably because they are more difficult to capture. Presence of live crab spiders on flowers had weaker effects on pollinator behaviour than presence of dead or artificial crab spiders or other objects (e.g. dead bees, spheres), suggesting that predator crypsis may be effective to some extent. These results add to a growing consensus on the importance of considering both predator and pollinator characteristics from a community perspective.

  1. 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

  2. A Meta-Analysis of Predation Risk Effects on Pollinator Behaviour

    PubMed Central

    Romero, Gustavo Q.; Antiqueira, Pablo A. P.; Koricheva, Julia

    2011-01-01

    Flower-visiting animals are constantly under predation risk when foraging and hence might be expected to evolve behavioural adaptations to avoid predators. We reviewed the available published and unpublished data to assess the overall effects of predators on pollinator behaviour and to examine sources of variation in these effects. The results of our meta-analysis showed that predation risk significantly decreased flower visitation rates (by 36%) and time spent on flowers (by 51%) by pollinators. The strength of the predator effects depended neither on predator taxa and foraging mode (sit-and-wait or active hunters) nor on pollinator lifestyle (social vs. solitary). However, predator effects differed among pollinator taxa: predator presence reduced flower visitation rates and time spent on flowers by Squamata, Lepidoptera and Hymenoptera, but not by Diptera. Furthermore, larger pollinators showed weaker responses to predation risk, probably because they are more difficult to capture. Presence of live crab spiders on flowers had weaker effects on pollinator behaviour than presence of dead or artificial crab spiders or other objects (e.g. dead bees, spheres), suggesting that predator crypsis may be effective to some extent. These results add to a growing consensus on the importance of considering both predator and pollinator characteristics from a community perspective. PMID:21695187

  3. 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.

  4. 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

  5. Temporal stability of pollinator preference in an alpine plant community and its implications for the evolution of floral traits.

    PubMed

    Gong, Yan-Bing; Huang, Shuang-Quan

    2011-07-01

    A traditional view of diverse floral traits is that they reflect differences in foraging preferences of pollinators. The role of pollinators in the evolution of floral traits has been questioned recently by broad community surveys, especially studies concerning variation in pollinator assemblages and visitation frequency, which suggest a diminished role of pollinators in floral evolution. Here, we investigate the relationships between six categories of floral traits of 29 species and 10 pollinator functional groups in an alpine meadow in the Hengduan Mountains of China, over three consecutive years. Simpson's diversity index was used to estimate the level of pollinator generalization of each plant species by considering both pollinator groups and their relative visitation frequencies. Multivariate analyses indicated that eight of the ten pollinator groups showed constant preferences for at least two floral traits, leading to a relatively stable level of ecological generalization for most floral traits (two out of three categories), despite the fact that the level of generalization of the entire community varied across years. Shape preferences of butterflies, honeybees and beeflies varied such that open flowers exhibited a lower level of ecological generalization in 2007 than closed flowers, in contrast with the other 2 years. These results suggest that temporally stabilized preferences of diverse pollinators may contribute to the evolution of specialized versus generalized floral traits; however, their role may be moderated by variation in community structure, including both the composition and abundance of plants and pollinators.

  6. 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.

  7. 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

  8. 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.

  9. 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.

  10. 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

  11. Flower visitors and pollination in the Oriental (Indomalayan) Region.

    PubMed

    Corlett, Richard T

    2004-08-01

    Current knowledge of flower visitors and pollination in the Oriental Region is summarised. Much less is known about pollination than seed dispersal and the coverage of habitats and taxa in the region is very uneven. The available evidence suggests that pollination in lowland forests is dominated by highly social bees (mainly Trigona and Apis species), with beetles probably the next most important group, followed by other bees and flies. In comparison with the better-studied Neotropics, large solitary bees, moths, Lepidoptera and vertebrates are relatively less important. These differences are greatest in the canopy of the lowland dipterocarp forests of Southeast Asia, where they probably reflect the unique temporal pattern of floral resource availability resulting from 'general flowering' at supra-annual intervals. Apis bees (but not Trigona species) are also important in most montane, subtropical and non-forest habitats. Apart from the figs (Ficus spp.), there are few well-documented examples of plant species visited by a single potential pollinator and most plant-pollinator relationships in the region appear to be relatively generalised. The small sizes of most pollinators and the absence of direct human exploitation probably make pollination mutualisms less vulnerable to failure as a result of human impacts than dispersal mutualisms, but more subtle impacts, as a result of altered gene flows, are likely to be widespread. On current evidence, pollination systems in the Oriental Region do not require any specific conservation action, but this review reinforces arguments for making the preservation (or restoration) of habitat connectivity the major focus of Oriental conservation.

  12. 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

  13. 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.

  14. Pollination of Australian Macrozamia cycads (Zamiaceae): effectiveness and behavior of specialist vectors in a dependent mutualism.

    PubMed

    Terry, L Irene; Walter, Gimme H; Donaldson, John S; Snow, Elizabeth; Forster, Paul I; Machin, Peter J

    2005-06-01

    Complementary field and laboratory tests confirmed and quantified the pollination abilities of Tranes sp. weevils and Cycadothrips chadwicki thrips, specialist insects of their respective cycad hosts, Macrozamia machinii and M. lucida. No agamospermous seeds were produced when both wind and insects were excluded from female cones; and the exclusion of wind-vectored pollen alone did not eliminate seed set, because insects were able to reach the cone. Based on enclosure pollination tests, each weevil pollinates an average 26.2 ovules per cone and each thrips 2.4 ovules per cone. These pollinators visited similar numbers of ovules per cone in fluorescent dye tests that traced insect movement through cones. Fluorescent dye granules deposited by Cycadothrips were concentrated around the micropyle of each visited ovule, the site of pollen droplet release, where pollen must be deposited to achieve pollination. In contrast, Tranes weevils left dye scattered on different areas of each visited ovule, indicating that chance plays a greater role in this system. Each weevil and 25 thrips delivered 6.2 and 5.2 pollen grains, respectively, on average, to each visited ovule per cone, based on examination of dissected pollen canals. In sum, the pollination potential of 25 Cycadothrips approximates that of one Tranes weevil.

  15. 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

  16. 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.

  17. 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

  18. 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

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

    PubMed

    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; Ward, Kimiora L; Westphal, Catrin; Potts, Simon G

    2015-06-16

    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.

  20. Dose-response relationships between pollination and fruiting refine pollinator comparisons for cranberry (Vaccinium macrocarpon [Ericaceae]).

    PubMed

    Cane, James H; Schiffhauer, Daniel

    2003-10-01

    Comparisons of pollinator efficacy using pollen received on stigmas can be refined by incorporating experimental dose-response relationships for pollen deposition and fruiting responses. A range of discrete pollen doses applied to cranberry stigmas resulted in decelerating curvilinear responses for fruiting, berry size, and seed set. Minimum thresholds and maximum asymptotes bounded reproductive responses to incremental stigmatic pollen loads. Four bee species were compared for their pollination efficacies on commercial cranberries, using counts of pollen received by stigmas during single bee visits to previously virgin flowers. Differences between these bee species were found to be exaggerated when raw pollen counts were used for comparison because foragers of some species often delivered pollen in excess of that needed to maximize fruit and seed production. Sixfold differences between species in mean pollen deposition translated into 1.5-2-fold differences in predicted cranberry fruit set and size. Implications for pollen tube competition and agricultural production are discussed.

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

    PubMed

    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; Ward, Kimiora L; 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

  2. 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

  3. Floral scent composition predicts bee pollination system in five butterfly bush (Buddleja, Scrophulariaceae) species.

    PubMed

    Gong, W-C; Chen, G; Vereecken, N J; Dunn, B L; Ma, Y-P; Sun, W-B

    2015-01-01

    Traditionally, plant-pollinator interactions have been interpreted as pollination syndrome. However, the validity of pollination syndrome has been widely doubted in modern studies of pollination ecology. The pollination ecology of five Asian Buddleja species, B. asiatica, B. crispa, B. forrestii, B. macrostachya and B. myriantha, in the Sino-Himalayan region in Asia, flowering in different local seasons, with scented inflorescences were investigated during 2011 and 2012. These five species exhibited diverse floral traits, with narrow and long corolla tubes and concealed nectar. According to their floral morphology, larger bees and Lepidoptera were expected to be the major pollinators. However, field observations showed that only larger bees (honeybee/bumblebee) were the primary pollinators, ranging from 77.95% to 97.90% of total visits. In this study, floral scents of each species were also analysed using coupled gas chromatography and mass spectrometry (GC-MS). Although the five Buddleja species emitted differentiated floral scent compositions, our results showed that floral scents of the five species are dominated by substances that can serve as attractive signals to bees, including species-specific scent compounds and principal compounds with larger relative amounts. This suggests that floral scent compositions are closely associated with the principal pollinator assemblages in these five species. Therefore, we conclude that floral scent compositions rather than floral morphology traits should be used to interpret plant-pollinator interactions in these Asian Buddleja species.

  4. 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

  5. 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

  6. 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.

  7. [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

  8. Reproduction of Echinacea angustjfolia in fragmented prairie is pollen-limited but not pollinator-limited.

    PubMed

    Wagenius, Stuart; Lyon, Stephanie Pimm

    2010-03-01

    Pollen limitation of plant reproduction occurs in many plant species, particularly those in fragmented habitat; however, causes of pollen limitation are often unknown. We investigated the relationship between pollen limitation and pollinator visitation in the purple coneflower, Echinacea angustifolia (Asteraceae), which grows in the extremely fragmented tall grass prairie of North America. Previous investigations showed that pollen limitation of E. angustifolia increases with plant isolation and decreases with population size. We observed insect visitation to E. angustifolia over two flowering seasons and estimated pollen limitation of observed plants, using seed set as a proxy measure in 2004 and persistence of receptive style rows in 2005. We analyzed spatial patterns of bee visitation and pollination at two spatial scales: individual isolation, as measured by the distance to their kth nearest flowering neighbors (k = 1 - 15), and population size. Our results indicate that E. angustifolia is pollinated by over 26 species of native bees, with 70-75% of visits by halictid bees. Surprisingly, in both years, bee visitation increased with isolation of individual plants and did not vary significantly with population size. As expected, plant isolation increased pollen limitation and lowered seed set. There was no effect of population size on seed set in 2004, and pollen limitation decreased nonsignificantly with population size in 2005. We conclude that pollen receipt limits reproduction in E. angustifolia, but pollinator visitation does not. Remarkably, isolated plants simultaneously have increased rates of pollinator visitation by pollinators and decreased reproduction. We discuss alternative explanations of pollen limitation that are consistent with this apparent discrepancy, including a decline in the availability of compatible conspecific pollen with increased plant isolation. PMID:20426332

  9. 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

  10. Managed bumblebees outperform honeybees in increasing peach fruit set in China: different limiting processes with different pollinators.

    PubMed

    Zhang, Hong; Huang, Jiaxing; 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.

  11. Visiting 'Voltaire'

    NASA Technical Reports Server (NTRS)

    2005-01-01

    [figure removed for brevity, see original site] Annotated image of PIA04192 Sitting on 'Voltaire'

    Spirit's panoramic camera took this mosaic on martian day, or sol, 549 (July 20, 2005), as it approached a suite of layered rocks named 'Voltaire.' Seven to eight discrete layers can be seen in the bottom portion of the image, running from upper left to lower right. These rock layers are about 20 to 40 centimeters (8 to 16 inches) wide, and extend several meters in length. Spirit visited 'Haussmann' and several other rocks within the layered suite to perform close-up imaging, and to obtain measurements from its Moessbauer and alpha particle X-ray spectrometers.

  12. Pollination and floral ecology of Arundina graminifolia (Orchidaceae) at the northern border of the species' natural distribution.

    PubMed

    Sugiura, Naoto

    2014-01-01

    Arundina graminifolia is an early successional plant on Iriomote Island, the Ryukyus, Japan, where it is endangered. Populations flower for more than half a year, and many inflorescences bloom for one to several months. The nectarless gullet flowers, which open for up to six days, are self-compatible but cannot self-pollinate spontaneously; thus they rely on pollinating agents for capsule production. Field observations at two habitats identified at least six species of bees and wasps, primarily mate-seeking males of Megachile yaeyamaensis and Thyreus takaonis, as legitimate pollinators. Thus, this orchid is a pollinator generalist, probably owing to its long blooming period and simple flower morphology. Carpenter bees, which were previously reported to pollinate this orchid, frequently visited flowers but were too large to crawl into the labellum chamber and never pollinated the flowers. Extrafloral nectaries on inflorescences attracted approximately 40 insect taxa but were not involved with pollination. Fruit-set ratios at the population level varied spatiotemporally but were generally low (5.2-12.4 %), presumably owing to infrequent flower visits by mate-seeking pollinators and the lack of food rewards to pollinators. PMID:23917792

  13. 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

  14. 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

  15. 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.

  16. Adaptive trade-off in floral morphology mediates specialization for flowers pollinated by bats and hummingbirds.

    PubMed

    Muchhala, Nathan

    2007-04-01

    Evolution toward increased specificity in pollination systems is thought to have played a central role in the diversification of angiosperms. Theory predicts that the presence of trade-offs in adapting to different pollinator types will favor specialization, yet few studies have attempted to characterize such interactions in nature. I conducted flight cage experiments with bats, hummingbirds, and artificial flowers to examine effects of corolla width on pollination. I videotaped visits to analyze pollinator behavior and counted pollen grains transferred to stigmas. Results demonstrated that flower-pollinator fit is critical to effective pollination; wide corollas guided bat snouts better, and narrow corollas guided hummingbird bills better. Poor fit resulted in variable entry angles and decreased pollen transfer. A model using these results predicts that wide corollas will be selected for when bats make more than 44% of the visits and narrow corollas when they make fewer. Intermediate corollas are never favored (i.e., generalization is always suboptimal). This is the first study to clearly document a pollinator-mediated fitness trade-off in floral morphology.

  17. 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).

  18. 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

  19. 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.

  20. The pollination biology of two paniculate agaves (Agavaceae) from northwestern Mexico: contrasting roles of bats as pollinators.

    PubMed

    Molina-Freaner, Francisco; Eguiarte, Luis E

    2003-07-01

    Paniculate agaves from tropical deserts depend on nectar-feeding bats for their reproduction, while species from extratropical areas near the northern limit of Leptonycteris curasoae are pollinated by diurnal and nocturnal insects and birds. Agave angustifolia is a paniculate agave with a broad distribution in Mexico whose range coincides with the distribution of L. curasoae, while A. subsimplex has a narrow distribution in Sonora within the range of nectar-feeding bats. We studied the pollination biology of A. angustifolia and A. subsimplex in northwestern Mexico to evaluate the relative importance of bat pollination in a region where L. curasoae is seasonal. Flower visitors included a wide variety of animals, with bats having greater visitation rates in A. angustifolia. A pollinator-exclusion experiment revealed that bats were responsible for most of the control fruit set in A. angustifolia, whereas for A. subsimplex, diurnal and nocturnal visitors were equally effective. Overall, our data indicate that in central Sonora, A. angustifolia depends on nectar-feeding bats for its sexual reproductive success, while A. subsimplex relies on both diurnal and nocturnal pollinators. Given the contrasting distribution ranges of paniculate agaves, our results seem to support the trend from specialization to generalization along the continuum of tropical to extratropical deserts.

  1. 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

  2. Where have all the blue flowers gone: pollinator responses and selection on flower colour in New Zealand Wahlenbergia albomarginata.

    PubMed

    Campbell, D R; Bischoff, M; Lord, J M; Robertson, A W

    2012-02-01

    Although pollinators are thought to select on flower colour, few studies have experimentally decoupled effects of colour from correlated traits on pollinator visitation and pollen transfer. We combined selection analysis and phenotypic manipulations to measure the effect of petal colour on visitation and pollen export at two spatial scales in Wahlenbergia albomarginata. This species is representative of many New Zealand alpine herbs that have secondarily evolved white or pale flowers. The major pollinators, solitary bees, exerted phenotypic selection on flower size but not colour, quantified by bee vision. When presented with manipulated flowers, bees visited flowers painted blue to resemble a congener over white flowers in large, but not small, experimental arrays. Pollen export was higher for blue flowers in large arrays. Pollinator preference does not explain the pale colouration of W. albomarginata, as commonly hypothesized. Absence of bright blue could be driven instead by indirect selection of correlated characters.

  3. 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.

  4. 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

  5. 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

  6. 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.

  7. Pollination, seed set and seed predation on a landscape scale.

    PubMed

    Steffan-Dewenter, I; Münzenberg, U; Tscharntke, T

    2001-08-22

    We analysed the combined effects of pollination and seed predation on seed set of Centaurea jacea in 15 landscapes differing in structural complexity. In the centre of each landscape, a patch of Centaurea plants was established for standardized measurements of flower visitation, seed predation and seed set. Both the number of flower-visiting bees and the proportion of flower heads damaged by seed predators increased with landscape complexity, which was measured as the proportion of semi-natural habitats. The mean number of seeds per flower head did not increase with the proportion of semi-natural habitats, presumably because of the counterbalancing effects of pollination and seed predation. For a subset of undamaged flower heads, the number of seeds per flower head was positively correlated with the number of flower visits. Further reasons for the unexpected failure to detect a correlation between landscape complexity and seed set appeared to be changes in flower-visitor behaviour and the contrasting responses of honeybees and wild bees to habitat context. Landscape analyses at eight spatial scales (radius of landscape sectors, 250-3000 m) showed that different groups perceived the landscape at different spatial scales. Changes in pollinator numbers could be explained only at small scales (up to 1000 m), while the seed predators also responded to large scales (up to 2500 m).

  8. Pollinator experience, neophobia and the evolution of flowering time

    PubMed Central

    Forrest, Jessica; Thomson, James D.

    2008-01-01

    Environmental changes, such as current climate warming, can exert directional selection on reproductive phenology. In plants, evolution of earlier flowering requires that the individuals bearing genes for early flowering successfully reproduce; for non-selfing, zoophilous species, this means that early flowering individuals must be visited by pollinators. In a laboratory experiment with artificial flowers, we presented captive bumble-bees (Bombus impatiens) with flower arrays representing stages in the phenological progression of a two-species plant community: Bees that had been foraging on flowers of one colour were confronted with increasing numbers of flowers of a second colour. Early flowering individuals of the second ‘species’ were significantly under-visited, because bees avoided unfamiliar flowers, particularly when these were rare. We incorporated these aspects of bee foraging behaviour (neophobia and positive frequency dependence) in a simulation model of flowering-time evolution for a plant population experiencing selection against late flowering. Unlike simple frequency dependence, a lag in pollinator visitation prevented the plant population from responding to selection and led to declines in population size. Pollinator behaviour thus has the potential to constrain evolutionary adjustments of flowering phenology. PMID:19129131

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

    PubMed

    Gong, Yan-Bing; Huang, Shuang-Quan

    2009-11-22

    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.

  10. 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.

  11. How to cheat when you cannot lie? Deceit pollination in Begonia gracilis.

    PubMed

    Castillo, Reyna A; Caballero, Helga; Boege, Karina; Fornoni, Juan; Domínguez, César A

    2012-07-01

    Mimicry between rewarding and non-rewarding flowers within individuals has been accepted as a strategy favored by selection to deceive pollinators. It has been proposed that this mechanism relies on the exploitation of pollinator's sensory biases, but field evidence is still scarce. In this study, we describe the mechanism of deceit pollination in the monoecious herb Begonia gracilis, a species with exposed rewarding structures (pollen) and intersexual mimicry. Specifically, we test the role of mimicry and exploitation of sensory biases on the reproductive success of male (pollination visitation) and female flowers (probability of setting fruits). We show that pollinators' perception of the amount of reward provided by male flowers is influenced by the independent variation in the sizes of the androecium and the perianth. Large rewarding structures and small perianths were preferred by pollinators, suggesting a central role of the relative size of the rewarding structure on pollinators' foraging decisions. Hence, rewarding male flowers cheat pollinators by exploiting their sensory biases, a strategy followed by non-rewarding female flowers. We suggest that intersexual mimicry operates through the functional resemblance of male flowers' deceit strategy. Artificial manipulation of the flowers supports our findings in natural conditions. Overall, we propose that the continuous and independent variation in the size of the perianth and the reproductive organs among male and female flowers could itself be adaptive.

  12. 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.

  13. 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

  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-visitors.

  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. 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

  17. 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

  18. Predicting plant attractiveness to pollinators with passive crowdsourcing

    DOE PAGES

    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 suchmore » 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

  19. 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

  20. 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

  1. 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.

  2. 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

  3. Thrips pollination of Mesozoic gymnosperms.

    PubMed

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

    2012-05-29

    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

  4. Thrips pollination of Mesozoic gymnosperms.

    PubMed

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

    2012-05-29

    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.

  5. 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.

  6. 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.

  7. 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

  8. 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

  9. 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

  10. An invasive dandelion unilaterally reduces the reproduction of a native congener through competition for pollination.

    PubMed

    Kandori, Ikuo; Hirao, Toshihiro; Matsunaga, Satoshi; Kurosaki, Tsutomu

    2009-03-01

    The impact of invasive alien species on native species is of increasing global concern. Invasive plants have various negative effects on natives through competition; however, relatively little is known about competition for pollination. The relationship between Japanese native dandelions (Taraxacum spp.) and invasive congeners may be a typical case of such an interaction. For example, native dandelions are being replaced by invasive congeners, especially in urban and suburban areas of Japan. To explain this phenomenon, we hypothesized that when natives are mixed with attractive invasives, natives may suffer from reduced seed set because invasives deprive natives of pollinators or because pollinators frequently move between species, resulting in interspecific pollen transfer. To test this hypothesis, we studied the effect of the invasive dandelion T. officinale on the pollination and seed set of the native T. japonicum using artificial arrays of monospecific and mixed-species plots as well as natural populations. Taraxacum officinale attracted more pollinator visits, perhaps because it produced more nectar than T. japonicum. The number of pollinator visits to T. japonicum was reduced when the congeners were grown together, and pollinators moved frequently between the two species. The proportion of seed set for T. japonicum was reduced in the presence of T. officinale in both artificial arrays and natural populations. These results support our hypothesis that interspecific competition for pollination plays an important role in the recent replacement of native dandelions by invasive congeners in Japan. Because invasive dandelions are apomicts, negative effects are incurred only by sexual natives. Thus, this system can be recognized as a rare case of interspecific interaction through pollination.

  11. 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

  12. 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

  13. Organic farming improves pollination success in strawberries.

    PubMed

    Andersson, Georg K S; Rundlöf, Maj; Smith, Henrik G

    2012-01-01

    Pollination of insect pollinated crops has been found to be correlated to pollinator abundance and diversity. Since organic farming has the potential to mitigate negative effects of agricultural intensification on biodiversity, it may also benefit crop pollination, but direct evidence of this is scant. We evaluated the effect of organic farming on pollination of strawberry plants focusing on (1) if pollination success was higher on organic farms compared to conventional farms, and (2) if there was a time lag from conversion to organic farming until an effect was manifested. We found that pollination success and the proportion of fully pollinated berries were higher on organic compared to conventional farms and this difference was already evident 2-4 years after conversion to organic farming. Our results suggest that conversion to organic farming may rapidly increase pollination success and hence benefit the ecosystem service of crop pollination regarding both yield quantity and quality.

  14. Effect of habitat disturbance on pollination biology of the columnar cactus Stenocereus quevedonis at landscape-level in central Mexico.

    PubMed

    Rodríguez-Oseguera, A G; Casas, A; Herrerías-Diego, Y; Pérez-Negrón, E

    2013-05-01

    Stenocereus quevedonis ('pitire') is a columnar cactus endemic to central Mexico, grown for its edible fruit. Phenology, pollination biology and behaviour of flower visitors of this species were compared in six conserved and disturbed sites, hypothesising that: (i) pitire pollination is self-incompatible, requiring animal vectors; (ii) higher incidence of radiation on plants in cleared forest may lead to a higher number of flowers per pitire plant and longer blooming season, and disturbing and differential spatial availability of flower resources may determine differential attraction of pollinators to conserved and disturbed areas; (iii) if pitire pollination system is specialised, reproductive success would decrease with pollinator scarcity, or other species may substitute for main pollinators. In all sites, pitire reproduction started in January, flowering peak occurring in April, anthesis duration was 15 h and predominantly nocturnal (9 h), pollen was released at 23:00 h, nectar was produced throughout anthesis, and breeding system was self-incompatible. Flower production per plant was similar in disturbed and conserved sites, but flower availability was higher (because of higher tree density) and longer in disturbed sites. Pollination is nocturnal, the most frequent legitimate pollinator being the bat Leptonycteris yerbabuenae; diurnal pollination is rare but possible, carried out by bee species. Fruit and seed set in control and nocturnal pollination treatments at disturbed sites were higher than in conserved sites. Frequency of L. yerbabuenae visits was similar among site types, but more visits of complementary nocturnal and diurnal pollinators were recorded in disturbed sites, which could explain differences in reproductive success.

  15. 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.

  16. 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

  17. 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

  18. 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.

  19. 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

  20. 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

  1. 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

  2. Butterfly pollination in Pteroglossa (Orchidaceae, Orchidoideae): a comparative study on the reproductive biology of two species of a Neotropical genus of Spiranthinae.

    PubMed

    Pansarin, Emerson R; Ferreira, Alessandro W C

    2015-05-01

    Spiranthinae orchids are known for being self-compatible and offering nectar as a reward. Although data on their pollinators are scarce, members of this tribe are mostly pollinated by bees, hummingbirds and moths. Some of them even reproduce through facultative self-pollination. Nothing is known about the pollinators and reproduction system in Pteroglossa. Based on records on flowering phenology, floral morphology, reward production, pollinators and breeding system, this paper aims to study the reproductive biology of two Pteroglossa spp. Both species offer nectar as a resource and are pollinated exclusively by diurnal Lepidoptera at the studied areas. Nectar is produced by two glandular nectaries, and is stored in a spur. Pollinaria possess a ventrally adhesive viscidium that is deposited on the basal portion of butterfly proboscides. Both species are self-compatible but pollinator-dependent. The reproductive success is low when compared to other Spiranthinae. Although no evident mechanical barrier to avoid self-pollination or geitonogamy was identified, the erratic behavior of the butterflies, with their infrequent visits to only one flower per inflorescence, contributes to an increased fruit set produced through cross-pollination. The presence of ventrally adhesive viscidia in Spiranthinae is responsible for greater pollinator diversity when compared to bee-pollinated Goodyerinae with dorsally adhesive viscidia, adapted to attach to bee mouthparts.

  3. Butterfly pollination in Pteroglossa (Orchidaceae, Orchidoideae): a comparative study on the reproductive biology of two species of a Neotropical genus of Spiranthinae.

    PubMed

    Pansarin, Emerson R; Ferreira, Alessandro W C

    2015-05-01

    Spiranthinae orchids are known for being self-compatible and offering nectar as a reward. Although data on their pollinators are scarce, members of this tribe are mostly pollinated by bees, hummingbirds and moths. Some of them even reproduce through facultative self-pollination. Nothing is known about the pollinators and reproduction system in Pteroglossa. Based on records on flowering phenology, floral morphology, reward production, pollinators and breeding system, this paper aims to study the reproductive biology of two Pteroglossa spp. Both species offer nectar as a resource and are pollinated exclusively by diurnal Lepidoptera at the studied areas. Nectar is produced by two glandular nectaries, and is stored in a spur. Pollinaria possess a ventrally adhesive viscidium that is deposited on the basal portion of butterfly proboscides. Both species are self-compatible but pollinator-dependent. The reproductive success is low when compared to other Spiranthinae. Although no evident mechanical barrier to avoid self-pollination or geitonogamy was identified, the erratic behavior of the butterflies, with their infrequent visits to only one flower per inflorescence, contributes to an increased fruit set produced through cross-pollination. The presence of ventrally adhesive viscidia in Spiranthinae is responsible for greater pollinator diversity when compared to bee-pollinated Goodyerinae with dorsally adhesive viscidia, adapted to attach to bee mouthparts. PMID:25762403

  4. The Effect of Pollination on Cd Phytoextraction From Soil by Maize (Zea mays L.).

    PubMed

    Xu, Wending; Lu, Guining; Wang, Rui; Guo, Chuling; Liao, Changjun; Yi, Xiaoyun; Dang, Zhi

    2015-01-01

    A pot experiment was conducted to investigate the effects of pollination on cadmium (Cd) phytoextraction from soil by mature maize plants. The results showed that the unpollinated maize plants accumulated 50% more Cd than that of the pollinated plants, even though the dry weight of the former plants was 15% less than that of the latter plants. The Cd accumulation in root and leaf of the unpollinated maize plant was 0.47 and 0.89 times higher than that of the pollinated plant, respectively. The Cd concentration in the cob was significantly decreased because of pollination. Preventing pollination is a promising approach for enhancing the effectiveness of phytoextraction in Cd-contaminated soils by maize. This study suggested that in low Cd-contaminated soil pollination should be encouraged because accumulation of Cd in maize grains is very little and maize seeds can bring farmers economic benefits, while in high Cd-contaminated soil, inhibition of pollination can be applied to enhance phytoextraction of Cd from soil by maize plant.

  5. The Effect of Pollination on Cd Phytoextraction From Soil by Maize (Zea mays L.).

    PubMed

    Xu, Wending; Lu, Guining; Wang, Rui; Guo, Chuling; Liao, Changjun; Yi, Xiaoyun; Dang, Zhi

    2015-01-01

    A pot experiment was conducted to investigate the effects of pollination on cadmium (Cd) phytoextraction from soil by mature maize plants. The results showed that the unpollinated maize plants accumulated 50% more Cd than that of the pollinated plants, even though the dry weight of the former plants was 15% less than that of the latter plants. The Cd accumulation in root and leaf of the unpollinated maize plant was 0.47 and 0.89 times higher than that of the pollinated plant, respectively. The Cd concentration in the cob was significantly decreased because of pollination. Preventing pollination is a promising approach for enhancing the effectiveness of phytoextraction in Cd-contaminated soils by maize. This study suggested that in low Cd-contaminated soil pollination should be encouraged because accumulation of Cd in maize grains is very little and maize seeds can bring farmers economic benefits, while in high Cd-contaminated soil, inhibition of pollination can be applied to enhance phytoextraction of Cd from soil by maize plant. PMID:25581531

  6. Pollinator-mediated assortative mating in mixed ploidy populations of Chamerion angustifolium (Onagraceae).

    PubMed

    Kennedy, Brad F; Sabara, Holly A; Haydon, Dan; Husband, Brian C

    2006-12-01

    Establishment of polyploid individuals within diploid populations is theoretically unlikely unless polyploids are reproductively isolated, pre-zygotically, through assortative pollination. Here, we quantify the contribution of pollinator diversity and foraging behaviour to assortative pollen deposition in three mixed-ploidy populations of Chamerion angustifolium (Onagraceae). Diploids and tetraploids were not differentiated with respect to composition of insect visitors. However, foraging patterns of the three most common insect visitors (all bees) reinforced assortative pollination. Bees visited tetraploids disproportionately often and exhibited higher constancy on tetraploids in all three populations. In total, 73% of all bee flights were between flowers of the same ploidy (2x-2x, 4x-4x); 58% of all flights to diploids and 83% to tetraploids originated from diploid and tetraploid plants, respectively. Patterns of pollen deposition on stigmas mirrored pollinator foraging behaviour; 73% of all pollen on stigmas (70 and 75% of pollen on diploid and tetraploid stigmas, respectively) came from within-ploidy pollinations. These results indicate that pollinators contribute to high rates of pre-zygotic reproductive isolation. If patterns of fertilization track pollen deposition, pollinator-plant interactions may help explain the persistence and spread of tetraploids in mixed-ploidy populations. PMID:17024387

  7. Hydrocarbon footprints as a record of bumblebee flower visitation.

    PubMed

    Witjes, Sebastian; Eltz, Thomas

    2009-11-01

    Bumblebees leave traces of cuticular hydrocarbons on flowers they visit, with the amount deposited being positively related to the number of visits. We asked whether such footprint hydrocarbons are retained on flowers for sufficiently long periods of time so as to reflect bee visitation in pollination studies. In laboratory experiments, flower corollae (Primula veris, Digitalis grandiflora) visited by Bombus terrestris workers retained bee-derived nonacosenes (C(29)H(58)) in near-unchanged quantities for 24 hours, both at 15 and 25 degrees C. Additionally, synthetic (Z)-9-tricosene applied to flower corollae of the deadnettle Lamium maculatum was retained for 48 hours in an unchanged quantity. In a field survey, the amount of footprint alkenes on flowers of comfrey (Symphytum officinale) plants was positively correlated with the number of bumblebee visits that those plants had received during the day. Together, these data suggest that flowers retain a long-term quantitative record of bumblebee visitation. The analysis of petal extracts by gas chromatography could provide a cheap and reliable way of quantifying bumblebee visits in landscape scale studies of pollination. PMID:20013038

  8. 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

  9. 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.

  10. Cockroaches as Pollinators of Clusia aff. sellowiana (Clusiaceae) on Inselbergs in French Guiana

    PubMed Central

    Vlasáková, Blanka; Kalinová, Blanka; Gustafsson, Mats H. G.; Teichert, Holger

    2008-01-01

    Background and Aims A report is made on a new species of Clusia related to C. sellowiana that dominates the vegetation of the Nouragues inselberg in French Guiana. The focus is on the pollination biology and on the remarkable relationship of this plant species to Amazonina platystylata, its cockroach pollinator. This appears to be only the second record of pollination by cockroaches. Methods Pollination ecology was investigated by combining morphological studies, field observations and additional experiments. Floral scent was analysed by gas chromatography–mass spectrometry. The role of acetoin, the major component of the scent of this species of Clusia, in attracting pollinators was examined in field attraction experiments. The ability of cockroaches to perceive acetoin was investigated by electroantennography (EAG). Key Results The Clusia species studied produces seeds only sexually. Its nocturnal flowers are visited by crickets, ants, moths and cockroaches. A species of cockroach, Amazonina platystylata, is the principal pollinator. The reward for the visit is a liquid secretion produced by tissues at the floral apex and at the base of the ovary. Although the cockroaches have no structures specialized for pollen collection, their body surface is rough enough to retain pollen grains. The cockroaches show significant EAG reactions to floral volatiles and acetoin, suggesting that the floral scent is a factor involved in attracting the cockroaches to the flowers. Conclusions The results suggest that the plant–cockroach interaction may be quite specialized and the plant has probably evolved a specific strategy to attract and reward its cockroach pollinators. Acetoin is a substance involved in the chemical communication of several other cockroach species and it seems plausible that the plant exploits the sensitivity of cockroaches to this compound to attract them to the flowers as part of the pollination syndrome of this species. PMID:18567597

  11. 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

  12. 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

  13. 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.

  14. 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.

  15. 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

  16. 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

  17. The pollination of Bromelia antiacantha (Bromeliaceae) in southeastern Brazil: ornithophilous versus melittophilous features.

    PubMed

    Canela, M B F; Sazima, M

    2005-07-01

    Bromelia antiacantha flowered from December to February and during this period the central leaves and bracts displayed a bright red colour. The inflorescence bears 150-350 flowers, with 10-35 flowers opening per day over 4-5 days. The flowers are dark magenta coloured with white margins, tubular-shaped with a wide opening, and their stigma is situated below the anthers. Anthesis began around 4:00 h and flowers lasted approximately 15 h. The highest nectar volume and sugar concentration occurred between 4:00-6:00 h; after this period, both decreased throughout the day. B. antiacantha is partially self-incompatible, non-autogamous, and therefore, pollinator dependent. The hummingbirds Thalurania glaucopis, Amazilia fimbriata, and Ramphodon naevius were its most frequent pollinators (55% of the visits), visiting flowers mainly in the afternoon. The scattered distribution of B. antiacantha promoted trap-lining behaviour of the hummingbirds, which favoured fruit set through xenogamy. Corolla colour, wide flower opening, sweet odour and concentrated nectar early in the day favoured bee visitation. Of the 38 % of bee visits, 96% were made by Bombus morio, mainly in the morning and their behaviour promoted self-pollination. The bee Trigona spinipes frequently acted as a pollen and nectar thief early in the morning, excluding most of the hummingbirds. Bromelia antiacantha has ornithophilous and melittophilous features, and despite being pollinated by two kinds of agents, its reproductive success depends on a given set of circumstances.

  18. Plant-pollinator interactions in Crambe abyssinica Hochst. (Brassicaceae) associated with environmental variables.

    PubMed

    Simioni, Lívia C; Mussury, Rosilda M; Mauad, Munir; Dresh, Daiane M; Pereira, Fabricio F; Scalon, Silvana P Q

    2015-03-01

    Despite the economic importance of Crambe abyssinica, the present study is the first report on bees that occur with this species, and could aid in developing alternative methods for controlling insect pests without seriously impacting pollinators. The present study examined the following questions: (1) Which species are potential pollinators of C. abyssinica? (2) How do environmental conditions influence pollinator visitation fluctuations? Insects were sampled on a weekly basis between 08:00 and 16:00 during five weeks of flowering. When the results of analyses of variance were significant, the data was adjusted using regression equations at a 5% level of probability; the environmental variables were examined using Pearson's correlation coefficient. Apis mellifera, Geotrigona mombuca, Exomalopsis (Exomalopsis) fulvofasciata, Plebeia sp. and Dialictus sp. were observed visiting C. abyssinica flowers. A. mellifera and G. mombuca were observed to be potential pollinators, with the former demonstrating visitation peaks during flowering weeks II and IV at 12:00 and 08:00, respectively and the latter visiting during weeks III and IV at 12:00 and 10:00, respectively. Environmental factors such as temperature, relative humidity, and wind speed have different effect on the activity of bees.

  19. 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...

  20. 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

  1. WarpVisit

    SciTech Connect

    Loring, Burlen; Reubel, Oliver

    2015-06-10

    WarpVisit is an insitu simulation application that integrates the Warp laser plasma accelerator simulation framework with Visit a parallel visualization application. WarpVisit is written in python and supports interactive or live mode where user can connect to Warp with the Visit GUI and batch mode for batch for non-interactive use on high-performance computing resources.

  2. Nectar Yeasts in the Tall Larkspur Delphinium barbeyi (Ranunculaceae) and Effects on Components of Pollinator Foraging Behavior

    PubMed Central

    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. 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.

  4. 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

  5. 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

  6. 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.

  7. 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.

  8. 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

  9. 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

  10. Flower-visiting behavior of male bees is triggered by nectar-feeding insects

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Sugiura, Shinji; Abe, Tetsuto; Yamaura, Yuichi; Makino, Shun'ichi

    2007-08-01

    Bees are important pollinators for many flowering plants. Female bees are thought to be more effective pollinators than male bees because they carry much more pollen than males. Males of some solitary bee species are known to patrol near flowers that females visit. Because patrolling males visit flowers to mate or defend their territories, they may function as pollinators. However, the significance of patrolling males to pollination has not been studied. We studied males of a solitary bee, Heriades fulvohispidus (Megachilidae), patrolling near flowers and visiting flowers that attracted nectar-feeding insects, including conspecifics, on the Ogasawara (Bonin) Islands. To test the hypothesis that patrolling male bees may function as pollen vectors, we compared the frequency of visits by H. fulvohispidus to flowers of an endemic plant, Schima mertensiana (Theaceae); comparisons were made among flowers with a dead H. fulvohispidus, a dead beetle, a piece of plastic, and nothing (control flowers). Patrolling H. fulvohispidus more frequently visited flowers with a dead conspecific, a dead beetle, or a piece of plastic than the control flowers. Our experiment demonstrates that nectar-feeding insects (including conspecifics and other insects) enhance the flower-visiting frequency of patrolling H. fulvohispidus males on S. mertensiana flowers. Furthermore, we observed S. mertensiana pollen on patrolling males as well as females, suggesting that male bees may also function as pollen vectors.

  11. 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.

  12. Recognition of flowers by pollinators.

    PubMed

    Chittka, Lars; Raine, Nigel E

    2006-08-01

    The flowers of angiosperm plants present us with a staggering diversity of signal designs, but how did this diversity evolve? Answering this question requires us to understand how pollinators analyze these signals with their visual and olfactory sense organs, and how the sensory systems work together with post-receptor neural wiring to produce a coherent percept of the world around them. Recent research on the dynamics with which bees store, manage and retrieve memories all have fundamental implications for how pollinators choose between flowers, and in turn for floral evolution. New findings regarding how attention, peak-shift phenomena, and speed-accuracy tradeoffs affect pollinator choice between flower species show that analyzing the evolutionary ecology of signal-receiver relationships can substantially benefit from knowledge about the neural mechanisms of visual and olfactory information processing.

  13. Sulphur-containing "perfumes" attract flower-visiting bats.

    PubMed

    von Helversen, O; Winkler, L; Bestmann, H J

    2000-02-01

    We tested the attractiveness of individual scent compounds of bat-pollinated flowers to their pollinators, small flower-visiting bats of the genus Glossophaga (Phyllostomidae). Twenty compounds belonging to four different chemical substance classes were tested, both in the laboratory and in the field. In the laboratory, the bats (Glossophaga soricina) approached odour sources spontaneously and without preceding experience. Without ever receiving any reward they preferred the scent of a sulphur-containing compound, dimethyl disulphide, to several other odour components emitted by bat-pollinated flowers, and to scentless controls. In the field, at La Selva station in the tropical lowland rain forest of Costa Rica, G. commissarisi were attracted by two sulphur-containing compounds, dimethyl disulphide and 2,4-dithiapentane, to visit artificial flowers filled with sugar water. Thus, in nectarivorous bats the sense of smell obviously plays an important role in searching for and localising food sources, and even single components of the scent bouquets of bat-pollinated flowers are attractive. The preference for sulphur-containing odours seems to be innate.

  14. Bimodal pollination system of the bromeliad Aechmea nudicaulis involving hummingbirds and bees.

    PubMed

    Schmid, S; Schmid, V S; Zillikens, A; Harter-Marques, B; Steiner, J

    2011-01-01

    In order to compare the effectiveness of birds and insects as pollinators, we studied the floral biology of the bromeliad Aechmea nudicaulis (L.) Grisebach in the biome of the Atlantic rain forest, southern Brazil. On Santa Catarina Island, flowering extends from mid-September to the end of December, with diurnal anthesis. The reproductive system is obligatory xenogamy, thus pollinator-dependent. Flowers secrete 31.84 μl of nectar per day, with a mean sugar concentration of 23.2%. Highest nectar volume and sugar concentration occur at the beginning of anthesis. Most floral traits are characteristic for ornithophily, and nectar production appears to be adapted to the energy demand of hummingbirds. Continued secretion of the sucrose-dominated nectar attracts and binds visitors to inflorescences, strengthening trapline foraging behaviour. Experiments assessing seed set after single flower visits were performed with the most frequent visitors, revealing the hummingbird Thalurania glaucopis as the most effective pollen vector. In addition, bees are also functional pollinators, as substantiated by their high visitation frequency. We conclude that this pollination system is bimodal. Thus, there is redundancy in the pollination service provided by birds and bees, granting a high probability of successful reproduction in Ae. nudicaulis.

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

    PubMed

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

    2003-05-01

    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

  16. Threatened Pollination Systems in Native Flora of the Ogasawara (Bonin) Islands

    PubMed Central

    ABE, TETSUTO

    2006-01-01

    • Background and Aims Various alien species have been introduced to the Ogasawara Islands (Japan). A survey was made investigating whether the native pollination systems fit an ‘island syndrome’ (biasing the flora to dioecy, with subdued, inconspicuous flowers) and whether alien species have disrupted the native pollination network. • Methods Flower visitors and floral traits were determined in the field (12 islands) and from the literature. Associations among floral traits such as sexual expression, flower colour and flower shape were tested. • Key Results Among the 269 native flowering plants, 74·7 % are hermaphroditic, 13·0 % are dioecious and 7·1 % are monoecious. Classification by flower colour revealed that 36·0 % were white, 21·6 % green and 13·8 % yellow. Woody species (trees and shrubs) comprised 36·5 % of the flora and were associated with dioecy and white flowers. Solitary, endemic small bees were the dominant flower visitors and visited 66·7 % of the observed species on satellite islands where the native pollination networks are preserved. In contrast to the situation on the satellite islands, introduced honeybees were the most dominant pollinator (visiting 60·1 % of observed species) on the two main islands, Chichi-jima and Haha-jima, and had spread to satellite islands near Chichi-jima Island. • Conclusions The island syndrome for pollination systems in the Ogasawara Islands was evident in a high percentage of dioecious species, the subdued colour of the native flora and solitary flower visitors on satellite islands. The shape and colour adaptations of several flowers suggested native pollination niches for long-proboscis moths and carpenter bees. However, the domination and expansion of introduced honeybees have the potential for disruption of the native pollination network in the two main, and several satellite, islands of the Ogasawara Islands. PMID:16790463

  17. Pollinator directionality as a response to nectar gradient: promoting outcrossing while avoiding geitonogamy.

    PubMed

    Fisogni, A; Cristofolini, G; Rossi, M; Galloni, M

    2011-11-01

    Plants with multiple flowers could be prone to autonomous self-pollination and insect-mediated geitonogamy, but physiological and ecological features have evolved preventing costs related to autogamy. We studied the rare perennial herb Dictamnus albus as a model plant, with the aim of describing the plant-pollinator system from both plant and pollinator perspectives and analysing features that promote outcrossing in an entomophilous species. The breeding system and reproductive success of D. albus were investigated in experimental and natural conditions, showing that it is potentially self-compatible, but only intra-inflorescence insect-mediated selfing is possible. Nectar analysis showed gender-biased production towards the female phase, which follows the male phase, and during flowering, full blooming is found in flowers at the bottom of the raceme. Among a wide spectrum of insect visitors, three genera (Bombus, Apis, Megachile) were found to be principal pollinators. A study of insect behaviour showed a tendency towards bottom-to-top flights for the most important pollinators Bombus spp. and Apis mellifera: upward movements on the racemes could be explained by foraging behaviour, from more to less rewarding flowers. In accordance with the 'declining reward hypothesis', bumblebees and honeybees leave the plant when gain of reward is low, after which few flowers are visited, reducing the chance of self-pollen transfer among flowers. Intra-flower self-pollination is prevented in D. albus by protandry and herkogamy, while the nectar-induced sequential pattern of pollinator visits avoids geitonogamy and tends to maximise pollen export, promoting outcrossing. All these features for preventing selfing benefit plant fitness and population genetic structure.

  18. Pollinator directionality as a response to nectar gradient: promoting outcrossing while avoiding geitonogamy.

    PubMed

    Fisogni, A; Cristofolini, G; Rossi, M; Galloni, M

    2011-11-01

    Plants with multiple flowers could be prone to autonomous self-pollination and insect-mediated geitonogamy, but physiological and ecological features have evolved preventing costs related to autogamy. We studied the rare perennial herb Dictamnus albus as a model plant, with the aim of describing the plant-pollinator system from both plant and pollinator perspectives and analysing features that promote outcrossing in an entomophilous species. The breeding system and reproductive success of D. albus were investigated in experimental and natural conditions, showing that it is potentially self-compatible, but only intra-inflorescence insect-mediated selfing is possible. Nectar analysis showed gender-biased production towards the female phase, which follows the male phase, and during flowering, full blooming is found in flowers at the bottom of the raceme. Among a wide spectrum of insect visitors, three genera (Bombus, Apis, Megachile) were found to be principal pollinators. A study of insect behaviour showed a tendency towards bottom-to-top flights for the most important pollinators Bombus spp. and Apis mellifera: upward movements on the racemes could be explained by foraging behaviour, from more to less rewarding flowers. In accordance with the 'declining reward hypothesis', bumblebees and honeybees leave the plant when gain of reward is low, after which few flowers are visited, reducing the chance of self-pollen transfer among flowers. Intra-flower self-pollination is prevented in D. albus by protandry and herkogamy, while the nectar-induced sequential pattern of pollinator visits avoids geitonogamy and tends to maximise pollen export, promoting outcrossing. All these features for preventing selfing benefit plant fitness and population genetic structure. PMID:21972840

  19. Asymmetrical nature of the Trollius-Chiastocheta interaction: insights into the evolution of nursery pollination systems.

    PubMed

    Suchan, Tomasz; Beauverd, Mélanie; Trim, Naïké; Alvarez, Nadir

    2015-11-01

    The mutualistic versus antagonistic nature of an interaction is defined by costs and benefits of each partner, which may vary depending on the environment. Contrasting with this dynamic view, several pollination interactions are considered as strictly obligate and mutualistic. Here, we focus on the interaction between Trollius europaeus and Chiastocheta flies, considered as a specialized and obligate nursery pollination system - the flies are thought to be exclusive pollinators of the plant and their larvae develop only in T. europaeus fruits. In this system, features such as the globelike flower shape are claimed to have evolved in a coevolutionary context. We examine the specificity of this pollination system and measure traits related to offspring fitness in isolated T. europaeus populations, in some of which Chiastocheta flies have gone extinct. We hypothesize that if this interaction is specific and obligate, the plant should experience dramatic drop in its relative fitness in the absence of Chiastocheta. Contrasting with this hypothesis, T. europaeus populations without flies demonstrate a similar relative fitness to those with the flies present, contradicting the putative obligatory nature of this pollination system. It also agrees with our observation that many other insects also visit and carry pollen among T. europaeus flowers. We propose that the interaction could have evolved through maximization of by-product benefits of the Chiastocheta visits, through the male flower function, and selection on floral traits by the most effective pollinator. We argue this mechanism is also central in the evolution of other nursery pollination systems.

  20. The evolution of signal–reward correlations in bee- and hummingbird-pollinated species of Salvia

    PubMed Central

    Benitez-Vieyra, Santiago; Fornoni, Juan; Pérez-Alquicira, Jessica; Boege, Karina; Domínguez, César A.

    2014-01-01

    Within-individual variation in floral advertising and reward traits is a feature experienced by pollinators that visit different flowers of the same plant. Pollinators can use advertising traits to gather information about the quality and amount of rewards, leading to the evolution of signal–reward correlations. As long as plants differ in the reliability of their signals and pollinators base their foraging decisions on this information, natural selection should act on within-individual correlations between signals and rewards. Because birds and bees differ in their cognitive capabilities, and use different floral traits as signals, we tested the occurrence of adaptive divergence of the within-individual signal–reward correlations among Salvia species that are pollinated either by bees or by hummingbirds. They are expected to use different floral advertising traits: frontal traits in the case of bees and side traits in the case of hummingbirds. We confirmed this expectation as bee- and hummingbird-pollinated species differed in which specific traits are predominantly associated with nectar reward at the within-individual level. Our findings highlight the adaptive value of within-individual variation and covariation patterns, commonly disregarded as ‘environmental noise’, and are consistent with the hypothesis that pollinator-mediated selection affects the correlation pattern among floral traits. PMID:24648219

  1. The evolution of signal-reward correlations in bee- and hummingbird-pollinated species of Salvia.

    PubMed

    Benitez-Vieyra, Santiago; Fornoni, Juan; Pérez-Alquicira, Jessica; Boege, Karina; Domínguez, César A

    2014-05-01

    Within-individual variation in floral advertising and reward traits is a feature experienced by pollinators that visit different flowers of the same plant. Pollinators can use advertising traits to gather information about the quality and amount of rewards, leading to the evolution of signal-reward correlations. As long as plants differ in the reliability of their signals and pollinators base their foraging decisions on this information, natural selection should act on within-individual correlations between signals and rewards. Because birds and bees differ in their cognitive capabilities, and use different floral traits as signals, we tested the occurrence of adaptive divergence of the within-individual signal-reward correlations among Salvia species that are pollinated either by bees or by hummingbirds. They are expected to use different floral advertising traits: frontal traits in the case of bees and side traits in the case of hummingbirds. We confirmed this expectation as bee- and hummingbird-pollinated species differed in which specific traits are predominantly associated with nectar reward at the within-individual level. Our findings highlight the adaptive value of within-individual variation and covariation patterns, commonly disregarded as 'environmental noise', and are consistent with the hypothesis that pollinator-mediated selection affects the correlation pattern among floral traits.

  2. Is the timing of scent emission correlated with insect visitor activity and pollination in long-spurred Satyrium species?

    PubMed

    van der Niet, T; Jürgens, A; Johnson, S D

    2015-01-01

    Plants are expected to emit floral scent when their pollinators are most active. In the case of long-tubed flowers specialised for pollination by crepuscular or nocturnal moths, scent emissions would be expected to peak during dawn. Although this classic idea has existed for decades, it has rarely been tested quantitatively. We investigated the timing of flower visitation, pollination and floral scent emissions in six long-spurred Satyrium species (Orchidaceae). We observed multiple evening visits by pollinaria-bearing moths on flowers of all study species, but rarely any diurnal visits. The assemblages of moth pollinators differed among Satyrium species, even those that co-flowered, and the lengths of moth tongues and floral nectar spurs were strongly correlated, suggesting that the available moth pollinator fauna is partitioned by floral traits. Pollinarium removal occurred more frequently during the night than during the day in four of the six species. Scent emission, however, was only significantly higher at dusk than midday in two species. Analysis of floral volatiles using gas chromatography coupled with mass spectrometry yielded 168 scent compounds, of which 112 were species-specific. The scent blends emitted by each species occupy discrete clusters in two-dimensional phenotype space, based on multivariate analysis. We conclude that these long-spurred Satyrium species are ecologically specialised for moth pollination, yet the timing of their scent emission is not closely correlated with moth pollination activity. Scent composition was also more variable than expected from a group of closely related plants sharing the same pollinator functional group. These findings reveal a need for greater understanding of mechanisms of scent production and their constraints, as well as the underlying reasons for divergent scent chemistry among closely related plants.

  3. Interactions between a pollinating seed predator and its host plant: the role of environmental context within a population

    PubMed Central

    Kula, Abigail A R; Castillo, Dean M; Dudash, Michele R; Fenster, Charles B

    2014-01-01

    Plant–insect interactions often are important for plant reproduction, but the outcome of these interactions may vary with environmental context. Pollinating seed predators have positive and negative effects on host plant reproduction, and the interaction outcome is predicted to vary with density or abundance of the partners. We studied the interaction between Silene stellata, an herbaceous perennial, and Hadena ectypa, its specialized pollinating seed predator. Silene stellata is only facultatively dependent upon H. ectypa for pollination because other nocturnal moth co-pollinators are equally effective at pollen transfer. We hypothesized that for plants without conspecific neighbors, H. ectypa would have higher visitation rates compared to co-pollinators, and the plants would experience lower levels of H. ectypa pollen deposition. We predicted similar oviposition throughout the study site but greater H. ectypa predation in the area without conspecific neighbors compared to plants embedded in a naturally high density area. We found that H. ectypa had consistently higher visitation than moth co-pollinators in all host plant contexts. However, H. ectypa pollinator importance declined in areas with low conspecific density because of reduced pollen deposition, resulting in lower seed set. Conversely, oviposition was similar across the study site independent of host plant density. Greater likelihood of very high fruit predation combined with lower pollination by H. ectypa resulted in reduced S. stellata female reproductive success in areas with low conspecific density. Our results demonstrate local context dependency of the outcomes of pollinating seed predator interactions with conspecific host plant density within a population. PMID:25165527

  4. Pollination of Cambessedesia wurdackii in Brazilian campo rupestre vegetation, with special reference to crepuscular bees.

    PubMed

    Franco, Emanuella Lopes; Gimenes, Miriam

    2011-01-01

    Cambessedesia wurdackii Martins (Myrtales: Melastomataceae) is presumably endemic to the Chapada Diamantina, Bahia State, Brazil. A majority of the species of this family are pollinated by diurnal bees that buzz the floral anthers to collect pollen. The present work examined the interactions between C. wurdackii and visiting bees, focusing on temporal, morphological, and behavioral features, especially in regards to the crepuscular bees Megalopta sodalis (Vachal) (Hymenoptera: Halictidae) and Ptiloglossa off. dubia Moure (Hymenoptera: Colletidae). The study was undertaken in an area of campo rupestre montane savanna vegetation located in the Chapada Diamantina Mountains of Bahia State, Brazil, between August/2007 and July/2008. Flowering in C. wurdackii occurred from April through July, with a peak in May. A total of 592 visits by diurnal and crepuscular bees to the flowers of C. wurdackii were recorded, with a majority of the visits made by M. sodalis and P. dubia (92%) near sunrise and sunset. The anthers of C. wurdackii are arranged in two tiers, which favors cross pollination. The morphological, temporal and behavioral characteristics of M. sodalis and P. dubia indicated that they were potential pollinators of C. wurdackii, in spite of the fact that the colorful and showy flowers of this species are more typical of a diurnal melittophilous pollination syndrome. PMID:22208813

  5. Pollen transfer by hummingbirds and bumblebees, and the divergence of pollination modes in Penstemon.

    PubMed

    Castellanos, Maria Clara; Wilson, Paul; Thomson, James D

    2003-12-01

    We compared pollen removal and deposition by hummingbirds and bumblebees visiting bird-syndrome Penstemon barbatus and bee-syndrome P. strictus flowers. One model for evolutionary shifts from bee pollination to bird pollination has assumed that, mostly due to grooming, pollen on bee bodies quickly becomes unavailable for transfer to stigmas, whereas pollen on hummingbirds has greater carryover. Comparing bumblebees and hummingbirds seeking nectar in P. strictus, we confirmed that bees had a steeper pollen carryover curve than birds but, surprisingly, bees and birds removed similar amounts of pollen and had similar per-visit pollen transfer efficiencies. Comparing P. barbatus and P. strictus visited by hummingbirds, the bird-syndrome flowers had more pollen removed, more pollen deposited, and a higher transfer efficiency than the bee-syndrome flowers. In addition, P. barbatus flowers have evolved such that their anthers and stigmas would not easily come into contact with bumblebees if they were to forage on them. We discuss the role that differences in pollination efficiency between bees and hummingbirds may have played in the repeated evolution of hummingbird pollination in Penstemon.

  6. Oriental orchid (Cymbidium pumilum) attracts drones of the Japanese honeybee (Apis cerana japonica) as pollinators.

    PubMed

    Sasaki, M; Ono, M; Asada, S; Yoshida, T

    1991-12-01

    The discovery that drones of the Japanese honeybee (Apis cerana japonica) pollinate the oriental orchid (Cymbidium pumilum) is reported. Drones are attracted to the orchid flower aroma mainly during their mating flights in April through May. Some drones cluster on the flower racemes and others insert their heads deep into the flowers. Drones with pollinia on their scutellum visit other orchids, which facilitates pollination. Individual workers and swarming colonies are also strongly attracted by the flower aroma, but the allopatric western honeybee (Apis mellifera) is not attracted.

  7. Longer visits on familiar plants?: testing a regular visitor's tendency to probe more flowers than occasional visitors

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Makino, Takashi T.

    2013-07-01

    An individual pollinator may tend to consecutively probe more flowers on a plant to which it returns at shorter intervals than other plants. In a large net cage, I let individually marked bumble bees forage on flowering heads of red clovers arranged in 37 bottles (plants), each of which was monitored by an observer to record every visit and probe for 2.5 h on each of 3 days. The data of collective visits by marked individuals revealed that the bees had their own foraging areas, in which they visited a set of plants frequently and others less often, i.e., the same individual bee repeatedly returned to certain plants as a regular visitor while sampling others as an occasional visitor. I further found that as a regular visitor, an individual bee tended to probe more flowering heads on familiar plants while probing fewer on unfamiliar plants as an occasional visitor. The mean number of consecutive probes by a bee was also positively correlated with its activity (the total number of plant visits made during the observation period). The fact that each bee behaves differently on different plants indicates that the same individual pollinator can exert different influence on the reproductive success of each plant: apparently, a pollinator likely reduces the potential for geitonogamous self-pollination when foraging as an occasional visitor. Attracting occasional visitors therefore may be beneficial for plants to avoid geitonogamy. This study thus emphasizes the importance of paying attention to pollinator individuality in pollination ecology.

  8. Making Visits Work.

    ERIC Educational Resources Information Center

    Loar, Lynn

    1998-01-01

    Discusses factors in providing safe, supervised setting for visits between parents and children who have been removed from them by child protective services. Presents common overestimations of parental capacity that doom visits, principles for effective visiting, and practical and inexpensive suggestions that are easy to implement and enjoyable…

  9. Competition with wind-pollinated plant species alters floral traits of insect-pollinated plant species.

    PubMed

    Flacher, Floriane; Raynaud, Xavier; Hansart, Amandine; Motard, Eric; Dajoz, Isabelle

    2015-09-03

    Plant traits related to attractiveness to pollinators (e.g. flowers and nectar) can be sensitive to abiotic or biotic conditions. Soil nutrient availability, as well as interactions among insect-pollinated plants species, can induce changes in flower and nectar production. However, further investigations are needed to determine the impact of interactions between insect-pollinated species and abiotically pollinated species on such floral traits, especially floral rewards. We carried out a pot experiment in which three insect-pollinated plant species were grown in binary mixtures with four wind-pollinated plant species, differing in their competitive ability. Along the flowering period, we measured floral traits of the insect-pollinated species involved in attractiveness to pollinators (i.e. floral display size, flower size, daily and total 1) flower production, 2) nectar volume, 3) amount of sucrose allocated to nectar). Final plant biomass was measured to quantify competitive interactions. For two out of three insect-pollinated species, we found that the presence of a wind-pollinated species can negatively impact floral traits involved in attractiveness to pollinators. This effect was stronger with wind-pollinated species that induced stronger competitive interactions. These results stress the importance of studying the whole plant community (and not just the insect-pollinated plant community) when working on plant-pollinator interactions.

  10. Competition with wind-pollinated plant species alters floral traits of insect-pollinated plant species

    PubMed Central

    Flacher, Floriane; Raynaud, Xavier; Hansart, Amandine; Motard, Eric; Dajoz, Isabelle

    2015-01-01

    Plant traits related to attractiveness to pollinators (e.g. flowers and nectar) can be sensitive to abiotic or biotic conditions. Soil nutrient availability, as well as interactions among insect-pollinated plants species, can induce changes in flower and nectar production. However, further investigations are needed to determine the impact of interactions between insect-pollinated species and abiotically pollinated species on such floral traits, especially floral rewards. We carried out a pot experiment in which three insect-pollinated plant species were grown in binary mixtures with four wind-pollinated plant species, differing in their competitive ability. Along the flowering period, we measured floral traits of the insect-pollinated species involved in attractiveness to pollinators (i.e. floral display size, flower size, daily and total 1) flower production, 2) nectar volume, 3) amount of sucrose allocated to nectar). Final plant biomass was measured to quantify competitive interactions. For two out of three insect-pollinated species, we found that the presence of a wind-pollinated species can negatively impact floral traits involved in attractiveness to pollinators. This effect was stronger with wind-pollinated species that induced stronger competitive interactions. These results stress the importance of studying the whole plant community (and not just the insect-pollinated plant community) when working on plant-pollinator interactions. PMID:26335409

  11. Caught in the act: pollination of sexually deceptive trap-flowers by fungus gnats in Pterostylis (Orchidaceae)

    PubMed Central

    Phillips, Ryan D.; Scaccabarozzi, Daniela; Retter, Bryony A.; Hayes, Christine; Brown, Graham R.; Dixon, Kingsley W.; Peakall, Rod

    2014-01-01

    Background and Aims Pterostylis is an Australasian terrestrial orchid genus of more than 400 species, most of which use a motile, touch-sensitive labellum to trap dipteran pollinators. Despite studies dating back to 1872, the mechanism of pollinator attraction has remained elusive. This study tested whether the fungus gnat-pollinated Pterostylis sanguinea secures pollination by sexual deception. Methods The literature was used to establish criteria for confirming sexual deception as a pollination strategy. Observations and video recordings allowed quantification of each step of the pollination process. Each floral visitor was sexed and DNA barcoding was used to evaluate the degree of pollinator specificity. Following observations that attraction to the flowers is by chemical cues, experimental dissection of flowers was used to determine the source of the sexual attractant and the effect of labellum orientation on sexual attraction. Fruit set was quantified for 19 populations to test for a relationship with plant density and population size. Key Results A single species of male gnat (Mycetophilidae) visited and pollinated the rewardless flowers. The gnats often showed probing copulatory behaviour on the labellum, leading to its triggering and the temporary entrapment of the gnat in the flower. Pollen deposition and removal occurred as the gnat escaped from the flower via the reproductive structures. The labellum was the sole source of the chemical attractant. Gnats always alighted on the labellum facing upwards, but when it was rotated 180 ° they attempted copulation less frequently. Pollination rate showed no relationship with orchid population size or plant density. Conclusions This study confirms for the first time that highly specific pollination by fungus gnats is achieved by sexual deception in Pterostylis. It is predicted that sexual deception will be widespread in the genus, although the diversity of floral forms suggests that other mechanisms may also

  12. Can alternative sugar sources buffer pollinators from nectar shortages?

    PubMed

    Gardner-Gee, Robin; Dhami, Manpreet K; Paulin, Katherine J; Beggs, Jacqueline R

    2014-12-01

    Honeydew is abundant in many ecosystems and may provide an alternative food source (a buffer) for pollinators during periods of food shortage, but the impact of honeydew on pollination systems has received little attention to date. In New Zealand, kānuka trees (Myrtaceae: Kunzea ericoides (A. Rich) Joy Thompson) are often heavily infested by the endemic honeydew-producing scale insect Coelostomidia wairoensis (Maskell) (Hemiptera: Coelostomidiidae) and the period of high honeydew production can overlap with kānuka flowering. In this study, we quantified the sugar resources (honeydew and nectar) available on kānuka and recorded nocturnal insect activity on infested and uninfested kānuka during the flowering period. Insects were abundant on infested trees, but flowers on infested trees received fewer insect visitors than flowers on uninfested trees. There was little evidence that insects had switched directly from nectar-feeding to honeydew-feeding, but it is possible that some omnivores (e.g., cockroaches) were distracted by the other honeydew-associated resources on infested branches (e.g., sooty molds, prey). Additional sampling was carried out after kānuka flowering had finished to determine honeydew usage in the absence of adjacent nectar resources. Moths, which had fed almost exclusively on nectar earlier, were recorded feeding extensively on honeydew after flowering had ceased; hence, honeydew may provide an additional food source for potential pollinators. Our results show that honeydew resources can impact floral visitation patterns and suggest that future pollinator studies should consider the full range of sugar resources present in the study environment. PMID:25368982

  13. Can alternative sugar sources buffer pollinators from nectar shortages?

    PubMed

    Gardner-Gee, Robin; Dhami, Manpreet K; Paulin, Katherine J; Beggs, Jacqueline R

    2014-12-01

    Honeydew is abundant in many ecosystems and may provide an alternative food source (a buffer) for pollinators during periods of food shortage, but the impact of honeydew on pollination systems has received little attention to date. In New Zealand, kānuka trees (Myrtaceae: Kunzea ericoides (A. Rich) Joy Thompson) are often heavily infested by the endemic honeydew-producing scale insect Coelostomidia wairoensis (Maskell) (Hemiptera: Coelostomidiidae) and the period of high honeydew production can overlap with kānuka flowering. In this study, we quantified the sugar resources (honeydew and nectar) available on kānuka and recorded nocturnal insect activity on infested and uninfested kānuka during the flowering period. Insects were abundant on infested trees, but flowers on infested trees received fewer insect visitors than flowers on uninfested trees. There was little evidence that insects had switched directly from nectar-feeding to honeydew-feeding, but it is possible that some omnivores (e.g., cockroaches) were distracted by the other honeydew-associated resources on infested branches (e.g., sooty molds, prey). Additional sampling was carried out after kānuka flowering had finished to determine honeydew usage in the absence of adjacent nectar resources. Moths, which had fed almost exclusively on nectar earlier, were recorded feeding extensively on honeydew after flowering had ceased; hence, honeydew may provide an additional food source for potential pollinators. Our results show that honeydew resources can impact floral visitation patterns and suggest that future pollinator studies should consider the full range of sugar resources present in the study environment.

  14. Chemical and sensory comparison of tomatoes pollinated by bees and by a pollination wand.

    PubMed

    Hogendoorn, Katja; Bartholomaeus, Faerlie; Keller, Michael A

    2010-08-01

    Tomato flowers (Solanum lycopersicum L.) in greenhouses require assisted pollination. Compared with pollination using a vibration wand, pollination by buzz pollinating bees results in improved seed set and consequently, higher fruit weight. We investigated whether there are further chemical and sensory differences between bee- and wand-pollinated cherry tomatoes, Solanum lycopersicum variety Conchita. The pollination method did not result in significant differences in concentration of soluble solids and titratable acidity. However, the concentration of soluble solids was significantly positively correlated with seed number. We suggest that an increase in the amount of soluble solids in the locular area, due to increased seed numbers, is counteracted by the effects of seed numbers on the growth of the walls, which occurs through cell elongation. In the sensory part of this study, a large, untrained panel significantly preferred bee-pollinated over wand-pollinated tomatoes and classified bee-pollinated tomatoes as having more depth of flavor than wand-pollinated tomatoes. Thus, bee-pollinated tomatoes taste better than wand-pollinated tomatoes, and it is likely that the sensory differences between the two groups of tomatoes are mediated through effects of pollination treatment on seed numbers. Future chemical and sensory studies of fresh tomatoes should take into account the effects of seed numbers and their possible effect on the distribution of chemical compounds within tomatoes. PMID:20857738

  15. Effectiveness of bats as pollinators of Stenocereus stellatus (Cactaceae) in wild, managed in situ, and cultivated populations in La Mixteca Baja, central Mexico.

    PubMed

    Arias-Cóyotl, Ethel; Stoner, Kathryn E; Casas, Alejandro

    2006-11-01

    Stenocereus stellatus is an endemic, self-incompatible, columnar cactus found in central Mexico where many of its wild populations have been fragmented. As an economically important species of fruit-producing cactus, S. stellatus occurs in wild, managed in situ, and cultivated populations. The objectives of this study were to determine the effective pollinators of S. stellatus, to compare pollinator visits and reproductive parameters among the three types of populations, and to determine if nectar feeding-bats are moving among populations. Effective pollinators were the nectarivorous bats Choeronycteris mexicana, Leptonycteris curasoae, and L. nivalis. Fewer total visits per flower per night and fewer visits by Choeronycteris were observed in cultivated populations, while the opposite pattern was observed for Leptonycteris. One aggressive interaction was filmed in which Choeronycteris was physically displaced by Leptonycteris, and Choeronycteris visits were significantly affected by Leptonycteris visits. Cultivated populations received more pollen grains and had more fruit set. Variation in pollinator visits between different populations and the consequent effects on reproductive success were likely a result of competition between bat species, and differences in foraging and in sensitivity of bat species to human populations. Three marked L. curasoae traveled 15 km from their roosting site to their foraging area, and one visited cultivated and managed populations, suggesting that this species may be particularly important in moving pollen among populations.

  16. Pollination services provided by bees in pumpkin fields supplemented with either Apis mellifera or Bombus impatiens or not supplemented.

    PubMed

    Petersen, Jessica D; Reiners, Stephen; Nault, Brian A

    2013-01-01

    Pollinators provide an important service in many crops. Managed honey bees (Apis mellifera L.) are used to supplement pollination services provided by wild bees with the assumption that they will enhance pollination, fruit set and crop yield beyond the levels provided by the wild bees. Recent declines in managed honey bee populations have stimulated interest in finding alternative managed pollinators to service crops. In the eastern U.S., managed hives of the native common eastern bumble bee (Bombus impatiens Cresson) may be an excellent choice. To examine this issue, a comprehensive 2-yr study was conducted to compare fruit yield and bee visits to flowers in pumpkin (Cucurbita pepo L.) fields that were either supplemented with A. mellifera hives, B. impatiens hives or were not supplemented. We compared pumpkin yield, A. mellifera flower visitation frequency and B. impatiens flower visitation frequency between treatments. Results indicated that supplementing pumpkin fields with either A. mellifera or B. impatiens hives did not increase their visitation to pumpkin flowers or fruit yield compared with those that were not supplemented. Next, the relationship between frequency of pumpkin flower visitation by the most prominent bee species (Peponapis pruinosa (Say), B. impatiens and A. mellifera) and fruit yield was determined across all pumpkin fields sampled. Fruit yield increased as the frequency of flower visits by A. mellifera and B. impatiens increased in 2011 and 2012, respectively. These results suggest that supplementation with managed bees may not improve pumpkin production and that A. mellifera and B. impatiens are important pollinators of pumpkin in our system.

  17. Pollination services provided by bees in pumpkin fields supplemented with either Apis mellifera or Bombus impatiens or not supplemented.

    PubMed

    Petersen, Jessica D; Reiners, Stephen; Nault, Brian A

    2013-01-01

    Pollinators provide an important service in many crops. Managed honey bees (Apis mellifera L.) are used to supplement pollination services provided by wild bees with the assumption that they will enhance pollination, fruit set and crop yield beyond the levels provided by the wild bees. Recent declines in managed honey bee populations have stimulated interest in finding alternative managed pollinators to service crops. In the eastern U.S., managed hives of the native common eastern bumble bee (Bombus impatiens Cresson) may be an excellent choice. To examine this issue, a comprehensive 2-yr study was conducted to compare fruit yield and bee visits to flowers in pumpkin (Cucurbita pepo L.) fields that were either supplemented with A. mellifera hives, B. impatiens hives or were not supplemented. We compared pumpkin yield, A. mellifera flower visitation frequency and B. impatiens flower visitation frequency between treatments. Results indicated that supplementing pumpkin fields with either A. mellifera or B. impatiens hives did not increase their visitation to pumpkin flowers or fruit yield compared with those that were not supplemented. Next, the relationship between frequency of pumpkin flower visitation by the most prominent bee species (Peponapis pruinosa (Say), B. impatiens and A. mellifera) and fruit yield was determined across all pumpkin fields sampled. Fruit yield increased as the frequency of flower visits by A. mellifera and B. impatiens increased in 2011 and 2012, respectively. These results suggest that supplementation with managed bees may not improve pumpkin production and that A. mellifera and B. impatiens are important pollinators of pumpkin in our system. PMID:23894544

  18. Pollination Services Provided by Bees in Pumpkin Fields Supplemented with Either Apis mellifera or Bombus impatiens or Not Supplemented

    PubMed Central

    Petersen, Jessica D.; Reiners, Stephen; Nault, Brian A.

    2013-01-01

    Pollinators provide an important service in many crops. Managed honey bees (Apis mellifera L.) are used to supplement pollination services provided by wild bees with the assumption that they will enhance pollination, fruit set and crop yield beyond the levels provided by the wild bees. Recent declines in managed honey bee populations have stimulated interest in finding alternative managed pollinators to service crops. In the eastern U.S., managed hives of the native common eastern bumble bee (Bombus impatiens Cresson) may be an excellent choice. To examine this issue, a comprehensive 2-yr study was conducted to compare fruit yield and bee visits to flowers in pumpkin (Cucurbita pepo L.) fields that were either supplemented with A. mellifera hives, B. impatiens hives or were not supplemented. We compared pumpkin yield, A. mellifera flower visitation frequency and B. impatiens flower visitation frequency between treatments. Results indicated that supplementing pumpkin fields with either A. mellifera or B. impatiens hives did not increase their visitation to pumpkin flowers or fruit yield compared with those that were not supplemented. Next, the relationship between frequency of pumpkin flower visitation by the most prominent bee species (Peponapis pruinosa (Say), B. impatiens and A. mellifera) and fruit yield was determined across all pumpkin fields sampled. Fruit yield increased as the frequency of flower visits by A. mellifera and B. impatiens increased in 2011 and 2012, respectively. These results suggest that supplementation with managed bees may not improve pumpkin production and that A. mellifera and B. impatiens are important pollinators of pumpkin in our system. PMID:23894544

  19. The North‐east‐Brazilian Liana, Adenocalymna dichilum (Bignoniaceae) Pollinated by Bats

    PubMed Central

    MACHADO, ISABEL CRISTINA; VOGEL, STEFAN

    2004-01-01

    • Background and Aims Of the set of syndromes displayed by specialized (euphilic) flowers, adaptation to pollination by bats (chiropterophily) is the least known. Accumulated new evidence reveals that this pollination mode plays a considerable role in tropical communities, especially in the neotropics. One family in which bat‐pollinated species are known in several genera is the Bignoniaceae. Here is reported, for the first time, bat pollination and floral ecology in Adenocalymna dichilum (tribe Bignonieae). • Methods Floral features of this species growing in Bahia (north‐east Brazil) indicated possible chiropterophily, which was subsequently confirmed by direct observation and from photographs of bat visits. Timing of anthesis and nectar parameters were monitored in the field, and floral morphology was investigated with fixed flowers. • Key Results One to two flowers open per night on the upright, simple racemes of A. dichilum during several weeks in a ‘steady state’ mode. The bilabiate, cream‐coloured corollas are functional for only a single night and wilt during the following day. A stout corolla, with a musky odour, and a large nectary disc with large quantities of watery nectar also conform to the syndrome. Glossophaga soricina (Glossophaginae) visited and pollinated the flowers in a trap‐lining manner. Whilst hovering, the bats put their heads into the corolla mouth for less than 1 s to feed, thereby effecting the transfer of pollen which is deposited on their backs. • Conclusions Adenocalymna, a New World genus comprising approx. 50 species, exhibits floral adaptive radiation including species pollinated by bees, birds and possibly moths. The discovery of chiropterophily in A. dichilum adds another facet to the array of floral syndromes represented in the genus. PMID:15037447

  20. Survey of Soybean Insect Pollinators: Community Identification and Sampling Method Analysis.

    PubMed

    Gill, K A; O'Neal, M E

    2015-06-01

    Soybean, Glycine max (L.) Merrill, flowers can be a source of nectar and pollen for honey bees, Apis mellifera L. (Hymenoptera: Apidae), wild social and solitary bees (Hymenoptera: Apoidea), and flower-visiting flies (Diptera). Our objectives were to describe the pollinator community in soybean fields, determine which sampling method is most appropriate for characterizing their abundance and diversity, and gain insight into which pollinator taxa may contact soybean pollen. We compared modified pan traps (i.e., bee bowls), yellow sticky traps, and sweep nets for trapping pollinators in Iowa soybean fields when soybeans were blooming (i.e., reproductive stages R1-R6) during 2011 and 2012. When all trap type captures were combined, we collected 5,368 individuals and at least 50 species. Per trap type, the most pollinators were captured in bee bowls (3,644 individuals, 44 species), yellow sticky traps (1,652 individuals, 32 species), and sweep nets (66 individuals, 10 species). The most abundant species collected include Agapostemon virescens F. and Lasioglossum (Dialictus) species (Hymenoptera: Halictidae), Melissodes bimaculata Lepeletier (Hymenoptera: Apidae), and Toxomerus marginatus Say (Diptera: Syrphidae). To determine if these pollinators were foraging on soybean flowers, we looked for soybean pollen on the most abundant bee species collected that had visible pollen loads. We found soybean pollen alone or intermixed with pollen grains from other plant species on 29 and 38% of the bees examined in 2011 and 2012, respectively. Our data suggest a diverse community of pollinators-composed of mostly native, solitary bees-visit soybean fields and forage on their flowers within Iowa. PMID:26313954

  1. Survey of Soybean Insect Pollinators: Community Identification and Sampling Method Analysis.

    PubMed

    Gill, K A; O'Neal, M E

    2015-06-01

    Soybean, Glycine max (L.) Merrill, flowers can be a source of nectar and pollen for honey bees, Apis mellifera L. (Hymenoptera: Apidae), wild social and solitary bees (Hymenoptera: Apoidea), and flower-visiting flies (Diptera). Our objectives were to describe the pollinator community in soybean fields, determine which sampling method is most appropriate for characterizing their abundance and diversity, and gain insight into which pollinator taxa may contact soybean pollen. We compared modified pan traps (i.e., bee bowls), yellow sticky traps, and sweep nets for trapping pollinators in Iowa soybean fields when soybeans were blooming (i.e., reproductive stages R1-R6) during 2011 and 2012. When all trap type captures were combined, we collected 5,368 individuals and at least 50 species. Per trap type, the most pollinators were captured in bee bowls (3,644 individuals, 44 species), yellow sticky traps (1,652 individuals, 32 species), and sweep nets (66 individuals, 10 species). The most abundant species collected include Agapostemon virescens F. and Lasioglossum (Dialictus) species (Hymenoptera: Halictidae), Melissodes bimaculata Lepeletier (Hymenoptera: Apidae), and Toxomerus marginatus Say (Diptera: Syrphidae). To determine if these pollinators were foraging on soybean flowers, we looked for soybean pollen on the most abundant bee species collected that had visible pollen loads. We found soybean pollen alone or intermixed with pollen grains from other plant species on 29 and 38% of the bees examined in 2011 and 2012, respectively. Our data suggest a diverse community of pollinators-composed of mostly native, solitary bees-visit soybean fields and forage on their flowers within Iowa.

  2. Eocene fossil is earliest evidence of flower-visiting by birds

    PubMed Central

    Mayr, Gerald; Wilde, Volker

    2014-01-01

    Birds are important pollinators, but the evolutionary history of ornithophily (bird pollination) is poorly known. Here, we report a skeleton of the avian taxon Pumiliornis from the middle Eocene of Messel in Germany with preserved stomach contents containing numerous pollen grains of an eudicotyledonous angiosperm. The skeletal morphology of Pumiliornis is in agreement with this bird having been a, presumably nectarivorous, flower-visitor. It represents the earliest and first direct fossil evidence of flower-visiting by birds and indicates a minimum age of 47 million years for the origin of bird–flower interactions. As Pumiliornis does not belong to any of the modern groups of flower-visiting birds, the origin of ornithophily in some angiosperm lineages may have predated that of their extant avian pollinators. PMID:24872461

  3. Eocene fossil is earliest evidence of flower-visiting by birds.

    PubMed

    Mayr, Gerald; Wilde, Volker

    2014-05-01

    Birds are important pollinators, but the evolutionary history of ornithophily (bird pollination) is poorly known. Here, we report a skeleton of the avian taxon Pumiliornis from the middle Eocene of Messel in Germany with preserved stomach contents containing numerous pollen grains of an eudicotyledonous angiosperm. The skeletal morphology of Pumiliornis is in agreement with this bird having been a, presumably nectarivorous, flower-visitor. It represents the earliest and first direct fossil evidence of flower-visiting by birds and indicates a minimum age of 47 million years for the origin of bird-flower interactions. As Pumiliornis does not belong to any of the modern groups of flower-visiting birds, the origin of ornithophily in some angiosperm lineages may have predated that of their extant avian pollinators.

  4. The sudden collapse of pollinator communities.

    PubMed

    Lever, J Jelle; van Nes, Egbert H; Scheffer, Marten; Bascompte, Jordi

    2014-03-01

    Declines in pollinator populations may harm biodiversity and agricultural productivity. Little attention has, however, been paid to the systemic response of mutualistic communities to global environmental change. Using a modelling approach and merging network theory with theory on critical transitions, we show that the scale and nature of critical transitions is likely to be influenced by the architecture of mutualistic networks. Specifically, we show that pollinator populations may collapse suddenly once drivers of pollinator decline reach a critical point. A high connectance and/or nestedness of the mutualistic network increases the capacity of pollinator populations to persist under harsh conditions. However, once a tipping point is reached, pollinator populations collapse simultaneously. Recovering from this single community-wide collapse requires a relatively large improvement of conditions. These findings may have large implications for our view on the sustainability of pollinator communities and the services they provide.

  5. Native bees and plant pollination

    USGS Publications Warehouse

    Ginsberg, H.S.

    2004-01-01

    Bees are important pollinators, but evidence suggests that numbers of some species are declining. Decreases have been documented in the honey bee, Apis mellifera (which was introduced to North America), but there are no monitoring programs for the vast majority of native species, so we cannot be sure about the extent of this problem. Recent efforts to develop standardized protocols for bee sampling will help us collect the data needed to assess trends in bee populations. Unfortunately, diversity of bee life cycles and phenologies, and the large number of rare species, make it difficult to assess trends in bee faunas. Changes in bee populations can affect plant reproduction, which can influence plant population density and cover, thus potentially modifying horizontal and vertical structure of a community, microclimate near the ground, patterns of nitrogen deposition, etc. These potential effects of changes in pollination patterns have not been assessed in natural communities. Effects of management actions on bees and other pollinators should be considered in conservation planning.

  6. A key role for floral scent in a wasp-pollination system in Eucomis (Hyacinthaceae)

    PubMed Central

    Shuttleworth, A.; Johnson, S. D.

    2009-01-01

    Background and Aims Floral scent may play a key role as a selective attractant in plants with specialized pollination systems, particularly in cases where floral morphology does not function as a filter of flower visitors. The pollination systems of two African Eucomis species (E. autumnalis and E. comosa) were investigated and a test was made of the importance of scent and visual cues as floral attractants. Methods and Key Results Visitor observations showed that E. autumnalis and E. comosa are visited primarily by pompilid wasps belonging to the genus Hemipepsis. These wasps carry considerably more Eucomis pollen and are more active on flowers than other visiting insects. Furthermore, experiments involving virgin flowers showed that these insects are capable of depositing pollen on the stigmas of E. autumnalis, and, in the case of E. comosa, pollen deposited during a single visit is sufficient to result in seed set. Experimental hand-pollinations showed that both species are genetically self-incompatible and thus reliant on pollinators for seed set. Choice experiments conducted in the field and laboratory with E. autumnalis demonstrated that pompilid wasps are attracted to flowers primarily by scent and not visual cues. Measurement of spectral reflectance by flower petals showed that flowers are cryptically coloured and are similar to the background vegetation. Analysis of headspace scent samples using coupled gas chromatography–mass spectrometry revealed that E. autumnalis and E. comosa scents are dominated by aromatic and monoterpene compounds. One hundred and four volatile compounds were identified in the floral scent of E. autumnalis and 83 in the floral scent of E. comosa, of which 57 were common to the scents of both species. Conclusions This study showed that E. autumnalis and E. comosa are specialized for pollination by pompilid wasps in the genus Hemipepsis and achieve specialization through cryptic colouring and the use of scent as a selective floral

  7. Pollination syndromes ignored: importance of non-ornithophilous flowers to Neotropical savanna hummingbirds

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Maruyama, Pietro K.; Oliveira, Genilda M.; Ferreira, Carolina; Dalsgaard, Bo; Oliveira, Paulo E.

    2013-11-01

    Generalization prevails in flower-animal interactions, and although animal visitors are not equally effective pollinators, most interactions likely represent an important energy intake for the animal visitor. Hummingbirds are nectar-feeding specialists, and many tropical plants are specialized toward hummingbird-pollination. In spite of this, especially in dry and seasonal tropical habitats, hummingbirds may often rely on non-ornithophilous plants to meet their energy requirements. However, quantitative studies evaluating the relative importance of ornithophilous vs. non-ornithophilous plants for hummingbirds in these areas are scarce. We here studied the availability and use of floral resources by hummingbirds in two different areas of the Cerrado, the seasonal savannas in Central Brazil. Roughly half the hummingbird visited plant species were non-ornithophilous, and these contributed greatly to increase the overall nectar availability. We showed that mean nectar offer, at the transect scale, was the only parameter related to hummingbird visitation frequency, more so than nectar offer at single flowers and at the plant scale, or pollination syndrome. Centrality indices, calculated using hummingbird-plant networks, showed that ornithophilous and non-ornithophilous plants have similar importance for network cohesion. How this foraging behaviour affects reproduction of non-ornithophilous plants remains largely unexplored and is probably case specific, however, we suggest that the additional energy provided by non-ornithophilous plants may facilitate reproduction of truly ornithophilous flowers by attracting and maintaining hummingbirds in the area. This may promote asymmetric hummingbird-plant associations, i.e., pollination depends on floral traits adapted to hummingbird morphology, but hummingbird visitation is determined more by the energetic "reward" than by pollination syndromes.

  8. Pollination syndromes ignored: importance of non-ornithophilous flowers to Neotropical savanna hummingbirds.

    PubMed

    Maruyama, Pietro K; Oliveira, Genilda M; Ferreira, Carolina; Dalsgaard, Bo; Oliveira, Paulo E

    2013-11-01

    Generalization prevails in flower-animal interactions, and although animal visitors are not equally effective pollinators, most interactions likely represent an important energy intake for the animal visitor. Hummingbirds are nectar-feeding specialists, and many tropical plants are specialized toward hummingbird-pollination. In spite of this, especially in dry and seasonal tropical habitats, hummingbirds may often rely on non-ornithophilous plants to meet their energy requirements. However, quantitative studies evaluating the relative importance of ornithophilous vs. non-ornithophilous plants for hummingbirds in these areas are scarce. We here studied the availability and use of floral resources by hummingbirds in two different areas of the Cerrado, the seasonal savannas in Central Brazil. Roughly half the hummingbird visited plant species were non-ornithophilous, and these contributed greatly to increase the overall nectar availability. We showed that mean nectar offer, at the transect scale, was the only parameter related to hummingbird visitation frequency, more so than nectar offer at single flowers and at the plant scale, or pollination syndrome. Centrality indices, calculated using hummingbird-plant networks, showed that ornithophilous and non-ornithophilous plants have similar importance for network cohesion. How this foraging behaviour affects reproduction of non-ornithophilous plants remains largely unexplored and is probably case specific, however, we suggest that the additional energy provided by non-ornithophilous plants may facilitate reproduction of truly ornithophilous flowers by attracting and maintaining hummingbirds in the area. This may promote asymmetric hummingbird-plant associations, i.e., pollination depends on floral traits adapted to hummingbird morphology, but hummingbird visitation is determined more by the energetic "reward" than by pollination syndromes.

  9. Attraction of pollinators to atemoya (Annona squamosa x A. cherimola) in Puerto Rico using commercial lures and food attractants

    Technology Transfer Automated Retrieval System (TEKTRAN)

    Atemoya is a hybrid between Annona squamosa and A. cherimola (Annonaceae) and has potential to be a major fruit crop in tropical and subtropical areas. A major impediment to fruit production is low fruit-set due to inadequate pollinator visits, typically Nitidulidae beetles. We used Universal moth t...

  10. Attraction of pollinators to atemoya (Magnoliales: Annonaceae) in Puerto Rico: A synergetic approach using multiple nitidulid lures

    Technology Transfer Automated Retrieval System (TEKTRAN)

    Atemoya, a cross between Annona squamosa and A. cherimola (Annonaceae), has the potential to be a major fruit crop in tropical and subtropical areas. A major setback to production throughout the world is low fruit-set due to inadequate visits by pollinators, typically beetles in the family Nitidulid...

  11. Wild bees preferentially visit Rudbeckia flower heads with exaggerated ultraviolet absorbing floral guides.

    PubMed

    Horth, Lisa; Campbell, Laura; Bray, Rebecca

    2014-01-01

    Here, we report on the results of an experimental study that assessed the visitation frequency of wild bees to conspecific flowers with different sized floral guides. UV absorbent floral guides are ubiquitous in Angiosperms, yet surprisingly little is known about conspecific variation in these guides and very few studies have evaluated pollinator response to UV guide manipulation. This is true despite our rich understanding about learning and color preferences in bees. Historical dogma indicates that flower color serves as an important long-range visual signal allowing pollinators to detect the flowers, while floral guides function as close-range signals that direct pollinators to a reward. We initiated the work presented here by first assessing the population level variation in UV absorbent floral guides for conspecific flowers. We assessed two species, Rudbeckia hirta and R. fulgida. We then used several petal cut-and-paste experiments to test whether UV floral guides can also function to attract visitors. We manipulated floral guide size and evaluated visitation frequency. In all experiments, pollinator visitation rates were clearly associated with floral guide size. Diminished floral guides recruited relatively few insect visitors. Exaggerated floral guides recruited more visitors than smaller or average sized guides. Thus, UV floral guides play an important role in pollinator recruitment and in determining the relative attractiveness of conspecific flower heads. Consideration of floral guides is therefore important when evaluating the overall conspicuousness of flower heads relative to background coloration. This work raises the issue of whether floral guides serve as honest indicators of reward, since guide size varies in nature for conspecific flowers at the same developmental stage and since preferences for larger guides were found. To our knowledge, these are the first cut-and-paste experiments conducted to examine whether UV absorbent floral guides affect

  12. Contrasting Foraging Patterns: Testing Resource-Concentration and Dilution Effects with Pollinators and Seed Predators.

    PubMed

    Wenninger, Alexandria; Kim, Tania N; Spiesman, Brian J; Gratton, Claudio

    2016-01-01

    Resource concentration effects occur when high resource density patches attract and support more foragers than low density patches. In contrast, resource dilution effects can occur if high density patches support fewer consumers. In this study, we examined the foraging rates of pollinators and seed predators on two perennial plant species (Rudbeckia triloba and Verbena stricta) as functions of resource density. Specifically, we examined whether resource-dense patches (densities of flower and seeds on individual plants) resulted in greater visitation and seed removal rates, respectively. We also examined whether foraging rates were context-dependent by conducting the study in two sites that varied in resource densities. For pollinators, we found negative relationships between the density of flowers per plant and visitation rates, suggesting dilution effects. For seed predators, we found positive relationships consistent with concentration effects. Saturation effects and differences in foraging behaviors might explain the opposite relationships; most of the seed predators were ants (recruitment-based foragers), and pollinators were mostly solitary foragers. We also found that foraging rates were site-dependent, possibly due to site-level differences in resource abundance and consumer densities. These results suggest that these two plant species may benefit from producing as many flowers as possible, given high levels of pollination and low seed predation. PMID:27271673

  13. Long-distance pollen flow assessment through evaluation of pollinator foraging range suggests transgene escape distances

    PubMed Central

    Pasquet, Rémy S.; Peltier, Alexis; Hufford, Matthew B.; Oudin, Emeline; Saulnier, Jonathan; Paul, Lénaic; Knudsen, Jette T.; Herren, Hans R.; Gepts, Paul

    2008-01-01

    Foraging range, an important component of bee ecology, is of considerable interest for insect-pollinated plants because it determines the potential for outcrossing among individuals. However, long-distance pollen flow is difficult to assess, especially when the plant also relies on self-pollination. Pollen movement can be estimated indirectly through population genetic data, but complementary data on pollinator flight distances is necessary to validate such estimates. By using radio-tracking of cowpea pollinator return flights, we found that carpenter bees visiting cowpea flowers can forage up to 6 km from their nest. Foraging distances were found to be shorter than the maximum flight range, especially under adverse weather conditions or poor reward levels. From complete flight records in which bees visited wild and domesticated populations, we conclude that bees can mediate gene flow and, in some instances, allow transgene (genetically engineered material) escape over several kilometers. However, most between-flower flights occur within plant patches, while very few occur between plant patches. PMID:18768793

  14. Pollination, mating and reproductive fitness in a plant population with bimodal floral-tube length.

    PubMed

    Anderson, B; Pauw, A; Cole, W W; Barrett, S C H

    2016-08-01

    Mating patterns and natural selection play important roles in determining whether genetic polymorphisms are maintained or lost. Here, we document an atypical population of Lapeirousia anceps (Iridaceae) with a bimodal distribution of floral-tube length and investigate the reproductive mechanisms associated with this pattern of variation. Flowers were visited exclusively by the long-proboscid fly Moegistorhynchus longirostris (Nemestrinidae), which exhibited a unimodal distribution of proboscis length and displayed a preference for long-tubed phenotypes. Despite being visited by a single pollinator species, allozyme markers revealed significant genetic differentiation between open-pollinated progeny of long- and short-tubed phenotypes suggesting mating barriers between them. We obtained direct evidence for mating barriers between the floral-tube phenotypes through observations of pollinator foraging, controlled hand pollinations and measurements of pollen competition and seed set. Intermediate tube-length phenotypes produced fewer seeds in the field than either long- or short-tubed phenotypes. Although floral-tube length bimodality may not be a stable state over long timescales, reproductive barriers to mating and low 'hybrid' fitness have the potential to contribute to the maintenance of this state in the short term. PMID:27206242

  15. Contrasting Foraging Patterns: Testing Resource-Concentration and Dilution Effects with Pollinators and Seed Predators

    PubMed Central

    Wenninger, Alexandria; Kim, Tania N.; Spiesman, Brian J.; Gratton, Claudio

    2016-01-01

    Resource concentration effects occur when high resource density patches attract and support more foragers than low density patches. In contrast, resource dilution effects can occur if high density patches support fewer consumers. In this study, we examined the foraging rates of pollinators and seed predators on two perennial plant species (Rudbeckia triloba and Verbena stricta) as functions of resource density. Specifically, we examined whether resource-dense patches (densities of flower and seeds on individual plants) resulted in greater visitation and seed removal rates, respectively. We also examined whether foraging rates were context-dependent by conducting the study in two sites that varied in resource densities. For pollinators, we found negative relationships between the density of flowers per plant and visitation rates, suggesting dilution effects. For seed predators, we found positive relationships consistent with concentration effects. Saturation effects and differences in foraging behaviors might explain the opposite relationships; most of the seed predators were ants (recruitment-based foragers), and pollinators were mostly solitary foragers. We also found that foraging rates were site-dependent, possibly due to site-level differences in resource abundance and consumer densities. These results suggest that these two plant species may benefit from producing as many flowers as possible, given high levels of pollination and low seed predation. PMID:27271673

  16. Does facilitating pollinator learning impede deceptive orchid attractiveness? A multi-approach test of avoidance learning.

    PubMed

    Juillet, N; Salzmann, C C; Scopece, G

    2011-07-01

    It has often been proposed that nectarless deceptive orchid species exploit naïve pollinators in search of food before they learn to avoid their flowers, and that intraspecific floral trait polymorphism, often noted in this plant group, could prolong the time needed for learning, thus increasing orchid reproductive success. We tested the importance of avoidance learning in a European deceptive orchid, Anacamptis morio, which has been reported to have a highly variable fragrance bouquet among individuals. We used an indirect approach, i.e. we facilitated pollinators' ability to learn to avoid A. morio by adding anisaldehyde to selected inflorescences, a scent compound that is easily perceived by the natural pollinators and produced in large quantities by the closely related, nectar producing Anacamptis coriophora, a species that shares pollinator species with A. morio. In a series of three experiments (in artificial arrays, in natural populations and in bumblebee behavioural observations), we consistently found no difference either of reproductive success of or visitation rates to scent-added versus control inflorescences. We also found that the decrease of reproductive success over time in artificial populations of this deceptive species was not as important as expected. Together, these data suggest that pollinators do not fully learn to avoid deceptive inflorescences, and that pollinator avoidance behaviour alone may explain the lower reproductive success usually found in deceptive orchids. We discuss the possible explanations for this pattern in deceptive orchids, particularly in relation to pollinator cognition and learning abilities. Lastly, in light of our results, the potential for higher average reproductive success in deceptive orchids with high phenotypic variability driven by avoidance learning thus appears to be challenged.

  17. Flexible foraging shapes the topology of plant-pollinator interaction networks.

    PubMed

    Spiesman, Brian J; Gratton, Claudio

    2016-06-01

    In plant-pollinator networks, foraging choices by pollinators help form the connecting links between species. Flexible foraging should therefore play an important role in defining network topology. Factors such as morphological trait complementarity limit a pollinator's pool of potential floral resources, but which potential resource species are actually utilized at a location depends on local environmental and ecological context. Pollinators can be highly flexible foragers, but the effect of this flexibility on network topology remains unclear. To understand how flexible foraging affects network topology, we examined differences between sets of locally realized interactions and corresponding sets of potential interactions within 25 weighted plant-pollinator networks in two different regions of the United States. We examined two possible mechanisms for flexible foraging effects on realized networks: (1) preferential targeting of higher-density plant resources, which should increase network nestedness, and (2) context-dependent resource partitioning driven by interspecific competition, which should increase modularity and complementary specialization. We found that flexible foraging has strong effects on realized network topology. Realized connectance was much lower than connectance based on potential interactions, indicating a local narrowing of diet breadth. Moreover, the foraging choices pollinators made, which particular plant species to visit and at what rates, resulted in networks that were significantly less nested and significantly more modular and specialized than their corresponding networks of potential interactions. Preferentially foraging on locally abundant resources was not a strong driver of the realization of potential interactions. However, the degree of modularity and complementary specialization both increased with the number of competing pollinator species and with niche availability. We therefore conclude that flexible foraging affects realized

  18. Flexible foraging shapes the topology of plant-pollinator interaction networks.

    PubMed

    Spiesman, Brian J; Gratton, Claudio

    2016-06-01

    In plant-pollinator networks, foraging choices by pollinators help form the connecting links between species. Flexible foraging should therefore play an important role in defining network topology. Factors such as morphological trait complementarity limit a pollinator's pool of potential floral resources, but which potential resource species are actually utilized at a location depends on local environmental and ecological context. Pollinators can be highly flexible foragers, but the effect of this flexibility on network topology remains unclear. To understand how flexible foraging affects network topology, we examined differences between sets of locally realized interactions and corresponding sets of potential interactions within 25 weighted plant-pollinator networks in two different regions of the United States. We examined two possible mechanisms for flexible foraging effects on realized networks: (1) preferential targeting of higher-density plant resources, which should increase network nestedness, and (2) context-dependent resource partitioning driven by interspecific competition, which should increase modularity and complementary specialization. We found that flexible foraging has strong effects on realized network topology. Realized connectance was much lower than connectance based on potential interactions, indicating a local narrowing of diet breadth. Moreover, the foraging choices pollinators made, which particular plant species to visit and at what rates, resulted in networks that were significantly less nested and significantly more modular and specialized than their corresponding networks of potential interactions. Preferentially foraging on locally abundant resources was not a strong driver of the realization of potential interactions. However, the degree of modularity and complementary specialization both increased with the number of competing pollinator species and with niche availability. We therefore conclude that flexible foraging affects realized

  19. Pollination ecology in the narrow endemic winter-flowering Primula allionii (Primulaceae).

    PubMed

    Minuto, Luigi; Guerrina, Maria; Roccotiello, Enrica; Roccatagliata, Nicolò; Mariotti, Mauro Giorgio; Casazza, Gabriele

    2014-01-01

    Reduction of pollen flow can affect plant abundance and population viability and cause selection on plant mating system and floral traits. Little is known on the effect of this phenomenon in species naturally restricted to small and isolated habitats, that may have developed strategies to cope with long-term isolation and small population size. We investigated the pollination ecology of the endemic distylous winter-flowering P. allionii to verify the possible limitation of female fitness due to reduced pollinator visits. We recorded a higher production of pollen grains in long-styled morph, and a higher seed set in short-styled morph. The high intra-morph variability of sexual organ position may explain the hybridization phenomena allowing and easier intra-morph pollination. The fruit set is constant, although its winter-flowering period might decrease pollen transfer. Nevertheless, the lower competition for pollinators with neighbouring plants and the long-lasting anthesis may offset its reproductive success. Even if our results show no evidence of imminent threats, changes in plant-pollinator interactions might increase inbreeding, resulting in an increased extinction risk.

  20. Pollination patterns limit hybridization between two sympatric species of Narcissus (Amaryllidaceae).

    PubMed

    Marques, Isabel; Rosselló-Graell, Antònia; Draper, David; Iriondo, José M

    2007-08-01

    Natural hybrids between rare and common sympatric species are commonly eradicated to avoid the potential extinction of the rare species, although there is currently no clear predictive framework to quantify this risk. As hybrids can have intrinsic value as new evolutionary pathways, further knowledge on the factors controlling hybridization is needed. In this study we evaluated the role of pollination patterns in hybridization events in two sympatric populations of Narcissus cavanillesii and N. serotinus in Portugal. Narcissus cavanillesii is a rare species, while N. serotinus is widely distributed across the Mediterranean. The hybrid, N. ×perezlarae, is quite frequent in southeastern Spain but is scarce in Portugal. Reciprocal manual crossings confirmed compatibility between the two species, although hybridization was more successful when N. cavanillesii participated as female. Narcissus cavanillesii and N. serotinus only shared one pollinator, Megachile sp. (Hymenoptera), which had low visitation rates and high flower constancy. No single isolation mechanism was fully effective in preventing hybridization. Temporal displacement of flowering peaks, strong pollinator specificity, and high flower constancy in the shared pollinator all contributed to limiting hybridization in this site. In other sympatric occurrences, different phenological windows and pollination assemblages may allow greater frequency of the hybrid. PMID:21636503

  1. Reproduction in Flame Azalea (Rhododendron calendulaceum, Ericaceae): A Rare Case of Insect Wing Pollination.

    PubMed

    Epps, Mary Jane; Allison, Suzanne E; Wolfe, Lorne M

    2015-08-01

    Although many angiosperms are serviced by flying pollinators, reports of wings as pollen vectors are rare. Flame azalea (Rhododendron calendulaceum) is visited by diverse insects, yet previous observations suggested that only butterfly wings may transfer pollen to stigmas. We used an experimental approach to determine whether butterfly wings are the primary vehicle of pollination in flame azalea. Over two seasons of observations, only butterflies (Papilio glaucus and Speyeria cybele) contacted both anthers and stigmas, yet because of differences in wing-flapping behavior, P. glaucus transferred pollen most efficiently. In contrast, bee species specialized either on pollen or nectar but did not contact both anthers and stigmas. A field experiment revealed that flowers excluding butterflies experienced almost complete fruit failure, whereas fruit set in open flowers did not differ from those that were hand pollinated. Additionally, butterflies had 56-fold more azalea pollen on their wings than bodies, while azalea stigmas bore both pollen and wing scales. These results suggest that plants with many visitors contacting reproductive organs may still specialize on a single guild of visitors for pollination and that wing-borne pollen transfer is a key mode of flame azalea pollination.

  2. Pollination by sexual deception promotes outcrossing and mate diversity in self-compatible clonal orchids.

    PubMed

    Whitehead, M R; Linde, C C; Peakall, R

    2015-08-01

    The majority of flowering plants rely on animals as pollen vectors. Thus, plant mating systems and pollen dispersal are strongly influenced by pollinator behaviour. In Australian sexually deceptive orchids pollinated by male thynnine wasps, outcrossing and extensive pollen flow is predicted due to floral deception, which minimizes multiple flower visitations within patches, and the movement of pollinators under mate-search rather than foraging behaviours. This hypothesis was tested using microsatellite markers to reconstruct and infer paternity in two clonal, self-compatible orchids. Offspring from naturally pollinated Chiloglottis valida and C. aff. jeanesii were acquired through symbiotic culture of seeds collected over three seasons. In both species, outcrossing was extensive (tm  = 0.924-1.00) despite clone sizes up to 11 m wide. The median pollen flow distance based on paternity for both taxa combined was 14.5 m (n = 18, range 0-69 m), being larger than typically found by paternity analyses in other herbaceous plants. Unexpectedly for orchids, some capsules were sired by more than one father, with an average of 1.35 pollen donors per fruit. This is the first genetic confirmation of polyandry in orchid capsules. Further, we report a possible link between multiple paternity and increased seed fitness. Together, these results demonstrate that deceptive pollination by mate-searching wasps enhances offspring fitness by promoting both outcrossing and within-fruit paternal diversity.

  3. Spatial variation in selection on corolla shape in a generalist plant is promoted by the preference patterns of its local pollinators.

    PubMed

    Gómez, José M; Bosch, Jordi; Perfectti, Francisco; Fernández, J D; Abdelaziz, Mohamed; Camacho, J P M

    2008-10-01

    An adaptive role of corolla shape has been often asserted without an empirical demonstration of how natural selection acts on this trait. In generalist plants, in which flowers are visited by diverse pollinator fauna that commonly vary spatially, detecting pollinator-mediated selection on corolla shape is even more difficult. In this study, we explore the mechanisms promoting selection on corolla shape in the generalist crucifer Erysimum mediohispanicum Polatschek (Brassicaceae). We found that the main pollinators of E. mediohispanicum (large bees, small bees and bee flies) discriminate between different corolla shapes when offered artificial flowers without reward. Importantly, different pollinators prefer different shapes: bees prefer flowers with narrow petals, whereas bee flies prefer flowers with rounded overlapping petals. We also found that flowers with narrow petals (those preferred by bees) produce both more pollen and nectar than those with rounded petals. Finally, different plant populations were visited by different faunas. As a result, we found spatial variation in the selection acting on corolla shape. Selection favoured flowers with narrow petals in the populations where large or small bees are the most abundant pollinator groups. Our study suggests that pollinators, by preferring flowers with high reward, exert strong selection on the E. mediohispanicum corolla shape. The geographical variation in the pollinator-mediated selection on E. mediohispanicum corolla shape suggests that phenotypic evolution and diversification can occur in this complex floral trait even without specialization. PMID:18544510

  4. Visiting Scholar Exchange Reports.

    ERIC Educational Resources Information Center

    Rubin, Kyna, Ed.

    1986-01-01

    Provides reports of four United States scholars who visited China as part of the Visiting Scholar Exchange Program. The titles of the reports are (1) "China Journey: A Political Scientist's Look at Yan'an," (2) "The Social Consequences of Land Reclamation in Chinese Coastal Ecosystems," (3) "Anthropology Lectures in South China," and (4) "The Use…

  5. Secondary Emergency Visits

    PubMed Central

    Mohr, Bruce; Wiley, Preston

    1991-01-01

    This study surveyed patients seeking emergency care at three Calgary hospitals during a 7-day period in February 1989. Twenty-one percent had seen another physician for the same medical problem within 72 hours. The study suggests that secondary visits at emergency departments affect health care costs. Further study is needed to investigate the extent and appropriateness of such visits. PMID:21229002

  6. Hosting the Presidential Visit.

    ERIC Educational Resources Information Center

    Sherouse, Mark A.

    This paper describes the visit of President Bush to the campus of Southern Methodist University (SMU) for the May, 1992 commencement and lessons learned from the experience. The paper describes how SMU made use of lead time and suggests how to estimate cost of such a visit. Discussion of strategies for organizing describes the formation and work…

  7. Presidential visit to MSFC

    NASA Technical Reports Server (NTRS)

    1990-01-01

    President George Bush and Alabama Governor Guy Hunt are greeted by Marshall's sixth Center Director Thomas J. Lee (1989-1994) upon their arrival at Redstone Arsenal (RSA) airfield. This was the first sitting president to visit Marshall Space Flight Center (MSFC) since President Kennedy's visit almost 30 years ago.

  8. Neural basis of a pollinator's buffet: olfactory specialization and learning in Manduca sexta.

    PubMed

    Riffell, Jeffrey A; Lei, Hong; Abrell, Leif; Hildebrand, John G

    2013-01-11

    Pollinators exhibit a range of innate and learned behaviors that mediate interactions with flowers, but the olfactory bases of these responses in a naturalistic context remain poorly understood. The hawkmoth Manduca sexta is an important pollinator for many night-blooming flowers but can learn--through olfactory conditioning--to visit other nectar resources. Analysis of the flowers that are innately attractive to moths shows that the scents all have converged on a similar chemical profile that, in turn, is uniquely represented in the moth's antennal (olfactory) lobe. Flexibility in visitation to nonattractive flowers, however, is mediated by octopamine-associated modulation of antennal-lobe neurons during learning. Furthermore, this flexibility does not extinguish the innate preferences. Such processing of stimuli through two olfactory channels, one involving an innate bias and the other a learned association, allows the moths to exist within a dynamic floral environment while maintaining specialized associations.

  9. Pollination ecology of two species of Elleanthus (Orchidaceae): novel mechanisms and underlying adaptations to hummingbird pollination.

    PubMed

    Nunes, C E P; Amorim, F W; Mayer, J L S; Sazima, M

    2016-01-01

    Relationships among floral biology, floral micromorphology and pollinator behaviour in bird-pollinated orchids are important issues to understand the evolution of the huge flower diversity within Orchidaceae. We aimed to investigate floral mechanisms underlying the interaction with pollinators in two hummingbird-pollinated orchids occurring in the Atlantic forest. We assessed floral biology, nectar traits, nectary and column micromorphologies, breeding systems and pollinators. In both species, nectar is secreted by lip calli through spaces between the medial lamellar surfaces of epidermal cells. Such a form of floral nectar secretion has not been previously described. Both species present functional protandry and are self-compatible yet pollinator-dependent. Fruit set in hand-pollination experiments was more than twice that under natural conditions, evidencing pollen limitation. The absence of fruit set in interspecific crosses suggests the existence of post-pollination barriers between these sympatric co-flowering species. In Elleanthus brasiliensis, fruits resulting from cross-pollination and natural conditions were heavier than those resulting from self-pollination, suggesting advantages to cross-pollination. Hummingbirds pollinated both species, which share at least one pollinator species. Species differences in floral morphologies led to distinct pollination mechanisms. In E. brasiliensis, attachment of pollinarium to the hummingbird bill occurs through a lever apparatus formed by an appendage in the column, another novelty to our knowledge of orchid pollination. In E. crinipes, pollinarium attachment occurs by simple contact with the bill during insertion into the flower tube, which fits tightly around it. The novelties described here illustrate the overlooked richness in ecology and morphophysiology in Orchidaceae.

  10. Pollination ecology of two species of Elleanthus (Orchidaceae): novel mechanisms and underlying adaptations to hummingbird pollination.

    PubMed

    Nunes, C E P; Amorim, F W; Mayer, J L S; Sazima, M

    2016-01-01

    Relationships among floral biology, floral micromorphology and pollinator behaviour in bird-pollinated orchids are important issues to understand the evolution of the huge flower diversity within Orchidaceae. We aimed to investigate floral mechanisms underlying the interaction with pollinators in two hummingbird-pollinated orchids occurring in the Atlantic forest. We assessed floral biology, nectar traits, nectary and column micromorphologies, breeding systems and pollinators. In both species, nectar is secreted by lip calli through spaces between the medial lamellar surfaces of epidermal cells. Such a form of floral nectar secretion has not been previously described. Both species present functional protandry and are self-compatible yet pollinator-dependent. Fruit set in hand-pollination experiments was more than twice that under natural conditions, evidencing pollen limitation. The absence of fruit set in interspecific crosses suggests the existence of post-pollination barriers between these sympatric co-flowering species. In Elleanthus brasiliensis, fruits resulting from cross-pollination and natural conditions were heavier than those resulting from self-pollination, suggesting advantages to cross-pollination. Hummingbirds pollinated both species, which share at least one pollinator species. Species differences in floral morphologies led to distinct pollination mechanisms. In E. brasiliensis, attachment of pollinarium to the hummingbird bill occurs through a lever apparatus formed by an appendage in the column, another novelty to our knowledge of orchid pollination. In E. crinipes, pollinarium attachment occurs by simple contact with the bill during insertion into the flower tube, which fits tightly around it. The novelties described here illustrate the overlooked richness in ecology and morphophysiology in Orchidaceae. PMID:25678071

  11. Do pollinator distributions underlie the evolution of pollination ecotypes in the Cape shrub Erica plukenetii?

    PubMed Central

    Van der Niet, Timotheüs; Pirie, Michael D.; Shuttleworth, Adam; Johnson, Steven D.; Midgley, Jeremy J.

    2014-01-01

    Background and Aims According to the Grant–Stebbins model of pollinator-driven divergence, plants that disperse beyond the range of their specialized pollinator may adapt to a new pollination system. Although this model provides a compelling explanation for pollination ecotype formation, few studies have directly tested its validity in nature. Here we investigate the distribution and pollination biology of several subspecies of the shrub Erica plukenetii from the Cape Floristic Region in South Africa. We analyse these data in a phylogenetic context and combine these results with information on pollinator ranges to test whether the evolution of pollination ecotypes is consistent with the Grant–Stebbins model. Methods and Key Results Pollinator observations showed that the most common form of E. plukenetii with intermediate corolla length is pollinated by short-billed Orange-breasted sunbirds. Populations at the northern fringe of the distribution are characterized by long corollas, and are mainly pollinated by long-billed Malachite sunbirds. A population with short corollas in the centre of the range was mainly pollinated by insects, particularly short-tongued noctuid moths. Bird exclusion in this population did not have an effect on fruit set, while insect exclusion reduced fruit set. An analysis of floral scent across the range, using coupled gas chromatography–mass spectrometry, showed that the scent bouquets of flowers from moth-pollinated populations are characterized by a larger number of scent compounds and higher emission rates than those in bird-pollinated populations. This was also reflected in clear separation of moth- and bird-pollinated populations in a two-dimensional phenotype space based on non-metric multidimensional scaling analysis of scent data. Phylogenetic analyses of chloroplast and nuclear DNA sequences strongly supported monophyly of E. plukenetii, but not of all the subspecies. Reconstruction of ancestral character states suggests two

  12. Climate-driven spatial mismatches between British orchards and their pollinators: increased risks of pollination deficits

    PubMed Central

    Polce, Chiara; Garratt, Michael P; Termansen, Mette; Ramirez-Villegas, Julian; Challinor, Andrew J; Lappage, Martin G; Boatman, Nigel D; Crowe, Andrew; Endalew, Ayenew Melese; Potts, Simon G; Somerwill, Kate E; Biesmeijer, Jacobus C

    2014-01-01

    Understanding how climate change can affect crop-pollinator systems helps predict potential geographical mismatches between a crop and its pollinators, and therefore identify areas vulnerable to loss of pollination services. We examined the distribution of orchard species (apples, pears, plums and other top fruits) and their pollinators in Great Britain, for present and future climatic conditions projected for 2050 under the SRES A1B Emissions Scenario. We used a relative index of pollinator availability as a proxy for pollination service. At present, there is a large spatial overlap between orchards and their pollinators, but predictions for 2050 revealed that the most suitable areas for orchards corresponded to low pollinator availability. However, we found that pollinator availability may persist in areas currently used for fruit production, which are predicted to provide suboptimal environmental suitability for orchard species in the future. Our results may be used to identify mitigation options to safeguard orchard production against the risk of pollination failure in Great Britain over the next 50 years; for instance, choosing fruit tree varieties that are adapted to future climatic conditions, or boosting wild pollinators through improving landscape resources. Our approach can be readily applied to other regions and crop systems, and expanded to include different climatic scenarios. PMID:24638986

  13. The Dependence of Crops for Pollinators and the Economic Value of Pollination in Brazil.

    PubMed

    Giannini, T C; Cordeiro, G D; Freitas, B M; Saraiva, A M; Imperatriz-Fonseca, V L

    2015-06-01

    Food production is challenged by changes in climate and land use and expanding human population growth. Proper pollination can increase the production and quality of fruit, nut, oil, and fiber crops. We reviewed crop dependence on pollinators and estimated the economic value of pollination per year for each crop in Brazil. We analyzed 141 crops and found that 85 depend on pollinators. Almost one-third of these crops have an essential or great dependence on pollinators. The economic contribution of pollinators totals ∼30% (∼US$12 billion) of the total annual agricultural income of the dependent crops (totalizing almost US$45 billion). However, half of these figures includes soybean crop (US$5.7 billion of pollinators' contribution and US$22 billion of annual income). Soybean was considered as having a modest dependence on pollinators, but this remains controversial because pollinator dependence might vary among different varieties cultivated in Brazil. Moreover, we have no information about pollinator dependence regarding some important crops, showing the urgent need for basic research into reproductive biology and pollination ecology.

  14. The Dependence of Crops for Pollinators and the Economic Value of Pollination in Brazil.

    PubMed

    Giannini, T C; Cordeiro, G D; Freitas, B M; Saraiva, A M; Imperatriz-Fonseca, V L

    2015-06-01

    Food production is challenged by changes in climate and land use and expanding human population growth. Proper pollination can increase the production and quality of fruit, nut, oil, and fiber crops. We reviewed crop dependence on pollinators and estimated the economic value of pollination per year for each crop in Brazil. We analyzed 141 crops and found that 85 depend on pollinators. Almost one-third of these crops have an essential or great dependence on pollinators. The economic contribution of pollinators totals ∼30% (∼US$12 billion) of the total annual agricultural income of the dependent crops (totalizing almost US$45 billion). However, half of these figures includes soybean crop (US$5.7 billion of pollinators' contribution and US$22 billion of annual income). Soybean was considered as having a modest dependence on pollinators, but this remains controversial because pollinator dependence might vary among different varieties cultivated in Brazil. Moreover, we have no information about pollinator dependence regarding some important crops, showing the urgent need for basic research into reproductive biology and pollination ecology. PMID:26470203

  15. Climate-driven spatial mismatches between British orchards and their pollinators: increased risks of pollination deficits.

    PubMed

    Polce, Chiara; Garratt, Michael P; Termansen, Mette; Ramirez-Villegas, Julian; Challinor, Andrew J; Lappage, Martin G; Boatman, Nigel D; Crowe, Andrew; Endalew, Ayenew Melese; Potts, Simon G; Somerwill, Kate E; Biesmeijer, Jacobus C

    2014-09-01

    Understanding how climate change can affect crop-pollinator systems helps predict potential geographical mismatches between a crop and its pollinators, and therefore identify areas vulnerable to loss of pollination services. We examined the distribution of orchard species (apples, pears, plums and other top fruits) and their pollinators in Great Britain, for present and future climatic conditions projected for 2050 under the SRES A1B Emissions Scenario. We used a relative index of pollinator availability as a proxy for pollination service. At present, there is a large spatial overlap between orchards and their pollinators, but predictions for 2050 revealed that the most suitable areas for orchards corresponded to low pollinator availability. However, we found that pollinator availability may persist in areas currently used for fruit production, which are predicted to provide suboptimal environmental suitability for orchard species in the future. Our results may be used to identify mitigation options to safeguard orchard production against the risk of pollination failure in Great Britain over the next 50 years; for instance, choosing fruit tree varieties that are adapted to future climatic conditions, or boosting wild pollinators through improving landscape resources. Our approach can be readily applied to other regions and crop systems, and expanded to include different climatic scenarios.

  16. Pollination of cucumber, Cucumis sativus L. (Cucurbitales: Cucurbitaceae), by the stingless bees Scaptotrigona aff. depilis moure and Nannotrigona testaceicornis Lepeletier (Hymenoptera: Meliponini) in greenhouses.

    PubMed

    Santos, Solange A B dos; Roselino, Ana C; Bego, Luci R

    2008-01-01

    When for a successful fruit development the fertilization of flowers is necessary, bees can be used as crop-pollinators in greenhouses. In the present study, we investigated the effectiveness of the stingless bees Scaptotrigona aff. depilis Moure and Nannotrigona testaceicornis Lepeletier as pollinators of cucumber plants (Cucumus sativus var. caipira) in greenhouses during the Brazilian winter season. The study was conducted in four greenhouses (GH), of which two greenhouses contained bee colonies to ascertain pollination of the cucumber plants (GH I, with S. aff. depilis, GH II, with N. testaceicornis), whereas the other two greenhouses (GH III, GH IV) had no bee colonies and served as control groups. Furthermore, we planted cucumbers in an open field plot (OA) where pollination by any/various visiting insects could occur. Each of the experimental areas measured 87.5 m2. Without pollination (GH III, GH IV), the plants produced a low number of cucumbers, and the fruits were smaller and less heavy than in those experimental areas where pollination occurred. In the open field area, not protected against unfavorable climatic conditions, the plants produced fewer flowers than the plants in the greenhouses. The highest cucumber yield (with the highest amount of perfect fruits) was found in those greenhouses which housed the stingless bees as pollinators (GH I, GH II). Our results demonstrate that stingless bees can be successfully and efficiently used as pollinators of greenhouse cucumbers during the winter season. PMID:19061034

  17. Wind of change: new insights on the ecology and evolution of pollination and mating in wind-pollinated plants

    PubMed Central

    Friedman, Jannice; Barrett, Spencer C. H.

    2009-01-01

    Background The rich literature that characterizes the field of pollination biology has focused largely on animal-pollinated plants. At least 10 % of angiosperms are wind pollinated, and this mode of pollination has evolved on multiple occasions among unrelated lineages, and hence this discrepancy in research interest is surprising. Here, the evolution and functional ecology of pollination and mating in wind-pollinated plants are discussed, a theoretical framework for modelling the selection of wind pollination is outlined, and pollen capture and the occurrence of pollen limitation in diverse wind-pollinated herbs are investigated experimentally. Scope and Conclusions Wind pollination may commonly evolve to provide reproductive assurance when pollinators are scarce. Evidence is presented that pollen limitation in wind-pollinated plants may not be as common as it is in animal-pollinated species. The studies of pollen capture in wind-pollinated herbs demonstrate that pollen transfer efficiency is not substantially lower than in animal-pollinated plants as is often assumed. These findings challenge the explanation that the evolution of few ovules in wind-pollinated flowers is associated with low pollen loads. Floral and inflorescence architecture is crucial to pollination and mating because of the aerodynamics of wind pollination. Evidence is provided for the importance of plant height, floral position, and stamen and stigma characteristics in promoting effective pollen dispersal and capture. Finally, it is proposed that geitonogamous selfing may alleviate pollen limitation in many wind-pollinated plants with unisexual flowers. PMID:19218583

  18. Effects of invasive plant species on pollinator service and reproduction in native plants at Acadia National Park

    USGS Publications Warehouse

    Stubbs, C.J.; Drummond, F.; Ginsberg, H.

    2007-01-01

    Invasive plant species can have profound negative effects on natural communities by competively excluding native species. Berberis thunbergii (Japanese barberry), Frangula alnus (glossy or alder buckthorn) and Lythrum salicaria (purple loosestrife) are invasive species known to reduce native plant diversity and are thus of great concern to Acadia National Park. Pollinators visit them for nectar and pollen. The effects of invasive plant species on pollinator behavior were investigated by comparing pollinator visitation to co-flowering native and invasive species with visitation to native species growing alone. The effect of invasives on pollination of native plants was studied by comparing fruit set in patches of the native species growing near invasives with patches far from invasive species in Acadia National Park. The coflowering pairs were as follows: in the spring native Vaccinium angustifolium (lowbush blueberry) was paired with B. thunbergii; in early summer native Viburnum nudum (wild raisin) was paired with F. alnus ; in late summer native Spiraea alba (meadowsweet) was paired with L. salicaria. We investigated whether these invasives competed with native plants for pollinators in Acadia and thus negatively affected native plant reproduction. Our objectives were to determine: 1) the influence, if any, of each invasive on pollinator visitation to a co-flowering native species, 2) factors that might affect visitation, 3) invasive pollen transfer to native plants, and 4) whether invasives influence native plant reproduction (fruit set). Our findings indicate that at times the number of flower visitors to natives was lower or the species composition of visitors different when invasives were present, that invasives sometimes attracted more pollinators, that generally the invasives were more rewarding as far as nectar and pollen availability for pollinators, and that generally native plant fruit set and seed set was not significantly lowered in the presence of

  19. AGU sponsors Argentinean's visit

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Maria C. Azpiazu, an Argentinean space scientist, has been selected to receive travel support to attend the 1991 AGU Spring Meeting in Baltimore under AGU's Latin American Visiting Geophysicist Program. In addition to presenting a paper at the meeting on [Analysis of Electron Density and Temperature Profiles in the E-Region on Geomagnetically Quiet Days,] Azpiazu plans to visit several universities and research institutions.Azpiazu is an assistant professor at the University of Buenos Aires and an assistant researcher at the Argentinean National Research Council. While in the United States she plans to visit Boston and Harvard Universities, MIT, Hanscom Air Force Base, and the University of Colorado.

  20. Pollination Research Methods with Apis mellifera

    Technology Transfer Automated Retrieval System (TEKTRAN)

    This chapter describes field and lab procedures for doing experiments on honey bee pollination. Most of the methods apply to any insect for whom pollen vectoring capacity is the question. What makes honey bee pollination distinctive is its historic emphasis on agricultural applications; hence one fi...

  1. Improved storage of the pollinator, Megachile rotundata

    Technology Transfer Automated Retrieval System (TEKTRAN)

    The alfalfa leafcutting bee, Megachile rotundata, is the 3rd most common pollinator used for crop pollination in North America and low-temperature storage protocols are a critical component of M. rotundata management. There are four times during the production cycle that bees may need to be subj...

  2. The Potential Influence of Bumble Bee Visitation on Foraging Behaviors and Assemblages of Honey Bees on Squash Flowers in Highland Agricultural Ecosystems.

    PubMed

    Xie, Zhenghua; Pan, Dongdong; Teichroew, Jonathan; An, Jiandong

    2016-01-01

    Bee species interactions can benefit plant pollination through synergistic effects and complementary effects, or can be of detriment to plant pollination through competition effects by reducing visitation by effective pollinators. Since specific bee interactions influence the foraging performance of bees on flowers, they also act as drivers to regulate the assemblage of flower visitors. We selected squash (Cucurbita pepo L.) and its pollinators as a model system to study the foraging response of honey bees to the occurrence of bumble bees at two types of sites surrounded by a high amount of natural habitats (≥ 58% of land cover) and a low amount of natural habitats (≤ 12% of land cover) in a highland agricultural ecosystem in China. At the individual level, we measured the elapsed time from the departure of prior pollinator(s) to the arrival of another pollinator, the selection of honey bees for flowers occupied by bumble bees, and the length of time used by honey bees to explore floral resources at the two types of sites. At the community level, we explored the effect of bumble bee visitation on the distribution patterns of honey bees on squash flowers. Conclusively, bumble bee visitation caused an increase in elapsed time before flowers were visited again by a honey bee, a behavioral avoidance by a newly-arriving honey bee to select flowers occupied by bumble bees, and a shortened length of time the honey bee takes to examine and collect floral resources. The number of overall bumble bees on squash flowers was the most important factor explaining the difference in the distribution patterns of honey bees at the community level. Furthermore, decline in the number of overall bumble bees on the squash flowers resulted in an increase in the number of overall honey bees. Therefore, our study suggests that bee interactions provide an opportunity to enhance the resilience of ecosystem pollination services against the decline in pollinator diversity.

  3. The Potential Influence of Bumble Bee Visitation on Foraging Behaviors and Assemblages of Honey Bees on Squash Flowers in Highland Agricultural Ecosystems.

    PubMed

    Xie, Zhenghua; Pan, Dongdong; Teichroew, Jonathan; An, Jiandong

    2016-01-01

    Bee species interactions can benefit plant pollination through synergistic effects and complementary effects, or can be of detriment to plant pollination through competition effects by reducing visitation by effective pollinators. Since specific bee interactions influence the foraging performance of bees on flowers, they also act as drivers to regulate the assemblage of flower visitors. We selected squash (Cucurbita pepo L.) and its pollinators as a model system to study the foraging response of honey bees to the occurrence of bumble bees at two types of sites surrounded by a high amount of natural habitats (≥ 58% of land cover) and a low amount of natural habitats (≤ 12% of land cover) in a highland agricultural ecosystem in China. At the individual level, we measured the elapsed time from the departure of prior pollinator(s) to the arrival of another pollinator, the selection of honey bees for flowers occupied by bumble bees, and the length of time used by honey bees to explore floral resources at the two types of sites. At the community level, we explored the effect of bumble bee visitation on the distribution patterns of honey bees on squash flowers. Conclusively, bumble bee visitation caused an increase in elapsed time before flowers were visited again by a honey bee, a behavioral avoidance by a newly-arriving honey bee to select flowers occupied by bumble bees, and a shortened length of time the honey bee takes to examine and collect floral resources. The number of overall bumble bees on squash flowers was the most important factor explaining the difference in the distribution patterns of honey bees at the community level. Furthermore, decline in the number of overall bumble bees on the squash flowers resulted in an increase in the number of overall honey bees. Therefore, our study suggests that bee interactions provide an opportunity to enhance the resilience of ecosystem pollination services against the decline in pollinator diversity. PMID:26765140

  4. The Potential Influence of Bumble Bee Visitation on Foraging Behaviors and Assemblages of Honey Bees on Squash Flowers in Highland Agricultural Ecosystems

    PubMed Central

    Xie, Zhenghua; Pan, Dongdong; Teichroew, Jonathan; An, Jiandong

    2016-01-01

    Bee species interactions can benefit plant pollination through synergistic effects and complementary effects, or can be of detriment to plant pollination through competition effects by reducing visitation by effective pollinators. Since specific bee interactions influence the foraging performance of bees on flowers, they also act as drivers to regulate the assemblage of flower visitors. We selected squash (Cucurbita pepo L.) and its pollinators as a model system to study the foraging response of honey bees to the occurrence of bumble bees at two types of sites surrounded by a high amount of natural habitats (≥ 58% of land cover) and a low amount of natural habitats (≤ 12% of land cover) in a highland agricultural ecosystem in China. At the individual level, we measured the elapsed time from the departure of prior pollinator(s) to the arrival of another pollinator, the selection of honey bees for flowers occupied by bumble bees, and the length of time used by honey bees to explore floral resources at the two types of sites. At the community level, we explored the effect of bumble bee visitation on the distribution patterns of honey bees on squash flowers. Conclusively, bumble bee visitation caused an increase in elapsed time before flowers were visited again by a honey bee, a behavioral avoidance by a newly-arriving honey bee to select flowers occupied by bumble bees, and a shortened length of time the honey bee takes to examine and collect floral resources. The number of overall bumble bees on squash flowers was the most important factor explaining the difference in the distribution patterns of honey bees at the community level. Furthermore, decline in the number of overall bumble bees on the squash flowers resulted in an increase in the number of overall honey bees. Therefore, our study suggests that bee interactions provide an opportunity to enhance the resilience of ecosystem pollination services against the decline in pollinator diversity. PMID:26765140

  5. Morphology, nectar characteristics and avian pollinators in five Andean Puya species (Bromeliaceae)

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Hornung-Leoni, C. T.; González-Gómez, P. L.; Troncoso, A. J.

    2013-08-01

    Five Andean Puya species (Puya alpestris, Puya chilensis, Puya coerulea, Puya raimondii and Puya venusta) were studied to determine the relationship between their avian visitors, and plant morphology and nectar characteristics. Our results showed a significant relationship between nectar concentration, presence of sterile apex and avian pollinators's species. In contrast, nectar composition was not related to the frequency of avian visits. We found that Puya species were mainly visited by specialist nectarivorous birds such as hummingbirds (i.e., P. coerulea and P. venusta), lacked a sterile apex and produced high nectar concentration in low volumes. In contrast, species mainly visited by generalist passerines (i.e., P. chilensis and P. alpestris) were characterized by the presence of a sterile apex and production of highly diluted nectar in large volumes. In a mono-specific group we found that P. raimondii produces highly concentrated nectar in large volumes, and its flowers were visited by hummingbirds and passerine birds. We found no effect of nectar composition on bird's visits. Our study highlights the interplay between morphological traits, nectar characteristics and the ecological framework to explain specialized and generalized birds pollination systems.

  6. Why do fig wasps actively pollinate monoecious figs?

    PubMed

    Jousselin, Emmanuelle; Hossaert-McKey, Martine; Herre, Edward Allen; Kjellberg, Finn

    2003-02-01

    Active pollination, although rare, has been documented in a few pollination mutualisms. Such behaviour can only evolve if it benefits the pollinator in some way. The wasps that pollinate Ficus inflorescences can be active or passive pollinators. They lay their eggs in fig flowers, so that a proportion of flowers will host a wasp larva instead of a seed. We show in an actively pollinated monoecious fig that lack of pollination does not induce fig abortion or affect wasp offspring size but results in smaller numbers of offspring. Hence, conversely to other active pollination systems, seed formation is not obligatory to sustain developing pollinator larvae; however there is a direct fitness cost to active pollinators not to pollinate. We then compared the locations of eggs and fertilised flowers of three actively pollinated Ficus species and one passively pollinated species. We found that more flowers containing wasp eggs were fertilised in the actively pollinated species relative to those of the passively pollinated one. These results along with comparison with similar studies on dioecious figs, support the hypothesis that active pollination has evolved in fig wasps to ensure that more flowers containing wasp eggs are fertilised as this may increase the chances of successful gall development. The stigmatic platform characterising actively pollinated figs is probably an adaptation to increase pollen dispersion within the fig.

  7. Students Request Supervisory Visits

    ERIC Educational Resources Information Center

    Mooney, Jewell

    1974-01-01

    The author stresses the importance of summer and regular school year visits to vocational agriculture student by the agriculture instructor as opportunities for both project advisement and personal counseling. (EA)

  8. Class Visit Short Cuts.

    ERIC Educational Resources Information Center

    Hofmann, Alice; Somerville, Mary

    1982-01-01

    Describes methods used by the Louisville Free Public Library's children's department to introduce the library's programs and services to elementary school children. Specific suggestions for one-person visitations are provided including pertinent book titles. (EJS)

  9. [The preoperative anaesthetic visit].

    PubMed

    Harms, Christoph; Kindler, Christoph H

    2009-07-01

    Anaesthetists often visit their patients in exceptional situations characterised by preoperative anxiety or distress. Therefore, even brief contact with the patient can be considered intense and meaningful. The initial preoperative anaesthetic visit is the beginning of the relationship between patient and anaesthetist, and should help to explain the planned anaesthetic technique. Preoperative anaesthetic visits are intense and last for 20 minutes on average. They should assert a professional approach to the patient's emotions, particularly to preoperative anxiety, and a structured and clear collection of information including the past history of the patient. These visits should also provide information about the anaesthesia itself and instructions for the patient with respect to the perioperative period. Communication about the side effects and risks of anaesthetic techniques, and the discussion of potential alternatives are mandatory. Worldwide, courts of law increasingly require a documented discussion between the anaesthetist and patient based on risk-benefit evidence. Today, there is in general a shift away from decisions made solely by physicians, reflecting an increased respect for the autonomy of the patient towards a model of shared decision-making and informed choice. Ideally, the preoperative visit follows the four key habits of highly effective clinicians, i.e., to rapidly establish a rapport with the patient and provide an agenda for the visit, to explore the patient's perspectives and expectations, to demonstrate empathy, and to focus on the end of the visit with providing information and including the patient in the decision-making process. Visits are then concluded upon obtaining informed consent from the patient. PMID:19565444

  10. Implications of season and management protocol on the landscape of gene regulation during diapause development in the Alfalfa Leaf Cutting Bee

    Technology Transfer Automated Retrieval System (TEKTRAN)

    : The alfalfa leaf cutting bee, Megachile rotundata, is the world’s most intensively managed solitary bee for commercial pollination. It is the primary pollinator of seed alfalfa, a valuable crop for dairy cow feed. Overwintering bees emerge in the spring during alfalfa bloom to mate an...

  11. The modularity of pollination networks

    PubMed Central

    Olesen, Jens M.; Bascompte, Jordi; Dupont, Yoko L.; Jordano, Pedro

    2007-01-01

    In natural communities, species and their interactions are often organized as nonrandom networks, showing distinct and repeated complex patterns. A prevalent, but poorly explored pattern is ecological modularity, with weakly interlinked subsets of species (modules), which, however, internally consist of strongly connected species. The importance of modularity has been discussed for a long time, but no consensus on its prevalence in ecological networks has yet been reached. Progress is hampered by inadequate methods and a lack of large datasets. We analyzed 51 pollination networks including almost 10,000 species and 20,000 links and tested for modularity by using a recently developed simulated annealing algorithm. All networks with >150 plant and pollinator species were modular, whereas networks with <50 species were never modular. Both module number and size increased with species number. Each module includes one or a few species groups with convergent trait sets that may be considered as coevolutionary units. Species played different roles with respect to modularity. However, only 15% of all species were structurally important to their network. They were either hubs (i.e., highly linked species within their own module), connectors linking different modules, or both. If these key species go extinct, modules and networks may break apart and initiate cascades of extinction. Thus, species serving as hubs and connectors should receive high conservation priorities. PMID:18056808

  12. Pollination and seed dispersal of Melocactus ernestii Vaupel subsp. ernestii (Cactaceae) by lizards: an example of double mutualism.

    PubMed

    Gomes, V G N; Quirino, Z G M; Machado, I C

    2014-03-01

    Recent studies show that the mutualistic role of lizards as pollinators and seed dispersers has been underestimated, with several ecological factors promoting such plant-animal interactions, especially on oceanic islands. Our aim is to provide a quantitative assessment of pollination and seed dispersal mutualisms with lizards in continental xeric habitats. We carried out focal observations of natural populations of Melocactus ernestii (Cactaceae) in the Caatinga, a Brazilian semiarid ecosystem, in order to record the frequency of visits, kind of resource searched and behaviour of visiting animals towards flowers and/or fruits. We made a new record of the lizard Tropidurus semitaeniatus foraging on flowers and fruits of M. ernestii. During the search for nectar, T. semitaeniatus contacted the reproductive structures of the flowers and transported pollen attached to its snout. Nectar production started at 14:00 h, with an average volume of 24.4 μl and an average concentration of solutes of 33%. Approximately 80% of the seeds of M. ernestii found in the faeces of T. semitaeniatus germinated under natural conditions. The roles of T. semitaeniatus as pollinator and seed disperser for M. ernestii show a clear relationship of double mutualism between two endemic species, which may result from the environmental conditions to which both species are subject. Seasonality, low water availability and arthropod supply in the environment, high local lizard densities, continuous nectar production by the flower and fruits with juicy pulp may be influencing the visits and, consequently, pollination and seed dispersal by lizards in this cactus.

  13. [The pollination of Krameria bahiana B.B. Simpson by bees in the Coastal Sand Plains of Bahia, Brazil].

    PubMed

    Gimenes, Miriam; Lobão, Cybelle da S

    2006-01-01

    The flowers of K. bahiana mainly produce oil as floral resource for their visitors. Oil collecting bees usually show morphological and behavioral adaptation for their collection. This study focused on the analysis of interactions between the flowers of K. bahiana and their visiting bees, aiming for the efficiency of the pollination, in an area of the Coastal Sand Plains of Bahia State, Brazil. From February/2001 to February/2002 and from May to October/2002 observations were accomplished about the phenology and morphology of the plants and the floral visitors' behavior. The flowers of the inflorescences are zigomorphic, small sized, pink and present a pair of petals modified in epithelial elaiophores, which are responsible for the production of oil. These flowers were visited especially by bees of the genus Centris: C. leprieuri Spinola, C. tarsata Smith, C. trigonoides Lepeletier and C. pulchra Moure, Oliveira & Viana. The bees collected only oil in the flowers, by scratching the elaiophores and then transferring it to scopa located on the tibia and basitarsus of the hind legs. During those actions, the bees often contact the reproductive structures of the flowers, resulting in pollination. C. leprieuri was the most frequent bee during this study, thus considered the effective pollinator. Megachile dentipes Vachal also visited the flowers of K. bahiana, collecting only pollen. However, these bees were considered sporadic pollinators because they were not frequent in the flowers of K. bahiana in the months of observation. PMID:17061790

  14. Number of conspecifics and reproduction in the invasive plant Eschscholzia californica (Papaveraceae): is there a pollinator-mediated Allee effect?

    PubMed

    Anic, V; Henríquez, C A; Abades, S R; Bustamante, R O

    2015-05-01

    The component Allee effect has been defined as 'a positive relationship between any measure of individual fitness and the number or density of conspecifics'. Larger plant populations or large patches have shown a higher pollinator visitation rate, which may give rise to an Allee effect in reproduction of the plants. We experimentally tested the effect of number of conspecifics on reproduction and pollinator visitation in Eschscholzia californica Cham., an invasive plant in Chile. We then built patches with two, eight and 16 flowering individuals of E. californica (11 replicates per treatment) in an area characterised by dominance of the study species. We found that E. californica exhibits a component Allee effect, as the number of individuals of this species has a positive effect on individual seed set. However, individual fruit production was not affected by the number of plants examined. Pollinator visitation rate was also independent of the number of plants, so this factor would not explain the Allee effect. This rate was positively correlated with the total number of flowers in the patches. We also found that the number of plants did not affect the seed mass or proportion of germinated seeds in the patches. Higher pollen availability in patches with 16 plants and pollination by wind could explain the Allee effect. The component Allee effect identified could lead to a weak demographic Allee effect that might reduce the rate of spread of E. californica. Knowledge of this would be useful for management of this invasive plant in Chile.

  15. A horizon scan of future threats and opportunities for pollinators and pollination

    PubMed Central

    Dicks, Lynn V.; Paxton, Robert J.; Baldock, Katherine C.R.; Barron, Andrew B.; Chauzat, Marie-Pierre; Freitas, Breno M.; Goulson, Dave; Jepsen, Sarina; Kremen, Claire; Li, Jilian; Neumann, Peter; Pattemore, David E.; Potts, Simon G.; Schweiger, Oliver; Seymour, Colleen L.; Stout, Jane C.

    2016-01-01

    Background. Pollinators, which provide the agriculturally and ecologically essential service of pollination, are under threat at a global scale. Habitat loss and homogenisation, pesticides, parasites and pathogens, invasive species, and climate change have been identified as past and current threats to pollinators. Actions to mitigate these threats, e.g., agri-environment schemes and pesticide-use moratoriums, exist, but have largely been applied post-hoc. However, future sustainability of pollinators and the service they provide requires anticipation of potential threats and opportunities before they occur, enabling timely implementation of policy and practice to prevent, rather than mitigate, further pollinator declines. Methods.Using a horizon scanning approach we identified issues that are likely to impact pollinators, either positively or negatively, over the coming three decades. Results.Our analysis highlights six high priority, and nine secondary issues. High priorities are: (1) corporate control of global agriculture, (2) novel systemic pesticides, (3) novel RNA viruses, (4) the development of new managed pollinators, (5) more frequent heatwaves and drought under climate change, and (6) the potential positive impact of reduced chemical use on pollinators in non-agricultural settings. Discussion. While current pollinator management approaches are largely driven by mitigating past impacts, we present opportunities for pre-emptive practice, legislation, and policy to sustainably manage pollinators for future generations.

  16. A horizon scan of future threats and opportunities for pollinators and pollination.

    PubMed

    Brown, Mark J F; Dicks, Lynn V; Paxton, Robert J; Baldock, Katherine C R; Barron, Andrew B; Chauzat, Marie-Pierre; Freitas, Breno M; Goulson, Dave; Jepsen, Sarina; Kremen, Claire; Li, Jilian; Neumann, Peter; Pattemore, David E; Potts, Simon G; Schweiger, Oliver; Seymour, Colleen L; Stout, Jane C

    2016-01-01

    Background. Pollinators, which provide the agriculturally and ecologically essential service of pollination, are under threat at a global scale. Habitat loss and homogenisation, pesticides, parasites and pathogens, invasive species, and climate change have been identified as past and current threats to pollinators. Actions to mitigate these threats, e.g., agri-environment schemes and pesticide-use moratoriums, exist, but have largely been applied post-hoc. However, future sustainability of pollinators and the service they provide requires anticipation of potential threats and opportunities before they occur, enabling timely implementation of policy and practice to prevent, rather than mitigate, further pollinator declines. Methods.Using a horizon scanning approach we identified issues that are likely to impact pollinators, either positively or negatively, over the coming three decades. Results.Our analysis highlights six high priority, and nine secondary issues. High priorities are: (1) corporate control of global agriculture, (2) novel systemic pesticides, (3) novel RNA viruses, (4) the development of new managed pollinators, (5) more frequent heatwaves and drought under climate change, and (6) the potential positive impact of reduced chemical use on pollinators in non-agricultural settings. Discussion. While current pollinator management approaches are largely driven by mitigating past impacts, we present opportunities for pre-emptive practice, legislation, and policy to sustainably manage pollinators for future generations. PMID:27602260

  17. A horizon scan of future threats and opportunities for pollinators and pollination.

    PubMed

    Brown, Mark J F; Dicks, Lynn V; Paxton, Robert J; Baldock, Katherine C R; Barron, Andrew B; Chauzat, Marie-Pierre; Freitas, Breno M; Goulson, Dave; Jepsen, Sarina; Kremen, Claire; Li, Jilian; Neumann, Peter; Pattemore, David E; Potts, Simon G; Schweiger, Oliver; Seymour, Colleen L; Stout, Jane C

    2016-01-01

    Background. Pollinators, which provide the agriculturally and ecologically essential service of pollination, are under threat at a global scale. Habitat loss and homogenisation, pesticides, parasites and pathogens, invasive species, and climate change have been identified as past and current threats to pollinators. Actions to mitigate these threats, e.g., agri-environment schemes and pesticide-use moratoriums, exist, but have largely been applied post-hoc. However, future sustainability of pollinators and the service they provide requires anticipation of potential threats and opportunities before they occur, enabling timely implementation of policy and practice to prevent, rather than mitigate, further pollinator declines. Methods.Using a horizon scanning approach we identified issues that are likely to impact pollinators, either positively or negatively, over the coming three decades. Results.Our analysis highlights six high priority, and nine secondary issues. High priorities are: (1) corporate control of global agriculture, (2) novel systemic pesticides, (3) novel RNA viruses, (4) the development of new managed pollinators, (5) more frequent heatwaves and drought under climate change, and (6) the potential positive impact of reduced chemical use on pollinators in non-agricultural settings. Discussion. While current pollinator management approaches are largely driven by mitigating past impacts, we present opportunities for pre-emptive practice, legislation, and policy to sustainably manage pollinators for future generations.

  18. A horizon scan of future threats and opportunities for pollinators and pollination

    PubMed Central

    Dicks, Lynn V.; Paxton, Robert J.; Baldock, Katherine C.R.; Barron, Andrew B.; Chauzat, Marie-Pierre; Freitas, Breno M.; Goulson, Dave; Jepsen, Sarina; Kremen, Claire; Li, Jilian; Neumann, Peter; Pattemore, David E.; Potts, Simon G.; Schweiger, Oliver; Seymour, Colleen L.; Stout, Jane C.

    2016-01-01

    Background. Pollinators, which provide the agriculturally and ecologically essential service of pollination, are under threat at a global scale. Habitat loss and homogenisation, pesticides, parasites and pathogens, invasive species, and climate change have been identified as past and current threats to pollinators. Actions to mitigate these threats, e.g., agri-environment schemes and pesticide-use moratoriums, exist, but have largely been applied post-hoc. However, future sustainability of pollinators and the service they provide requires anticipation of potential threats and opportunities before they occur, enabling timely implementation of policy and practice to prevent, rather than mitigate, further pollinator declines. Methods.Using a horizon scanning approach we identified issues that are likely to impact pollinators, either positively or negatively, over the coming three decades. Results.Our analysis highlights six high priority, and nine secondary issues. High priorities are: (1) corporate control of global agriculture, (2) novel systemic pesticides, (3) novel RNA viruses, (4) the development of new managed pollinators, (5) more frequent heatwaves and drought under climate change, and (6) the potential positive impact of reduced chemical use on pollinators in non-agricultural settings. Discussion. While current pollinator management approaches are largely driven by mitigating past impacts, we present opportunities for pre-emptive practice, legislation, and policy to sustainably manage pollinators for future generations. PMID:27602260

  19. Pollinator shifts between Ophrys sphegodes populations: might adaptation to different pollinators drive population divergence?

    PubMed

    Breitkopf, H; Schlüter, P M; Xu, S; Schiestl, F P; Cozzolino, S; Scopece, G

    2013-10-01

    Local adaptation to different pollinators is considered one of the possible initial stages of ecological speciation as reproductive isolation is a by-product of the divergence in pollination systems. However, pollinator-mediated divergent selection will not necessarily result in complete reproductive isolation, because incipient speciation is often overcome by gene flow. We investigated the potential of pollinator shift in the sexually deceptive orchids Ophrys sphegodes and Ophrys exaltata and compared the levels of floral isolation vs. genetic distance among populations with contrasting predominant pollinators. We analysed floral hydrocarbons as a proxy for floral divergence between populations. Floral adoption of pollinators and their fidelity was tested using pollinator choice experiments. Interpopulation gene flow and population differentiation levels were estimated using AFLP markers. The Tyrrhenian O. sphegodes population preferentially attracted the pollinator bee Andrena bimaculata, whereas the Adriatic O. sphegodes population exclusively attracted A. nigroaenea. Significant differences in scent component proportions were identified in O. sphegodes populations that attracted different preferred pollinators. High interpopulation gene flow was detected, but populations were genetically structured at species level. The high interpopulation gene flow levels independent of preferred pollinators suggest that local adaptation to different pollinators has not (yet) generated detectable genome-wide separation. Alternatively, despite extensive gene flow, few genes underlying floral isolation remain differentiated as a consequence of divergent selection. Different pollination ecotypes in O. sphegodes might represent a local selective response imposed by temporal variation in a geographical mosaic of pollinators as a consequence of the frequent disturbance regimes typical of Ophrys habitats.

  20. Reproductive biology of Datura wrightii: the benefits of a herbivorous pollinator

    PubMed Central

    Bronstein, Judith L.; Huxman, Travis; Horvath, Brianna; Farabee, Michael; Davidowitz, Goggy

    2009-01-01

    Background and Aims A deeper understanding of mutualism can be reached by studying systems with measurable costs and benefits. Most studies of this type focus on an unusual class of obligate, species-specific pollination mutualisms. The interaction between Datura wrightii (Solanaceae) and the hawkmoth Manduca sexta offers similar advantages but greater generality. Adult moths both nectar at and deposit eggs on the same plant; larvae are herbivorous. The antagonistic component of this interaction has been well studied. Here the role of M. sexta as a pollinator of D. wrightii, particularly in the context of this moth's frequent nectaring visits to the bat-pollinated plant Agave palmeri, is documented. Methods Hand-pollinations were used to determine breeding system and the reproductive consequences of mixed loads of A. palmeri and D. wrightii pollen. Plants and moths were caged overnight to assess whether nectaring visits led to fruit and seed set. Finally, pollen deposited on field-collected stigmas was identified, with a particular focus on documenting the presence of D. wrightii and A. palmeri grains. Key Results Datura wrightii is highly self-compatible, and a visit that deposits either outcross or self pollen almost doubles fruit and seed set compared with unvisited flowers. Manduca sexta transferred enough pollen to produce fruit and seed sets comparable to hand-pollination treatments. Agave palmeri did not interfere with D. wrightii success: in the field, stigmas received almost pure D. wrightii pollen, and hand-addition of large quantities of A. palmeri pollen had no measurable effect on fruit and seed set. Conclusions The floral visitation component of the D. wrightii–M. sexta interaction is indeed mutualistic. This finding is essential background to future development of this interaction as a model system for studying mutualism's costs and benefits. It is already proving valuable for dissecting third-species effects on the outcome of mutualism. Results

  1. Spatial and temporal trends of global pollination benefit.

    PubMed

    Lautenbach, Sven; Seppelt, Ralf; Liebscher, Juliane; Dormann, Carsten F

    2012-01-01

    Pollination is a well-studied and at the same time a threatened ecosystem service. A significant part of global crop production depends on or profits from pollination by animals. Using detailed information on global crop yields of 60 pollination dependent or profiting crops, we provide a map of global pollination benefits on a 5' by 5' latitude-longitude grid. The current spatial pattern of pollination benefits is only partly correlated with climate variables and the distribution of cropland. The resulting map of pollination benefits identifies hot spots of pollination benefits at sufficient detail to guide political decisions on where to protect pollination services by investing in structural diversity of land use. Additionally, we investigated the vulnerability of the national economies with respect to potential decline of pollination services as the portion of the (agricultural) economy depending on pollination benefits. While the general dependency of the agricultural economy on pollination seems to be stable from 1993 until 2009, we see increases in producer prices for pollination dependent crops, which we interpret as an early warning signal for a conflict between pollination service and other land uses at the global scale. Our spatially explicit analysis of global pollination benefit points to hot spots for the generation of pollination benefits and can serve as a base for further planning of land use, protection sites and agricultural policies for maintaining pollination services.

  2. Spatial and Temporal Trends of Global Pollination Benefit

    PubMed Central

    Lautenbach, Sven; Seppelt, Ralf; Liebscher, Juliane; Dormann, Carsten F.

    2012-01-01

    Pollination is a well-studied and at the same time a threatened ecosystem service. A significant part of global crop production depends on or profits from pollination by animals. Using detailed information on global crop yields of 60 pollination dependent or profiting crops, we provide a map of global pollination benefits on a 5′ by 5′ latitude-longitude grid. The current spatial pattern of pollination benefits is only partly correlated with climate variables and the distribution of cropland. The resulting map of pollination benefits identifies hot spots of pollination benefits at sufficient detail to guide political decisions on where to protect pollination services by investing in structural diversity of land use. Additionally, we investigated the vulnerability of the national economies with respect to potential decline of pollination services as the portion of the (agricultural) economy depending on pollination benefits. While the general dependency of the agricultural economy on pollination seems to be stable from 1993 until 2009, we see increases in producer prices for pollination dependent crops, which we interpret as an early warning signal for a conflict between pollination service and other land uses at the global scale. Our spatially explicit analysis of global pollination benefit points to hot spots for the generation of pollination benefits and can serve as a base for further planning of land use, protection sites and agricultural policies for maintaining pollination services. PMID:22563427

  3. Emergence of ratio-dependent and predator-dependent functional responses for pollination mutualism and seed parasitism

    USGS Publications Warehouse

    DeAngelis, Donald L.; Holland, J. Nathaniel

    2006-01-01

    Prey (N) dependence [g(N)], predator (P) dependence [g(P) or g(N,P)], and ratio dependence [f(P/N)] are often seen as contrasting forms of the predator's functional response describing predator consumption rates on prey resources in predator–prey and parasitoid–host interactions. Analogously, prey-, predator-, and ratio-dependent functional responses are apparently alternative functional responses for other types of consumer–resource interactions. These include, for example, the fraction of flowers pollinated or seeds parasitized in pollination (pre-dispersal) seed-parasitism mutualisms, such as those between fig wasps and fig trees or yucca moths and yucca plants. Here we examine the appropriate functional responses for how the fraction of flowers pollinated and seeds parasitized vary with the density of pollinators (predator dependence) or the ratio of pollinator and flower densities (ratio dependence). We show that both types of functional responses can emerge from minor, but biologically important variations on a single model. An individual-based model was first used to describe plant–pollinator interactions. Conditional upon on whether the number of flowers visited by the pollinator was limited by factors other than search time (e.g., by the number of eggs it had to lay, if it was also a seed parasite), and on whether the pollinator could directly find flowers on a plant, or had to search, the simulation results lead to either a predator-dependent or a ratio-dependent functional response. An analytic model was then used to show mathematically how these two cases can arise.

  4. Overlapping Leaves Covering Flowers in the Alpine Species Eriophyton wallichii (Lamiaceae): Key Driving Factors and Their Potential Impact on Pollination

    PubMed Central

    Peng, De-Li; Song, Bo; Yang, Yang; Niu, Yang; Sun, Hang

    2016-01-01

    Extrafloral structures are supposed to have evolved to protect flowers from harsh physical environments but might have effects on pollination. Overlapping leaves cover flowers in Eriophyton wallichii, an alpine perennial endemic to the Himalaya-Hengduan Mountains. In previous study, it has showed that these extrafloral leaves can protect interior flowers from temperature fluctuations caused by drastic solar radiation fluctuations, but these leaves may also protect interior flowers from rain wash and UVB damage, and we do not know which one is the main function. In this study, we investigated whether rain and UVB protection are the main functions of overlapping leaves covering flowers and their potential impact on pollination. We first measured the intensities of UVB radiation in open air, beneath leaves and corollas, and then examined pollen susceptibility to different intensities of UVB and rain in the laboratory to estimate whether corollas per se protect interior pollen from UVB and rain damage. We also carried out pollination treatments and observed pollinator visitation of flowers with and without leaves in the field to assess whether the overlapping leaves covering flowers impair pollinator attraction. Our results showed that (1) water and strong UVB significantly decreased pollen germinability, but corollas per se could protect pollen from UVB and rain damage; (2) no autonomous self-pollination and apomixis occurred, and pollinators were essential for the reproduction of E. wallichii; however, flower coverage by overlapping leaves did not limit pollination. We suggested that rain and UVB protection was not the main function of overlapping leaves covered flowers, given that this protection can be provided by corollas per se. Alternatively, this extrafloral structure in E. wallichii may have evolved in response to extreme high temperatures associated with the strong solar radiation fluctuations. This indicates that, even in alpine plants, extreme high

  5. Leaf Activities.

    ERIC Educational Resources Information Center

    Mingie, Walter

    Leaf activities can provide a means of using basic concepts of outdoor education to learn in elementary level subject areas. Equipment needed includes leaves, a clipboard with paper, and a pencil. A bag of leaves may be brought into the classroom if weather conditions or time do not permit going outdoors. Each student should pick a leaf, examine…

  6. Erratic pollination, high selfing levels and their correlates and consequences in an altitudinally widespread above-tree-line species in the high Andes of Chile

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Arroyo, Mary T. K.; Muñoz, María S.; Henríquez, Carolina; Till-Bottraud, Irène; Pérez, Fernánda

    2006-09-01

    Unfavorable temperatures and weather conditions for biotic pollination in above-tree-line alpine habitats predict self-compatibility, high levels of autogamy and small flower size ("autogamy reproductive assurance hypothesis"), or alternatively, compensatory measures such as greater flower longevity and larger display size so as to capture scarce visits and maintain outcrossing ("increased pollination probability hypothesis"). We assess these possibilities in a fine-tuned study of Chaetanthera euphrasioides (Asteraceae) populations located above-tree-line in the Andes of central Chile, where prior, independently obtained information on community flower visitation rates is available. Visitation by flies and Andrenid bees was highly erratic in all populations and among years, and the rates well below the community averages. We found evidence for high levels of self-compatibility, equally high autogamous potential, low genetic diversity and high and similar F IS in all populations studied, associated with no clear trends in floral morphology. Strong decoupling of C. euphrasioides reproductive biology with community-level pollinator availability in the alpine fails to support either of the above-mentioned hypotheses and suggests early acquisition of autogamy with present-day pollinator conditions being adequate to maintain low visitation rates at all elevations. Our study provides the only instance where alternative hypotheses on alpine breeding systems have been tested with prior access to independently quantified community-level flower visitation rates.

  7. How exotic plants integrate into pollination networks

    PubMed Central

    Stouffer, Daniel B; Cirtwill, Alyssa R; Bascompte, Jordi; Bartomeus, Ignasi

    2014-01-01

    Summary There is increasing world-wide concern about the impact of the introduction of exotic species on ecological communities. Since many exotic plants depend on native pollinators to successfully establish, it is of paramount importance that we understand precisely how exotic species integrate into existing plant–pollinator communities. In this manuscript, we have studied a global data base of empirical pollination networks to determine whether community, network, species or interaction characteristics can help identify invaded communities. We found that a limited number of community and network properties showed significant differences across the empirical data sets – namely networks with exotic plants present are characterized by greater total, plant and pollinator richness, as well as higher values of relative nestedness. We also observed significant differences in terms of the pollinators that interact with the exotic plants. In particular, we found that specialist pollinators that are also weak contributors to community nestedness are far more likely to interact with exotic plants than would be expected by chance alone. Synthesis. By virtue of their interactions, it appears that exotic plants may provide a key service to a community's specialist pollinators as well as fill otherwise vacant ‘coevolutionary niches’. PMID:25558089

  8. Modularity, pollination systems, and interaction turnover in plant-pollinator networks across space.

    PubMed

    Carstensen, Daniel W; Sabatino, Malena; Morellato, Leonor Patricia C

    2016-05-01

    Mutualistic interaction networks have been shown to be structurally conserved over space and time while pairwise interactions show high variability. In such networks, modularity is the division of species into compartments, or modules, where species within modules share more interactions with each other than they do with species from other modules. Such a modular structure is common in mutualistic networks and several evolutionary and ecological mechanisms have been proposed as underlying drivers. One prominent explanation is the existence of pollination syndromes where flowers tend to attract certain pollinators as determined by a set of traits. We investigate the modularity of seven community level plant-pollinator networks sampled in rupestrian grasslands, or campos rupestres, in SE Brazil. Defining pollination systems as corresponding groups of flower syndromes and pollinator functional groups, we test the two hypotheses that (1) interacting species from the same pollination system are more often assigned to the same module than interacting species from different pollination systems and; that (2) interactions between species from the same pollination system are more consistent across space than interactions between species from different pollination systems. Specifically we ask (1) whether networks are consistently modular across space; (2) whether interactions among species of the same pollination system occur more often inside modules, compared to interactions among species of different pollination systems, and finally; (3) whether the spatial variation in interaction identity, i.e., spatial interaction rewiring, is affected by trait complementarity among species as indicated by pollination systems. We confirm that networks are consistently modular across space and that interactions within pollination systems principally occur inside modules. Despite a strong tendency, we did not find a significant effect of pollination systems on the spatial consistency of

  9. Modularity, pollination systems, and interaction turnover in plant-pollinator networks across space.

    PubMed

    Carstensen, Daniel W; Sabatino, Malena; Morellato, Leonor Patricia C

    2016-05-01

    Mutualistic interaction networks have been shown to be structurally conserved over space and time while pairwise interactions show high variability. In such networks, modularity is the division of species into compartments, or modules, where species within modules share more interactions with each other than they do with species from other modules. Such a modular structure is common in mutualistic networks and several evolutionary and ecological mechanisms have been proposed as underlying drivers. One prominent explanation is the existence of pollination syndromes where flowers tend to attract certain pollinators as determined by a set of traits. We investigate the modularity of seven community level plant-pollinator networks sampled in rupestrian grasslands, or campos rupestres, in SE Brazil. Defining pollination systems as corresponding groups of flower syndromes and pollinator functional groups, we test the two hypotheses that (1) interacting species from the same pollination system are more often assigned to the same module than interacting species from different pollination systems and; that (2) interactions between species from the same pollination system are more consistent across space than interactions between species from different pollination systems. Specifically we ask (1) whether networks are consistently modular across space; (2) whether interactions among species of the same pollination system occur more often inside modules, compared to interactions among species of different pollination systems, and finally; (3) whether the spatial variation in interaction identity, i.e., spatial interaction rewiring, is affected by trait complementarity among species as indicated by pollination systems. We confirm that networks are consistently modular across space and that interactions within pollination systems principally occur inside modules. Despite a strong tendency, we did not find a significant effect of pollination systems on the spatial consistency of

  10. Pyrodiversity begets plant-pollinator community diversity.

    PubMed

    Ponisio, Lauren C; Wilkin, Kate; M'Gonigle, Leithen K; Kulhanek, Kelly; Cook, Lindsay; Thorp, Robbin; Griswold, Terry; Kremen, Claire

    2016-05-01

    Fire has a major impact on the structure and function of many ecosystems globally. Pyrodiversity, the diversity of fires within a region (where diversity is based on fire characteristics such as extent, severity, and frequency), has been hypothesized to promote biodiversity, but changing climate and land management practices have eroded pyrodiversity. To assess whether changes in pyrodiversity will have impacts on ecological communities, we must first understand the mechanisms that might enable pyrodiversity to sustain biodiversity, and how such changes might interact with other disturbances such as drought. Focusing on plant-pollinator communities in mixed-conifer forest with frequent fire in Yosemite National Park, California, we examine how pyrodiversity, combined with drought intensity, influences those communities. We find that pyrodiversity is positively related to the richness of the pollinators, flowering plants, and plant-pollinator interactions. On average, a 5% increase in pyrodiversity led to the gain of approximately one pollinator and one flowering plant species and nearly two interactions. We also find that a diversity of fire characteristics contributes to the spatial heterogeneity (β-diversity) of plant and pollinator communities. Lastly, we find evidence that fire diversity buffers pollinator communities against the effects of drought-induced floral resource scarcity. Fire diversity is thus important for the maintenance of flowering plant and pollinator diversity and predicted shifts in fire regimes to include less pyrodiversity compounded with increasing drought occurrence will negatively influence the richness of these communities in this and other forested ecosystems. In addition, lower heterogeneity of fire severity may act to reduce spatial turnover of plant-pollinator communities. The heterogeneity of community composition is a primary determinant of the total species diversity present in a landscape, and thus, lower pyrodiversity may

  11. Pyrodiversity begets plant-pollinator community diversity.

    PubMed

    Ponisio, Lauren C; Wilkin, Kate; M'Gonigle, Leithen K; Kulhanek, Kelly; Cook, Lindsay; Thorp, Robbin; Griswold, Terry; Kremen, Claire

    2016-05-01

    Fire has a major impact on the structure and function of many ecosystems globally. Pyrodiversity, the diversity of fires within a region (where diversity is based on fire characteristics such as extent, severity, and frequency), has been hypothesized to promote biodiversity, but changing climate and land management practices have eroded pyrodiversity. To assess whether changes in pyrodiversity will have impacts on ecological communities, we must first understand the mechanisms that might enable pyrodiversity to sustain biodiversity, and how such changes might interact with other disturbances such as drought. Focusing on plant-pollinator communities in mixed-conifer forest with frequent fire in Yosemite National Park, California, we examine how pyrodiversity, combined with drought intensity, influences those communities. We find that pyrodiversity is positively related to the richness of the pollinators, flowering plants, and plant-pollinator interactions. On average, a 5% increase in pyrodiversity led to the gain of approximately one pollinator and one flowering plant species and nearly two interactions. We also find that a diversity of fire characteristics contributes to the spatial heterogeneity (β-diversity) of plant and pollinator communities. Lastly, we find evidence that fire diversity buffers pollinator communities against the effects of drought-induced floral resource scarcity. Fire diversity is thus important for the maintenance of flowering plant and pollinator diversity and predicted shifts in fire regimes to include less pyrodiversity compounded with increasing drought occurrence will negatively influence the richness of these communities in this and other forested ecosystems. In addition, lower heterogeneity of fire severity may act to reduce spatial turnover of plant-pollinator communities. The heterogeneity of community composition is a primary determinant of the total species diversity present in a landscape, and thus, lower pyrodiversity may

  12. Pollinator declines. Extinctions of aculeate pollinators in Britain and the role of large-scale agricultural changes.

    PubMed

    Ollerton, Jeff; Erenler, Hilary; Edwards, Mike; Crockett, Robin

    2014-12-12

    Pollinators are fundamental to maintaining both biodiversity and agricultural productivity, but habitat destruction, loss of flower resources, and increased use of pesticides are causing declines in their abundance and diversity. Using historical records, we assessed the rate of extinction of bee and flower-visiting wasp species in Britain from the mid-19th century to the present. The most rapid phase of extinction appears to be related to changes in agricultural policy and practice beginning in the 1920s, before the agricultural intensification prompted by the Second World War, often cited as the most important driver of biodiversity loss in Britain. Slowing of the extinction rate from the 1960s onward may be due to prior loss of the most sensitive species and/or effective conservation programs.

  13. Predicting Emergency Department Visits

    PubMed Central

    Poole, Sarah; Grannis, Shaun; Shah, Nigam H.

    2016-01-01

    High utilizers of emergency departments account for a disproportionate number of visits, often for nonemergency conditions. This study aims to identify these high users prospectively. Routinely recorded registration data from the Indiana Public Health Emergency Surveillance System was used to predict whether patients would revisit the Emergency Department within one month, three months, and six months of an index visit. Separate models were trained for each outcome period, and several predictive models were tested. Random Forest models had good performance and calibration for all outcome periods, with area under the receiver operating characteristic curve of at least 0.96. This high performance was found to be due to non-linear interactions among variables in the data. The ability to predict repeat emergency visits may provide an opportunity to establish, prioritize, and target interventions to ensure that patients have access to the care they require outside an emergency department setting. PMID:27570684

  14. Night life on the beach: selfing to avoid pollinator competition between two sympatric Silene species

    PubMed Central

    Buide, Mª Luisa; del Valle, José Carlos; Pissatto, Mônica; Narbona, Eduardo

    2015-01-01

    Background and Aims Evolution of autonomous selfing may be advantageous because it allows for reproductive assurance. In co-flowering plants competing for pollinators, the least common and/or attractive could suffer pollen limitations. Silene niceensis and S. ramosissima are taxonomically related species sharing the same habitat, although S. ramosissima is less abundant and has a more restricted distribution. They also have the same a priori nocturnal pollinator syndrome, and show an overlapping flowering phenology. The aim of this study was to investigate whether a selfing strategy in S. ramosissima allows it to avoid pollinator competition and/or interspecific pollen transfer with S. niceensis, which would thus enable both species to reach high levels of fruit and seed set. Methods The breeding system, petal colour, flower life span and degree of overlap between male and female phases, floral visitor abundance and visitation rates were analysed in two sympatric populations of S. niceensis and S. ramosissima in southern Spain. Key Results Autonomous selfing in S. ramosissima produced very high fruit and seed set, which was also similar to open-pollinated plants. Silene niceensis showed minimum levels of autonomous selfing, and pollen/ovule ratios were within the range expected for the breeding system. In contrast to S. niceensis, flower life span was much shorter in S. ramosissima, and male and female organs completely overlapped in space and time. Upper surface petals of both species showed differing brightness, chroma and hue. Flowers of S. niceensis were actively visited by moths, hawkmoths and syrphids, whereas those of S. ramosissima were almost never visited. Conclusions The findings show that different breeding strategies exist between the sympatric co-flowering S. niceensis and S. ramosissima, the former specializing in crepuscular–nocturnal pollination and the latter mainly based on autonomous selfing. These two strategies allow both species to share

  15. Sticky snack for sengis: The Cape rock elephant-shrew, Elephantulus edwardii (Macroscelidea), as a pollinator of the Pagoda lily, Whiteheadia bifolia (Hyacinthaceae)

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Wester, Petra

    2010-12-01

    Following the recent discovery of rodent pollination in the Pagoda lily, Whiteheadia bifolia (Hyacinthaceae) in South Africa, now the Cape rock elephant-shrew, Elephantulus edwardii (Macroscelidea, Afrotheria) is reported as an additional pollinator. Elephant-shrews, live-trapped near W. bifolia plants, were released in two terraria, containing the plants. The animals licked nectar with their long and slender tongues while being dusted with pollen and touching the stigmas of the flowers with their long and flexible noses. The captured elephant-shrews had W. bifolia pollen in their faeces, likely as a result of grooming their fur as they visited the flowers without eating or destroying them. The animals mostly preferred nectar over other food. This is the first record of pollination and nectar consumption in the primarily insectivorous E. edwardii, contributing to the very sparse knowledge about the behaviour of this unique clade of African mammals, as well as pollination by small mammals.

  16. Evaluating the Interacting Influences of Pollination, Seed Predation, Invasive Species and Isolation on Reproductive Success in a Threatened Alpine Plant

    PubMed Central

    Krushelnycky, Paul D.

    2014-01-01

    Reproduction in rare plants may be influenced and limited by a complex combination of factors. External threats such as invasive species and landscape characteristics such as isolation may impinge on both pollination and seed predation dynamics, which in turn can strongly affect reproduction. I assessed how patterns in floral visitation, seed predation, invasive ant presence, and plant isolation influenced one another and ultimately affected viable seed production in Haleakalā silverswords (Argyroxiphium sandwicense subsp. macrocephalum) of Hawai’i. Floral visitation was dominated by endemic Hylaeus bees, and patterns of visitation were influenced by floral display size and number of plants clustered together, but not by floral herbivory or nearest flowering neighbor distance. There was also some indication that Argentine ant presence impacted floral visitation, but contradictory evidence and limitations of the study design make this result uncertain. Degree of seed predation was associated only with plant isolation, with the two main herbivores partitioning resources such that one preferentially attacked isolated plants while the other attacked clumped plants; total seed predation was greater in more isolated plants. Net viable seed production was highly variable among individuals (0–55% seed set), and was affected mainly by nearest neighbor distance, apparently owing to low cross-pollination among plants separated by even short distances (>10–20 m). This isolation effect dominated net seed set, with no apparent influence from floral visitation rates, percent seed predation, or invasive ant presence. The measured steep decline in seed set with isolation distance may not be typical of the entire silversword range, and may indicate that pollinators in addition to Hylaeus bees could be important for greater gene flow. Management aimed at maintaining or maximizing silversword reproduction should focus on the spatial context of field populations and outplanting

  17. Pollinator-Mediated Selection on Flower Color, Flower Scent and Flower Morphology of Hemerocallis: Evidence from Genotyping Individual Pollen Grains On the Stigma

    PubMed Central

    Hirota, Shun K.; Nitta, Kozue; Suyama, Yoshihisa; Kawakubo, Nobumitsu; Yasumoto, Akiko A.; Yahara, Tetsukazu

    2013-01-01

    To trace the fate of individual pollen grains through pollination processes, we determined genotypes of single pollen grains deposited on Hemerocallis stigmas in an experimental mixed-species array. Hemerocallis fulva, pollinated by butterflies, has diurnal, reddish and unscented flowers, and H. citrina, pollinated by hawkmoths, has nocturnal, yellowish and sweet scent flowers. We observed pollinator visits to an experimental array of 24 H. fulva and 12 F2 hybrids between the two species (H. fulva and H. citrina) and collected stigmas after every trip bout of swallowtail butterflies or hawkmoths. We then measured selection by swallowtail butterflies or hawkmoths through male and female components of pollination success as determined by single pollen genotyping. As expected, swallowtail butterflies imposed selection on reddish color and weak scent: the number of outcross pollen grains acquired is a quadratic function of flower color with the maximum at reddish color, and the combined pollination success was maximal at weak scent (almost unrecognizable for human). This explains why H. fulva, with reddish flowers and no recognizable scent, is mainly pollinated by swallowtail butterflies. However, we found no evidence of hawkmoths-mediated selection on flower color or scent. Our findings do not support a hypothesis that yellow flower color and strong scent intensity, the distinctive floral characteristics of H. citrina, having evolved in adaptations to hawkmoths. We suggest that the key trait that triggers the evolution of nocturnal flowers is flowering time rather than flower color and scent. PMID:24376890

  18. Pollinator-mediated selection on flower color, flower scent and flower morphology of Hemerocallis: evidence from genotyping individual pollen grains on the stigma.

    PubMed

    Hirota, Shun K; Nitta, Kozue; Suyama, Yoshihisa; Kawakubo, Nobumitsu; Yasumoto, Akiko A; Yahara, Tetsukazu

    2013-01-01

    To trace the fate of individual pollen grains through pollination processes, we determined genotypes of single pollen grains deposited on Hemerocallis stigmas in an experimental mixed-species array. Hemerocallis fulva, pollinated by butterflies, has diurnal, reddish and unscented flowers, and H. citrina, pollinated by hawkmoths, has nocturnal, yellowish and sweet scent flowers. We observed pollinator visits to an experimental array of 24 H. fulva and 12 F2 hybrids between the two species (H. fulva and H. citrina) and collected stigmas after every trip bout of swallowtail butterflies or hawkmoths. We then measured selection by swallowtail butterflies or hawkmoths through male and female components of pollination success as determined by single pollen genotyping. As expected, swallowtail butterflies imposed selection on reddish color and weak scent: the number of outcross pollen grains acquired is a quadratic function of flower color with the maximum at reddish color, and the combined pollination success was maximal at weak scent (almost unrecognizable for human). This explains why H. fulva, with reddish flowers and no recognizable scent, is mainly pollinated by swallowtail butterflies. However, we found no evidence of hawkmoths-mediated selection on flower color or scent. Our findings do not support a hypothesis that yellow flower color and strong scent intensity, the distinctive floral characteristics of H. citrina, having evolved in adaptations to hawkmoths. We suggest that the key trait that triggers the evolution of nocturnal flowers is flowering time rather than flower color and scent. PMID:24376890

  19. Large pollen loads of a South African asclepiad do not interfere with the foraging behaviour or efficiency of pollinating honey bees

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Coombs, G.; Dold, A. P.; Brassine, E. I.; Peter, C. I.

    2012-07-01

    The pollen of asclepiads (Asclepiadoideae, Apocynaceae) and most orchids (Orchidaceae) are packaged as large aggregations known as pollinaria that are removed as entire units by pollinators. In some instances, individual pollinators may accumulate large loads of these pollinaria. We found that the primary pollinator of Cynanchum ellipticum (Apocynaceae—Asclepiadoideae), the honey bee Apis mellifera, accumulate very large agglomerations of pollinaria on their mouthparts when foraging on this species. We tested whether large pollinarium loads negatively affected the foraging behaviour and foraging efficiency of honey bees by slowing foraging speeds or causing honey bees to visit fewer flowers, and found no evidence to suggest that large pollinarium loads altered foraging behaviour. C. ellipticum displayed consistently high levels of pollination success and pollen transfer efficiency (PTE). This may be a consequence of efficiently loading large numbers of pollinaria onto pollinators even when primary points of attachment on pollinators are already occupied and doing so in a manner that does not impact the foraging behaviour of pollinating insects.

  20. Home Weatherization Visit

    SciTech Connect

    Chu, Steven

    2009-01-01

    Secretary Steven Chu visits a home that is in the process of being weatherized in Columbus, OH, along with Ohio Governor Ted Strickland and Columbus Mayor Michael Coleman. They discuss the benefits of weatherization and how funding from the recovery act is having a direct impact in communities across America.

  1. Congressman Clyburn Visit

    ScienceCinema

    Cody, Tom

    2016-07-12

    Congressman James Clyburn visits the new employees of the Savannah River Site. These new jobs the graduates have received are a result of the Recovery Act at work. Lisa Jackson of the Environmental Protection Agency speaks about how the ARRA is in line with President Obama's vision of a better economy and cleaner environment.

  2. Malaysian Students Visit Thailand.

    ERIC Educational Resources Information Center

    International Understanding at School, 1983

    1983-01-01

    Five students and one coordinator from the Unesco Associated Schools Project undertook a study visit to Bangkok to exchange views and experiences. Future joint projects/activities were discussed, and the students gained some insight into the life of their counterparts in Thailand. (RM)

  3. Home Weatherization Visit

    ScienceCinema

    Chu, Steven

    2016-07-12

    Secretary Steven Chu visits a home that is in the process of being weatherized in Columbus, OH, along with Ohio Governor Ted Strickland and Columbus Mayor Michael Coleman. They discuss the benefits of weatherization and how funding from the recovery act is having a direct impact in communities across America.

  4. Revisiting High School Visits

    E