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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. 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

  3. 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

  4. 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

  5. Inbreeding in Mimulus guttatus reduces visitation by bumble bee pollinators.

    PubMed

    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.

  6. 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

  7. 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.

  8. 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

    2016-08-05

    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.

  9. Wildflower plantings do not compete with neighboring almond orchards for pollinator visits

    Technology Transfer Automated Retrieval System (TEKTRAN)

    The engineering of flowering agricultural field borders has emerged as a research and policy priority to mitigate threats to pollinators. Studies have, however, rarely addressed the potential that flowering field borders might compete with neighboring crops for pollinator visits if they both are in ...

  10. 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.

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

    PubMed

    Essenberg, Carla J

    2012-08-01

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

  12. 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...

  13. Stability of pollination services decreases with isolation from natural areas despite honey bee visits.

    PubMed

    Garibaldi, Lucas A; Steffan-Dewenter, Ingolf; Kremen, Claire; Morales, Juan M; Bommarco, Riccardo; Cunningham, Saul A; Carvalheiro, Luísa G; Chacoff, Natacha P; Dudenhöffer, Jan H; Greenleaf, Sarah S; Holzschuh, Andrea; Isaacs, Rufus; Krewenka, Kristin; Mandelik, Yael; Mayfield, Margaret M; Morandin, Lora A; Potts, Simon G; Ricketts, Taylor H; Szentgyörgyi, Hajnalka; Viana, Blandina F; Westphal, Catrin; Winfree, Rachael; Klein, Alexandra M

    2011-10-01

    Sustainable agricultural landscapes by definition provide high magnitude and stability of ecosystem services, biodiversity and crop productivity. However, few studies have considered landscape effects on the stability of ecosystem services. We tested whether isolation from florally diverse natural and semi-natural areas reduces the spatial and temporal stability of flower-visitor richness and pollination services in crop fields. We synthesised data from 29 studies with contrasting biomes, crop species and pollinator communities. Stability of flower-visitor richness, visitation rate (all insects except honey bees) and fruit set all decreased with distance from natural areas. At 1 km from adjacent natural areas, spatial stability decreased by 25, 16 and 9% for richness, visitation and fruit set, respectively, while temporal stability decreased by 39% for richness and 13% for visitation. Mean richness, visitation and fruit set also decreased with isolation, by 34, 27 and 16% at 1 km respectively. In contrast, honey bee visitation did not change with isolation and represented > 25% of crop visits in 21 studies. Therefore, wild pollinators are relevant for crop productivity and stability even when honey bees are abundant. Policies to preserve and restore natural areas in agricultural landscapes should enhance levels and reliability of pollination services.

  14. 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

  15. Wildflower Plantings Do Not Compete With Neighboring Almond Orchards for Pollinator Visits.

    PubMed

    Lundin, Ola; Ward, Kimiora L; Artz, Derek R; Boyle, Natalie K; Pitts-Singer, Theresa L; Williams, Neal M

    2017-04-03

    The engineering of flowering agricultural field borders has emerged as a research and policy priority to mitigate threats to pollinators. Studies have, however, rarely addressed the potential that flowering field borders might compete with neighboring crops for pollinator visits if they both are in bloom at the same time, despite this being a concern expressed by growers. We evaluated how wildflower plantings added to orchard borders in a large (512 ha) commercial almond orchard affected honey bee and wild bee visitation to orchard borders and the crop. The study was conducted over two consecutive seasons using three large (0.48 ha) wildflower plantings paired with control orchard borders in a highly simplified agricultural landscape in California. Honey bee (Apis mellifera L.) and wild bee visitation to wildflower plots were at least an order of magnitude higher than to control plots, but increased honey bee visitation to wildflower plots did not lead to any detectable shifts in honey bee visitation to almond flowers in the neighboring orchard. Wild bees were rarely observed visiting almond flowers irrespective of border treatment, indicating a limited short-term potential for augmenting crop pollination using wild bees in highly simplified agricultural landscapes. Although further studies are warranted on bee visitation and crop yield from spatially independent orchards, this study indicates that growers can support bees with alternative forage in almond orchards without risking competition between the wildflower plantings and the crop.

  16. 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.

  17. Insectivorous bat pollinates columnar cactus more effectively per visit than specialized nectar bat.

    PubMed

    Frick, Winifred F; Price, Ryan D; Heady, Paul A; Kay, Kathleen M

    2013-01-01

    Plant-pollinator interactions are great model systems to investigate mutualistic relationships. We compared pollinator effectiveness between facultative and obligate nectar-feeding bats to determine how foraging specialization influences mutualistic interactions in a bat-adapted cactus. We predicted that a specialized nectarivorous bat would deliver more pollen than an opportunistic nectar-feeding bat because of specialized adaptations to nectar feeding that indicate close association with their food plants. Counter to our predictions, the opportunistic Antrozous pallidus delivered significantly more pollen grains per visit than the specialized Leptonycteris yerbabuenae. Higher pollinator effectiveness, based on visitation rates and pollen deposition levels, varied between species by site, and although A. pallidus visits flowers much less frequently than L. yerbabuenae over all sites, it is likely an effective and reliable pollinator of Pachycereus pringlei in Baja, Mexico. Our results suggest that morphological adaptations and dietary specialization on nectar do not necessarily confer advantages for pollination over less specialized plant visitors and highlight the reciprocally exploitative nature of mutualisms.

  18. 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.

  19. 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.

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

    PubMed

    Muñoz, Alejandro A; Arroyo, Mary T K

    2004-01-01

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

  1. 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

  2. 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

    2016-01-06

    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.

  3. 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

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

    PubMed

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

    2008-07-01

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

  5. 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

  6. 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

  7. 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.

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

    PubMed Central

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

    2011-01-01

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

  9. Should food-deceptive species flower before or after rewarding species? An experimental test of pollinator visitation behaviour under contrasting phenologies.

    PubMed

    Internicola, A I; Bernasconi, G; Gigord, L D B

    2008-09-01

    Many plant species reward their pollinators, whereas some species, particularly among orchids, do not. Similarity of floral cues between co-flowering species influences how rapidly pollinators learn to avoid deceptive plants. This learning process, which affects the reproductive success of deceptive plants, may additionally depend on relative timing of flowering of sympatric rewarding and deceptive species. We tested the combined effects of corolla colour similarity and flowering order of rewarding and deceptive artificial inflorescences on visitation by naïve bumblebees. When deceptive inflorescences were offered after rewarding inflorescences, bumblebees visited them four times more often if both species were similar compared with when they were dissimilar. Pollinator visitation rate to deceptive inflorescences offered before rewarding inflorescences was intermediate and independent of similarity. Thus, early-flowering deceptive species avoid the costs of dissimilarity with rewarding species. This mechanism may favour adaptive evolution of flowering phenology in deceptive species and explain why temperate deceptive orchids usually flower earlier than rewarding ones.

  10. Bottom-up effects of nutrient availability on flower production, pollinator visitation, and seed output in a high-Andean shrub.

    PubMed

    Muñoz, Alejandro A; Celedon-Neghme, Constanza; Cavieres, Lohengrin A; Arroyo, Mary T K

    2005-03-01

    Soil nutrient availability directly enhances vegetative growth, flowering, and fruiting in alpine ecosystems. However, the impacts of nutrient addition on pollinator visitation, which could affect seed output indirectly, are unknown. In a nutrient addition experiment, we tested the hypothesis that seed output in the insect-pollinated, self-incompatible shrub, Chuquiraga oppositifolia (Asteraceae) of the Andes of central Chile, is enhanced by soil nitrogen (N) availability. We aimed to monitor total shrub floral display, size of flower heads (capitula), pollinator visitation patterns, and seed output during three growing seasons on control and N addition shrubs. N addition did not augment floral display, size of capitula, pollinator visitation, or seed output during the first growing season. Seed mass and viability were 25-40% lower in fertilised shrubs. During the second growing season only 33% of the N addition shrubs flowered compared to 71% of controls, and a significant (50%) enhancement in vegetative growth occurred in fertilised shrubs. During the third growing season, floral display in N addition shrubs was more than double that of controls, received more than twice the number of insect pollinator visits, and seed output was three- to four-fold higher compared to controls. A significant (50%) enhancement in vegetative growth again occurred in N addition shrubs. Results of this study strongly suggest that soil N availability produces strong positive bottom-up effects on the reproductive output of the alpine shrub C. oppositifolia. Despite taking considerably longer to be manifest in comparison to the previously reported top-down indirect negative effects of lizard predators in the same study system, our results suggest that both bottom-up and top-down forces are important in controlling the reproductive output of an alpine shrub.

  11. Enhancing pollination by attracting & retaining leaf cutting bees (Megachile rotundata) in alfalfa seed production fields

    Technology Transfer Automated Retrieval System (TEKTRAN)

    The alfalfa leafcutting bee, Megachile rotundata (F.), has become an important managed pollinator of alfalfa, Medicago sativa L. One problem when using alfalfa leafcutting bees as managed pollinator, is the dispersal of many females upon release, even when adequate nesting sites are present. While d...

  12. 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

  13. 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

  14. 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.

  15. 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

  16. Flower-Visiting Insects and Phenology of Lippia alba (Lamiales: Verbenaceae): Floral Color Changes and Environmental Conditions as Cues for Pollinators.

    PubMed

    Venâncio, Daniele de Fátima Alves; Viccini, Lyderson Facio; Luizi-Ponzo, Andrea Pereira; Prezoto, Fábio

    2016-05-11

    Lippia alba (Mill.) N.E. Br. ex Britton & P. Wilson (Verbenaceae) is a herbal aromatic shrub with medicinal properties. Natural populations of this species are allogamous and self-incompatible. Therefore, this plant species relies on pollinators to outcross and maintain the genetic variability. Here, we investigated the floral phenology, pollen morphology, the floral visitor entomofauna, and the influence of climatic factors on the frequency of visits in L. alba flowers. The study was conducted at Federal University of Juiz de Fora Plant Experimental Area, southeast Brazil. The flowering of L. alba occurred throughout the whole year. The anthesis is diurnal and lasts 5 d. The nectar guide was visible from the onset of flowering until the third day. Pollen grains were classified as isopolar, oblate spheroidal, three-colporate (rare, four-colporate), surface tectate-perforate, and endoaperture lalongate, with median constriction. Insects from the order Hymenoptera were the most frequent visitors observed, followed by Lepidoptera, Thysanoptera, Diptera, and Hemiptera-Heteroptera. The preference of insects for flowers with nectar guides shows that the color is likely to be an important visual trait to increase the frequency of visits. Moreover, the climate variables temperature, relative humidity, wind speed, and light were important to define the composition of the most frequent floral visitors.

  17. 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.

  18. Effects of above- and belowground herbivory on growth, pollination, and reproduction in cucumber.

    PubMed

    Barber, Nicholas A; Adler, Lynn S; Bernardo, Holly L

    2011-02-01

    Plants experience unique challenges due to simultaneous life in two spheres, above- and belowground. Interactions with other organisms on one side of the soil surface may have impacts that extend across this boundary. Although our understanding of plant-herbivore interactions is derived largely from studies of leaf herbivory, belowground root herbivores may affect plant fitness directly or by altering interactions with other organisms, such as pollinators. In this study, we investigated the effects of leaf herbivory, root herbivory, and pollination on plant growth, subsequent leaf herbivory, flower production, pollinator attraction, and reproduction in cucumber (Cucumis sativus). We manipulated leaf and root herbivory with striped cucumber beetle (Acalymma vittatum) adults and larvae, respectively, and manipulated pollination with supplemental pollen. Both enhanced leaf and root herbivory reduced plant growth, and leaf herbivory reduced subsequent leaf damage. Plants with enhanced root herbivory produced 35% fewer female flowers, while leaf herbivory had no effect on flower production. While leaf herbivory reduced the time that honey bees spent probing flowers by 29%, probing times on root-damaged plants were over twice as long as those on control plants. Root herbivory increased pollen limitation for seed production in spite of increased honey bee preference for plants with root damage. Leaf damage and hand-pollination treatments had no effect on fruit production, but plants with enhanced root damage produced 38% fewer fruits that were 25% lighter than those on control plants. Despite the positive effect of belowground damage on honey bee visitation, root herbivory had a stronger negative effect on plant reproduction than leaf herbivory. These results demonstrate that the often-overlooked effects of belowground herbivores may have profound effects on plant performance.

  19. 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.

  20. 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

  1. 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.

  2. Pollinator limitation on reproductive success in Iris tuberosa

    PubMed Central

    Pellegrino, Giuseppe

    2015-01-01

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

  3. [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.

  4. 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.

  5. Beetle pollination and flowering rhythm of Annona coriacea Mart. (Annonaceae) in Brazilian cerrado: Behavioral features of its principal pollinators.

    PubMed

    Costa, Marilza Silva; Silva, Ricardo José; Paulino-Neto, Hipólito Ferreira; Pereira, Mônica Josene Barbosa

    2017-01-01

    The conservation and sustainable management of Annona coriacea requires knowledge of its floral and reproductive biology, and of its main pollinators and their life cycles. In this work, we analyzed these aspects in detail. Floral biology was assessed by observing flowers from the beginning of anthesis to senescence. The visiting hours and behavior of floral visitors in the floral chamber were recorded, as were the sites of oviposition. Excavations were undertaken around specimens of A. coriacea to determine the location of immature pollinators. Anthesis was nocturnal, starting at sunset, and lasted for 52-56 h. The flowers were bisexual, protogynous and emitted a strong scent similar to the plant´s own ripe fruit. There was pronounced synchrony among all floral events (the period and duration of stigmatic receptivity, release of odor, pollen release and drooping flowers) in different individuals, but no synchrony in the same individuals. All of the flowers monitored were visited by beetle species of the genera Cyclocephala and Arriguttia. Beetles arrived at the flowers with their bodies covered in pollen and these pollen grains were transferred to the stigmata while foraging on nutritious tissues at the base of the petals. With dehiscence of the stamens and retention within the floral chamber, the bodies of the floral visitors were again covered with pollen which they carried to newly opened flowers, thus promoting the cycle of pollination. After leaving the flowers, female beetles often excavated holes in the soil to lay eggs. Larvae were found between the leaf litter and the first layer of soil under specimens of A. coriacea. Cyclocephala beetles were the main pollinators of A. coriacea, but Arriguttia brevissima was also considered a pollinator and is the first species of this genus to be observed in Annonaceae flowers. Annona coriacea was found to be self-compatible with a low reproductive efficiency in the area studied. The results of this investigation

  6. 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

  7. 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...

  8. [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.

  9. 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.

  10. 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.

  11. The importance of pollinator generalization and abundance for the reproductive success of a generalist plant.

    PubMed

    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.

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

    PubMed

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

    2016-05-01

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

  13. The genetic architecture of reproductive isolation in Louisiana irises: pollination syndromes and pollinator preferences.

    PubMed

    Martin, Noland H; Sapir, Yuval; Arnold, Michael L

    2008-04-01

    In animal-pollinated plants, pollinator preferences for divergent floral forms can lead to partial reproductive isolation. We describe regions of plant genomes that affect pollinator preferences for two species of Louisiana Irises, Iris brevicaulis and Iris fulva, and their artificial hybrids. Iris brevicaulis and I. fulva possess bee and bird-pollination syndromes, respectively. Hummingbirds preferred I. fulva and under-visited both I. brevicaulis and backcrosses toward this species. Lepidopterans preferred I. fulva and backcrosses toward I. fulva, but also under-visited I. brevicaulis and I. brevicaulis backcrosses. Bumblebees preferred I. brevicaulis and F1 hybrids and rarely visited I. fulva. Although all three pollen vectors preferred one or the other species, these preferences did not prevent visitation to other hybrid/parental classes. Quantitative trait locus (QTL) mapping, in reciprocal BC1 mapping populations, defined the genetic architecture of loci that affected pollinator behavior. We detected six and nine QTLs that affected pollinator visitation rates in the BCIb and BCIf mapping populations, respectively, with as many as three QTLs detected for each trait. Overall, this study reflects the possible role of quantitative genetic factors in determining (1) reproductive isolation, (2) the pattern of pollinator-mediated genetic exchange, and thus (3) hybrid zone evolution.

  14. Hairiness: the missing link between pollinators and pollination

    PubMed Central

    Liñán-Cembrano, Gustavo; Beggs, Jacqueline R.; Howlett, Brad G.; Pattemore, David E.; Bartomeus, Ignasi

    2016-01-01

    Background Functional traits are the primary biotic component driving organism influence on ecosystem functions; in consequence, traits are widely used in ecological research. However, most animal trait-based studies use easy-to-measure characteristics of species that are at best only weakly associated with functions. Animal-mediated pollination is a key ecosystem function and is likely to be influenced by pollinator traits, but to date no one has identified functional traits that are simple to measure and have good predictive power. Methods Here, we show that a simple, easy to measure trait (hairiness) can predict pollinator effectiveness with high accuracy. We used a novel image analysis method to calculate entropy values for insect body surfaces as a measure of hairiness. We evaluated the power of our method for predicting pollinator effectiveness by regressing pollinator hairiness (entropy) against single visit pollen deposition (SVD) and pollen loads on insects. We used linear models and AICC model selection to determine which body regions were the best predictors of SVD and pollen load. Results We found that hairiness can be used as a robust proxy of SVD. The best models for predicting SVD for the flower species Brassica rapa and Actinidia deliciosa were hairiness on the face and thorax as predictors (R2 = 0.98 and 0.91 respectively). The best model for predicting pollen load for B. rapa was hairiness on the face (R2 = 0.81). Discussion We suggest that the match between pollinator body region hairiness and plant reproductive structure morphology is a powerful predictor of pollinator effectiveness. We show that pollinator hairiness is strongly linked to pollination—an important ecosystem function, and provide a rigorous and time-efficient method for measuring hairiness. Identifying and accurately measuring key traits that drive ecosystem processes is critical as global change increasingly alters ecological communities, and subsequently, ecosystem

  15. Sunbird pollination of Strelitzia nicolai.

    PubMed

    Frost, S K; Frost, P G H

    1981-07-01

    The role of sunbirds (Nectariniidae) in the pollination ecology of Strelitzia nicolai (Musaceae) was studied for one year in a coastal dune forest in Zululand, South Africa. It was found that S. nicolai produced large quantities of low quality nectar (1.74 j/μl); that nectar production was highest during the day-time; and that the flowers displayed several characteristics attractive to bird-visitors. The flowers were large, conspicuous and provided the birds with a perch, facilitating easy access to the nectar. Flowers were visited by four species of sunbirds: Olive Sunbird Nectarinia olivacea, Grey Sunbird N. veroxii, Black Sunbird N. amethystina, and Collared Sunbird Anthreptes collaris. Sunbirds visited the flowers throughout the year, and apparently cued into changes in the flower angle as an indication of nectar flow rates. Sunbirds perched on the flowers in a manner which effected pollination, the pollen being transferred to the stigma via the birds' feet. Besides the sunbirds, there were other visitors (bushbabies, monkeys and insects) to the flowers, but they did not visit the flowers frequently nor did they appear to be significant pollinators. The high seed set of S. nicolai in the study area attests to the efficacy of the sunbirds as pollinators.

  16. 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

  17. Variation in pollinator effectiveness in swamp milkweed, Asclepias incarnata (Apocynaceae).

    PubMed

    Ivey, Christopher T; Martinez, Pocholo; Wyatt, Robert

    2003-02-01

    The contribution of a pollinator toward plant fitness (i.e., its "effectiveness") can determine its importance for the plant's evolutionary ecology. We compared pollinators in a population of Asclepias incarnata (Apocynaceae) for several components of pollinator effectiveness over two flowering seasons to evaluate their importance to plant reproduction. Insects of the order Hymenoptera predominate in A. incarnata pollination, but there appears to be no specialization for pollination within this order. Pollinators varied significantly in nearly every component of effectiveness that we measured, including pollen load, removal and deposition of pollen, pollination efficiency (deposition/removal), flower-handling time, and potential for geitonogamy (fractional pollen deposition). The visitation rate of pollinators also varied significantly between years and through time within years. Pollination success and percentage fruit-set of unmanipulated plants in the population also varied significantly between years, and pollination success varied among sample times within years. Most components of effectiveness were weakly correlated, suggesting that the contributions of visitor species toward pollination varied among effectiveness components. Mean flower-handling time, however, was strongly correlated with several components, including pollen removal and deposition, pollination efficiency, and fractional pollen deposition. These findings highlight the significance of pollination variability for plant reproduction and suggest that time-dependent foraging behaviors may play an important role in determining pollinator effectiveness.

  18. Pollination Reservoirs in Lowbush Blueberry (Ericales: Ericaceae).

    PubMed

    Venturini, E M; Drummond, F A; Hoshide, A K; Dibble, A C; Stack, L B

    2017-01-09

    Pollinator-dependent agriculture heavily relies upon a single pollinator-the honey bee. To diversify pollination strategies, growers are turning to alternatives. Densely planted reservoirs of pollen- and nectar-rich flowers (pollination reservoirs, hereafter "PRs") may improve pollination services provided by wild bees. Our focal agroecosystem, lowbush blueberry (Vaccinium angustifolium Aiton), exists in a simple landscape uniquely positioned to benefit from PRs. First, we contrast bee visitation rates and use of three types of PR. We consider the effects of PRs on wild bee diversity and the composition of bumble bee pollen loads. We contrast field-level crop pollination services between PRs and controls four years postestablishment. Last, we calculate the time to pay for PR investment. Social bees preferentially used clover plantings; solitary bees preferentially used wildflower plantings. On average, bumble bee pollen loads in treatment fields contained 37% PR pollen. PRs significantly increased visitation rates to the crop in year 4, and exerted a marginally significant positive influence on fruit set. The annualized costs of PRs were covered by the fourth year using the measured increase in pollination services. Our findings provide evidence of the positive impact of PRs on crop pollination services.

  19. Pollinator population size and pollination ecosystem service responses to enhancing floral and nesting resources.

    PubMed

    Häussler, Johanna; Sahlin, Ullrika; Baey, Charlotte; Smith, Henrik G; Clough, Yann

    2017-03-01

    Modeling pollination ecosystem services requires a spatially explicit, process-based approach because they depend on both the behavioral responses of pollinators to the amount and spatial arrangement of habitat and on the within- and between-season dynamics of pollinator populations in response to land use. We describe a novel pollinator model predicting flower visitation rates by wild central-place foragers (e.g., nesting bees) in spatially explicit landscapes. The model goes beyond existing approaches by: (1) integrating preferential use of more rewarding floral and nesting resources; (2) considering population growth over time; (3) allowing different dispersal distances for workers and reproductives; (4) providing visitation rates for use in crop pollination models. We use the model to estimate the effect of establishing grassy field margins offering nesting resources and a low quantity of flower resources, and/or late-flowering flower strips offering no nesting resources but abundant flowers, on bumble bee populations and visitation rates to flowers in landscapes that differ in amounts of linear seminatural habitats and early mass-flowering crops. Flower strips were three times more effective in increasing pollinator populations and visitation rates than field margins, and this effect increased over time. Late-blooming flower strips increased early-season visitation rates, but decreased visitation rates in other late-season flowers. Increases in population size over time in response to flower strips and amounts of linear seminatural habitats reduced this apparent competition for pollinators. Our spatially explicit, process-based model generates emergent patterns reflecting empirical observations, such that adding flower resources may have contrasting short- and long-term effects due to apparent competition for pollinators and pollinator population size increase. It allows exploring these effects and comparing effect sizes in ways not possible with other

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

    PubMed

    Fishman, Michael A; Hadany, Lilach

    2013-01-07

    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.

  1. The pollination biology of Burmeistera (Campanulaceae): specialization and syndromes.

    PubMed

    Muchhala, Nathan

    2006-08-01

    The floral traits of plants with specialized pollination systems both facilitate the primary pollinator and restrict other potential pollinators. To explore interactions between pollinators and floral traits of the genus Burmeistera, I filmed floral visitors and measured pollen deposition for 10 species in six cloud forest sites throughout northern Ecuador. Nine species were primarily bat-pollinated (84-100% of pollen transfer); another (B. rubrosepala) was exclusively hummingbird-pollinated. According to a principal components analysis of 11 floral measurements, flowers of B. rubrosepala were morphologically distinct. Floral traits of all species closely matched traditional ornithophilous and chiropterophilous pollination syndromes; flowers of B. rubrosepala were bright red, lacked odor, opened in the afternoon, and had narrow corolla apertures and flexible pedicels, which positioned them below the foliage. Flowers of the bat-pollinated species were dull-colored, emitted odor, opened in the evening, and had wide apertures and rigid pedicels, which positioned them beyond the foliage. Aperture width appeared most critical to restricting pollination; hummingbirds visited wide flowers without contacting the reproductive parts, and bats did not visit the narrow flowers of B. rubrosepala. Aperture width may impose an adaptive trade-off that favors the high degree of specialization in the genus. Other floral measurements were highly variable amongst bat-pollinated species, including stigma exsertion, calyx lobe morphology, and pedicel length. Because multiple species of Burmeistera often coexist, such morphological diversity may reduce pollen competition by encouraging pollinator fidelity and/or spatially partitioning pollinator's bodies.

  2. 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.

  3. 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.

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

    PubMed Central

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

    2015-01-01

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

  5. 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

  6. 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.

  7. Beetle pollination and flowering rhythm of Annona coriacea Mart. (Annonaceae) in Brazilian cerrado: Behavioral features of its principal pollinators

    PubMed Central

    Pereira, Mônica Josene Barbosa

    2017-01-01

    The conservation and sustainable management of Annona coriacea requires knowledge of its floral and reproductive biology, and of its main pollinators and their life cycles. In this work, we analyzed these aspects in detail. Floral biology was assessed by observing flowers from the beginning of anthesis to senescence. The visiting hours and behavior of floral visitors in the floral chamber were recorded, as were the sites of oviposition. Excavations were undertaken around specimens of A. coriacea to determine the location of immature pollinators. Anthesis was nocturnal, starting at sunset, and lasted for 52–56 h. The flowers were bisexual, protogynous and emitted a strong scent similar to the plant´s own ripe fruit. There was pronounced synchrony among all floral events (the period and duration of stigmatic receptivity, release of odor, pollen release and drooping flowers) in different individuals, but no synchrony in the same individuals. All of the flowers monitored were visited by beetle species of the genera Cyclocephala and Arriguttia. Beetles arrived at the flowers with their bodies covered in pollen and these pollen grains were transferred to the stigmata while foraging on nutritious tissues at the base of the petals. With dehiscence of the stamens and retention within the floral chamber, the bodies of the floral visitors were again covered with pollen which they carried to newly opened flowers, thus promoting the cycle of pollination. After leaving the flowers, female beetles often excavated holes in the soil to lay eggs. Larvae were found between the leaf litter and the first layer of soil under specimens of A. coriacea. Cyclocephala beetles were the main pollinators of A. coriacea, but Arriguttia brevissima was also considered a pollinator and is the first species of this genus to be observed in Annonaceae flowers. Annona coriacea was found to be self-compatible with a low reproductive efficiency in the area studied. The results of this investigation

  8. 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.

  9. Landscape effects on crop pollination services: are there general patterns?

    PubMed

    Ricketts, Taylor H; Regetz, James; Steffan-Dewenter, Ingolf; Cunningham, Saul A; Kremen, Claire; Bogdanski, Anne; Gemmill-Herren, Barbara; Greenleaf, Sarah S; Klein, Alexandra M; Mayfield, Margaret M; Morandin, Lora A; Ochieng', Alfred; Potts, Simon G; Viana, Blande F

    2008-05-01

    Pollination by bees and other animals increases the size, quality, or stability of harvests for 70% of leading global crops. Because native species pollinate many of these crops effectively, conserving habitats for wild pollinators within agricultural landscapes can help maintain pollination services. Using hierarchical Bayesian techniques, we synthesize the results of 23 studies - representing 16 crops on five continents - to estimate the general relationship between pollination services and distance from natural or semi-natural habitats. We find strong exponential declines in both pollinator richness and native visitation rate. Visitation rate declines more steeply, dropping to half of its maximum at 0.6 km from natural habitat, compared to 1.5 km for richness. Evidence of general decline in fruit and seed set - variables that directly affect yields - is less clear. Visitation rate drops more steeply in tropical compared with temperate regions, and slightly more steeply for social compared with solitary bees. Tropical crops pollinated primarily by social bees may therefore be most susceptible to pollination failure from habitat loss. Quantifying these general relationships can help predict consequences of land use change on pollinator communities and crop productivity, and can inform landscape conservation efforts that balance the needs of native species and people.

  10. 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.

  11. Orchid pollination biology.

    PubMed

    Anders Nilsson, L

    1992-08-01

    Orchids display many unsurpassed floral specializations, as both rewarders and frauds in their interaction with animal pollinators. Accumulating evidence indicates that their floral evolution is driven by pollinator traits and that expenditure for maximized sexual reproduction is parcelled out over their lifetimes in strategies for coping with pollinator and resource limitations. Recent advances in orchid pollination biology center mainly on floral evolutionary processes, pseudocopulation and other deceptive pollination systems, and flower and fruit production in relation to costs of sexual reproduction.

  12. 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.

  13. 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.

  14. Evolutionary breakdown of pollination specialization in a Caribbean plant radiation.

    PubMed

    Martén-Rodríguez, Silvana; Fenster, Charles B; Agnarsson, Ingi; Skog, Laurence E; Zimmer, Elizabeth A

    2010-10-01

    • Ecological generalization is postulated to be the rule in plant-pollinator interactions; however, the evolution of generalized flowers from specialized ancestors has rarely been demonstrated. This study examines the evolution of pollination and breeding systems in the tribe Gesnerieae (Gesneriaceae), an Antillean plant radiation that includes specialized and generalized species. • Phylogenetic reconstruction was based on two nDNA markers (internal transcribed spacer (ITS) and G-CYCLOIDEA (GCYC) and morphology. The total evidence Bayesian phylogeny was used for assessment of floral character evolution using Bayesian stochastic character mapping. • Mapping of the pollination system resulted in at least two origins of bat pollination and two origins of generalized pollination (bats, moths and hummingbirds). The evolution of bat pollination was associated with floral transitions reflecting the chiropterophilous floral syndrome. The evolution of generalization was associated with subcampanulate corollas. Autonomous breeding systems evolved only in hummingbird-pollinated lineages. • The correlated evolution of floral traits and pollination systems provides support for the pollination syndrome concept. Floral transitions may have been favored by the low frequency of hummingbird visitation in the Antilles, while the presence of autonomous pollination may have allowed the diversification of ornithophilous lineages. Results suggest that pollinator depauperate faunas on islands select for the evolution of reproductive assurance mechanisms, including generalization and autogamy.

  15. 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

  16. The effect of pollination on floral fragrance in thistles.

    PubMed

    Theis, Nina; Raguso, Robert A

    2005-11-01

    We investigated postpollination changes in fragrance composition and emission rates, as well as pollinator discrimination in hand-pollinated flower heads of two thistle species: Canada thistle (Cirsium arvense) and sandhill thistle (C. repandum). Following pollination, neither species emitted any novel compounds that could function as repellents. Scent emission rates declined in pollinated plants of both species by approximately 89% within 48 hr. This decline was evident in all 13 scent components of C. arvense. Apis mellifera, the dominant pollinator in the study population of C. arvense, was nearly three times more likely to visit an unpollinated rather than a pollinated flower head. A more complex pattern was observed for C. repandum, whose scent comprised 42 compounds. Quantities of aromatic and sesquiterpenoid volatiles declined after pollination, whereas two classes of scent compounds, fatty acid derivatives and monoterperpenoids, continued to be emitted. In C. repandum, discrimination against pollinated flower heads by Papilio palamedes (its primary pollinator) was not as marked. Unpollinated control plants of both species maintained moderate levels of scent production throughout this experiment, demonstrating that senescence and floral advertisement may be delayed until pollination has occurred. We expect postpollination changes in floral scent contribute to communication between plants with generalized pollinator spectra and their floral visitors. This study provides the first field study of such a phenomenon outside of orchids.

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

    PubMed

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

    2005-05-05

    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.

  18. Pollination in Jacaranda rugosa (Bignoniaceae): euglossine pollinators, nectar robbers and low fruit set.

    PubMed

    Milet-Pinheiro, P; Schlindwein, C

    2009-03-01

    Nectar robbers access floral nectar in illegitimate flower visits without, in general, performing a pollination service. Nevertheless, their effect on fruit set can be indirectly positive if the nectar removal causes an incremental increase in the frequency of legitimate flower visits of effective pollinators, especially in obligate outcrossers. We studied pollination and the effect of nectar robbers on the reproductive fitness of Jacaranda rugosa, an endemic shrub of the National Park of Catimbau, in the Caatinga of Pernambuco, Brazil. Xenogamous J. rugosa flowers continuously produced nectar during the day at a rate of 1 mul.h(-1). Female and male Euglossa melanotricha were the main pollinators. Early morning flower visits substantially contributed to fruit set because stigmas with open lobes were almost absent in the afternoon. Ninety-nine per cent of the flowers showed damage caused by nectar robbers. Artificial addition of sugar water prolonged the duration of flower visits of legitimate flower visitors. Removal of nectar, simulating the impact of nectar robbers, resulted in shorter flower visits of euglossine bees. While flower visits of nectar-robbing carpenter bees (Xylocopa frontalis, X. grisescens, X. ordinaria) produced only a longitudinal slit in the corolla tube in the region of the nectar chamber, worker bees of Trigona spinipes damaged the gynoecium in 92% of the flowers. This explains the outstandingly low fruit set (1.5%) of J. rugosa in the National Park of Catimbau.

  19. 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

  20. 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.

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

    PubMed Central

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

    2014-01-01

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

  2. Orchid pollination by sexual deception: pollinator perspectives.

    PubMed

    Gaskett, A C

    2011-02-01

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

  3. 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

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

    PubMed

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

    2013-01-01

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

  5. 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.

  6. Variation in pollination: causes and consequences for plant reproduction.

    PubMed

    Richards, Shane A; Williams, Neal M; Harder, Lawrence D

    2009-09-01

    Pollen dispersal by animals varies extensively because of differences in pollinator visitation rates among plants, dissimilar pollination by the various pollinators that visit individual plants, and stochastic variation in deposition as an individual pollinator disperses a plant's pollen to subsequently visited recipient flowers. Such variation reduces expected female and male success if seed production decelerates with increasing pollen receipt, because less than average receipt diminishes mean seed production more than copious pollination increases it (Jensen's inequality). We report empirical studies of the nature and magnitude of pollen dispersal variance, which provide the basis for a numerical model of the consequences of dispersal for expected seed production. Model fitting revealed that dispersal of Brassica napus pollen by bumblebees and especially butterflies exhibited much more variation than is expected of a binomial process and was best modeled as a beta-binomial process with a constant mean. Overdispersion arose primarily during pollen dispersal by individual insects, since differences between individuals of the same pollinator type were limited. Our model revealed variance limitation as a previously unrecognized, substantial, and ubiquitous component of pollen limitation of seed production. Variance limitation should select for floral traits that increase pollinator visitation, reduce dispersal variance, or reduce the postpollination nonlinearities that cause Jensen's inequality.

  7. 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

  8. 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

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

    PubMed

    Zhao, Zhi-Gang; Wang, Yi-Ke

    2015-01-01

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

  10. 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.

  11. 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.

  12. 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

  13. Ecosystem restoration strengthens pollination network resilience and function.

    PubMed

    Kaiser-Bunbury, Christopher N; Mougal, James; Whittington, Andrew E; Valentin, Terence; Gabriel, Ronny; Olesen, Jens M; Blüthgen, Nico

    2017-02-09

    Land degradation results in declining biodiversity and the disruption of ecosystem functioning worldwide, particularly in the tropics. Vegetation restoration is a common tool used to mitigate these impacts and increasingly aims to restore ecosystem functions rather than species diversity. However, evidence from community experiments on the effect of restoration practices on ecosystem functions is scarce. Pollination is an important ecosystem function and the global decline in pollinators attenuates the resistance of natural areas and agro-environments to disturbances. Thus, the ability of pollination functions to resist or recover from disturbance (that is, the functional resilience) may be critical for ensuring a successful restoration process. Here we report the use of a community field experiment to investigate the effects of vegetation restoration, specifically the removal of exotic shrubs, on pollination. We analyse 64 plant-pollinator networks and the reproductive performance of the ten most abundant plant species across four restored and four unrestored, disturbed mountaintop communities. Ecosystem restoration resulted in a marked increase in pollinator species, visits to flowers and interaction diversity. Interactions in restored networks were more generalized than in unrestored networks, indicating a higher functional redundancy in restored communities. Shifts in interaction patterns had direct and positive effects on pollination, especially on the relative and total fruit production of native plants. Pollinator limitation was prevalent at unrestored sites only, where the proportion of flowers producing fruit increased with pollinator visitation, approaching the higher levels seen in restored plant communities. Our results show that vegetation restoration can improve pollination, suggesting that the degradation of ecosystem functions is at least partially reversible. The degree of recovery may depend on the state of degradation before restoration

  14. 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

  15. The effects of herbivore-induced plant volatiles on interactions between plants and flower-visiting insects.

    PubMed

    Lucas-Barbosa, Dani; van Loon, Joop J A; Dicke, Marcel

    2011-09-01

    Plants are faced with a trade-off between on the one hand growth, development and reproduction and on the other hand defence against environmental stresses. Yet, research on insect-plant interactions has addressed plant-pollinator interactions and plant-attacker interactions separately. Plants have evolved a high diversity of constitutive and induced responses to attack, including the systemic emission of herbivore-induced plant volatiles (HIPVs). The effect of HIPVs on the behaviour of carnivorous insects has received ample attention for leaf-feeding (folivorous) species and their parasitoids and predators. Here, we review whether and to what extent HIPVs affect the interaction of plants in the flowering stage with mutualistic and antagonistic insects. Whereas the role of flower volatiles in the interactions between plants and insect pollinators has received increased attention over the last decade, studies addressing both HIPVs and pollinator behaviour are rare, despite the fact that in a number of plant species herbivory is known to affect flower traits, including size, nectar secretion and composition. In addition, folivory and florivory can also result in significant changes in flower volatile emission and in most systems investigated, pollinator visitation decreased, although exceptions have been found. Negative effects of HIPVs on pollinator visitation rates likely exert negative selection pressure on HIPV emission. The systemic nature of herbivore-induced plant responses and the behavioural responses of antagonistic and mutualistic insects, requires the study of volatile emission of entire plants in the flowering stage. We conclude that approaches to integrate the study of plant defences and pollination are essential to advance plant biology, in particular in the context of the trade-off between defence and growth/reproduction.

  16. 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

  17. 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

  18. Pollinator behaviour on a food-deceptive orchid Calypso bulbosa and coflowering species.

    PubMed

    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.

  19. 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.

  20. 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.

  1. 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

  2. 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.

  3. The relationships between floral traits and specificity of pollination systems in three Scandinavian plant communities.

    PubMed

    Lázaro, Amparo; Hegland, Stein Joar; Totland, Orjan

    2008-08-01

    The pollination syndrome hypothesis has provided a major conceptual framework for how plants and pollinators interact. However, the assumption of specialization in pollination systems and the reliability of floral traits in predicting the main pollinators have been questioned recently. In addition, the relationship between ecological and evolutionary specialization in pollination interactions is still poorly understood. We used data of 62 plant species from three communities across southern Norway to test: (1) the relationships between floral traits and the identity of pollinators, (2) the association between floral traits (evolutionary specialization) and ecological generalization, and (3) the consistency of both relationships across communities. Floral traits significantly affected the identity of pollinators in the three communities in a way consistent with the predictions derived from the pollination syndrome concept. However, hover flies and butterflies visited flowers with different shapes in different communities, which we mainly attribute to among-community variation in pollinator assemblages. Interestingly, ecological generalization depended more on the community-context (i.e. the plant and pollinator assemblages in the communities) than on specific floral traits. While open yellow and white flowers were the most generalist in two communities, they were the most specialist in the alpine community. Our results warn against the use of single measures of ecological generalization to question the pollination syndrome concept, and highlight the importance of community comparisons to assess the pollination syndromes, and to understand the relationships between ecological and evolutionary specialization in plant-pollinator interactions.

  4. Low functional diversity promotes niche changes in natural island pollinator communities.

    PubMed

    Hiraiwa, Masayoshi K; Ushimaru, Atushi

    2017-01-11

    Functional diversity loss among pollinators has rapidly progressed across the globe and is expected to influence plant-pollinator interactions in natural communities. Although recent findings suggest that the disappearance of a certain pollinator functional group may cause niche expansions and/or shifts in other groups, no study has examined this prediction in natural communities with high plant and pollinator diversities. By comparing coastal pollination networks on continental and oceanic islands, we examined how community-level flower visit patterns are influenced by the relative biomass of long-tongued pollinators (RBLP). We found that RBLP significantly correlated with pollinator functional diversity and was lower in oceanic than in continental islands. Pollinator niches shifted with decreasing RBLP, such that diverse species with various proboscis lengths, especially short-tongued species, increasingly visited long-tubed flowers. However, we found no conspicuous negative impacts of low RBLP and the consequent niche shifts on pollinator visit frequencies to flowers in oceanic island communities. Notably, fruit set significantly decreased as RBLP decreased in a study plant species. These results suggest that niche shifts by other functional groups can generally compensate for a decline in long-tongued pollinators in natural communities, but there may be negative impacts on plant reproduction.

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

    PubMed

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

    2014-01-07

    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.

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

    PubMed Central

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

    2012-01-01

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

  7. 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 ...

  8. 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.

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

    PubMed

    Fang, Qiang; Huang, Shuangquan

    2016-05-01

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

  10. 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

  11. 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.

  12. 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.

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

    PubMed Central

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

    2014-01-01

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

  14. The dilemma of being a fragrant flower: the major floral volatile attracts pollinators and florivores in the euglossine-pollinated orchid Dichaea pendula.

    PubMed

    Nunes, Carlos E P; Peñaflor, Maria Fernanda G V; Bento, José Maurício S; Salvador, Marcos José; Sazima, Marlies

    2016-12-01

    Volatile organic compounds (VOCs) mediate both mutualistic and antagonistic plant-animal interactions; thus, the attraction of mutualists and antagonists by floral VOCs constitutes an important trade-off in the evolutionary ecology of angiosperms. Here, we evaluate the role of VOCs in mediating communication between the plant and its mutualist and antagonist floral visitors. To assess the evolutionary consequences of VOC-mediated signalling to distinct floral visitors, we studied the reproductive ecology of Dichaea pendula, assessing the effects of florivores on fruit set, the pollination efficiency of pollinators and florivores, the floral scent composition and the attractiveness of the major VOC to pollinators and florivores. The orchid depends entirely on orchid-bees for sexual reproduction, and the major florivores, the weevils, feed on corollas causing self-pollination, triggering abortion of 26.4 % of the flowers. Floral scent was composed of approximately 99 % 2-methoxy-4-vinylphenol, an unusual floral VOC attractive to pollinators and florivores. The low fruit set from natural pollination (5.6 %) compared to hand cross-pollination (45.5 %) and low level of pollinator visitation [0.02 visits (flower hour)(-1)] represent the limitations to pollination. Our research found that 2-methoxy-4-vinylphenol mediates both mutualistic and antagonistic interactions, which could result in contrary evolutionary pressures on novo-emission. The scarcity of pollinators, not florivory, was the major constraint to fruit set. Our results suggest that, rather than anti-florivory adaptations, adaptations to enhance pollinator attraction and cross-pollination might be the primary drivers of the evolution of VOC emission in euglossine-pollinated flowers.

  15. 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.

  16. Multiple criteria for evaluating pollinator performance in highbush blueberry (Ericales: Ericaceae) agroecosystems.

    PubMed

    Rogers, Shelley R; Tarpy, David R; Burrack, Hannah J

    2013-12-01

    Numerous bee species provide pollination services in agricultural ecosystems. Evaluating a pollinator's performance with regard to a crop is an important step in attributing pollination services and predicting how changes in a bee community or foraging environment will affect those services. We used multiple criteria to evaluate pollinators of North Carolina highbush blueberry, Vaccinium corymbosum L., agroecosystems. For five groups of bees (Apis mellifera L., Bombus spp., Habropoda laboriosa F., small native bees, and Xylocopa virginica L.), we measured forager abundance through transect observations, quantified per-visit efficiency as viable seed set resulting from a single visit, and analyzed bee presence in different weather conditions. We also considered two other criteria affecting pollinator performance-visitation rate and interspecific influence. A. mellifera was the most abundant bee in the majority of our survey sites, yet had low per-visit efficiency and reduced foraging activity in inclement weather. Small native bees were highly efficient pollinators. Their visits resulted in nearly twice as many seeds as A. mellifera or H. laboriosa. Bombus spp., H. laboriosa, and small native bees were more resilient to fluctuations in temperature, wind speed, and solar radiation than A. mellifera. Although nectar-robbing X. virginica contributed to little pollination through direct flower visits, their presence within the crop impacts the behavior and performance of other individuals. Underscoring the importance of evaluating pollinator performance via multiple criteria, our results show that bee groups contribute to pollination in different ways. These differences may provide functional complementarity and stability of pollination services to agricultural systems.

  17. 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.

  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. 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...

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

    PubMed Central

    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. PMID:24225465

  1. 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

  2. Pollinator Behavior Mediates Negative Interactions between Two Congeneric Invasive Plant Species.

    PubMed

    Yang, Suann; Ferrari, Matthew J; Shea, Katriona

    2011-01-01

    Simultaneously flowering plant species may indirectly interact with each other by influencing the quantity of pollinator visitation and/or the quality of pollen that is transferred. These effects on pollination may depend on how pollinators respond to floral resources at multiple levels. In this study, we demonstrate pollinator-mediated negative interactions between two invasive plants, Carduus acanthoides and Carduus nutans. Using constructed arrays of the two species, alone and in mixture, we quantified pollinator visitation at the patch and individual plant levels and measured seed production. We found that co-occurrence of our species led to a shift in pollinator services at both levels. Greater interference occurred when arrays were small and spacings between neighboring plants were large. A spatially explicit movement model suggests that pollinator foraging behavior, which mediates the interactions between plants, was driven by floral display size rather than species identity per se. Pollinator behavior significantly reduced the proportion of seed set for both species relative to that in single-species arrays. Overall, the dependence of pollinator behavior on patch size, spacing between plants, and patch composition can lead to pollinator-mediated plant interactions that range from facilitative to competitive.

  3. 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.

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

    PubMed Central

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

    2009-01-01

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

  5. 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

  6. 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.

  7. 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

    2016-06-03

    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.

  8. 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.

  9. Pollination biology in hybridizing Baptisia (Fabaceae) populations.

    PubMed

    Leebens-Mack, J; Milligan, B

    1998-04-01

    In their classic study, Alston and Turner (American Journal of Botany, vol. 50, 159-173, 1963) documented extensive hybridization among four morphologically distinct Baptisia species native to East Texas. While Alston and Turner found putative F1 hybrids in great numbers, they found no evidence of backcrossing. In this study prezygotic and postzygotic reproductive barriers between two of these species, B. leucophaea and B. sphaerocarpa, were investigated and found to be quite weak. Flowering times overlap and bumble bees were observed visiting both species and intermediate hybrids. While pollinator constancy in flights between B. leucophaea and B. sphaerocarpa was moderately strong, significant levels of constancy were not observed in flights involving hybrids and either parental species. Thus, backcrossing was not impeded by pollinator behavior. Further, hybrid pollen was highly stainable (93.5%) and able to effectively set seed in crossing experiments with both parental species. Pollinator behavior was compared in experimental populations with and without hybrid ramets and found to differ between these two treatments. Hybrids were found to facilitate pollinator movement between species. In total, these results suggest that reproductive isolation is not responsible for the rarity of backcrossing in naturally hybridizing B. leucophaea and B. sphaerocarpa populations.

  10. Pollinator Risk Assessment Guidance

    EPA Pesticide Factsheets

    This Guidance is part of a long-term strategy to advance the science of assessing the risks posed by pesticides to honey bees, giving risk managers the means to further improve pollinator protection in our regulatory decisions.

  11. Pollinator Protection Strategic Plan

    EPA Pesticide Factsheets

    Developed by EPA, this ensures that pesticide risk assessments and risk management decisions use best available information and scientific methods, and full evaluation of pollinator protection when making registration decisions.

  12. 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

  13. Reproductive biology of a hummingbird-pollinated Billbergia: light influence on pollinator behaviour and specificity in a Brazilian semi-deciduous forest.

    PubMed

    Pansarin, E R; de Pedro, S R M

    2016-11-01

    Ornithophily has evolved in parallel several times during evolution of angiosperms. Bird pollination is reported for 65 families, including Bromeliaceae. One of the most diverse bromeliad is Billbergia, which comprises species pollinated mainly by hummingbirds. Based on investigations on flowering phenology, morpho-anatomy, volume and concentration of nectar, pollinators and breeding system, this paper explores the reproductive biology and pollinator specificity of B. distachia in a mesophytic semi-deciduous forest of southeastern Brazil. The results have show that B. distachia is pollinated by a single species of hermit hummingbird, Phaethornis eurynome, which search for nectar produced by a septal nectary, where the secretory tissue is located above the placenta. The species is self-incompatible. The combination of pollinator specificity, due to long corolla tubes that exclude visitation of short-billed hummingbirds, complete self-incompatibility and non-territorial behaviour of pollinators, it is very important to reduce pollen loss and increase gene flow within population. Our results indicate that studies on pollination biology and reproduction are essential to understand the evolutionary history of pollination systems of plants since, at least in Billbergia, variation in the pollinator spectrum has been recorded for different habitats among Brazilian forests. Furthermore, according to our data, foraging of Phaethornis on flowers is independent of air temperature and humidity, while the main factor influencing hummingbird visitation is daylight. Considering current knowledge on climatic parameters influencing hummingbird foraging, pollination and reproductive biology of Neotropical flora and environment of the hermit hummingbird in tropical forests, new insights on plant-pollinator interaction are provided.

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

    PubMed

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

    2013-03-07

    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.

  15. 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

  16. 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

  17. 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

  18. 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.

  19. 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

  20. 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.

  1. 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

  2. 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.

  3. 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

    2013-12-05

    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.

  4. 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.

  5. Pollination efficiency and the evolution of specialized deceptive pollination systems.

    PubMed

    Scopece, Giovanni; Cozzolino, Salvatore; Johnson, Steven D; Schiestl, Florian P

    2010-01-01

    The ultimate causes of evolution of highly specialized pollination systems are little understood. We investigated the relationship between specialization and pollination efficiency, defined as the proportion of pollinated flowers relative to those that experienced pollen removal, using orchids with different pollination strategies as a model system. Rewarding orchids showed the highest pollination efficiency. Sexually deceptive orchids had comparably high pollination efficiency, but food-deceptive orchids had significantly lower efficiency. Values for pollinator sharing (a measure of the degree of generalization in pollination systems) showed the reverse pattern, in that groups with high pollination efficiency had low values of pollinator sharing. Low pollinator sharing may thus be the basis for efficient pollination. Population genetic data indicated that both food- and sexually deceptive species have higher degrees of among-population gene flow than do rewarding orchids. Thus, the shift from food to sexual deception may be driven by selection for more efficient pollination, without compromising the high levels of gene flow that are characteristic of deceptive species.

  6. 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

  7. Effects of season and population size on pollination and reproductive output in a Mediterranean shrub.

    PubMed

    Sánchez, A M; Rodríguez, M; Albert, M J; Escudero, A

    2017-01-30

    Pollinator guilds may change throughout extended flowering periods, affecting plant reproductive output, especially in seasonal climates. We hypothesised a seasonal shift in pollinator guild and an autumn reduction in pollinator abundance, especially in small and sparse populations. We recorded pollinator identity, abundance and behaviour in relation to flower density from plant to population throughout the extended flowering of Ononis tridentata. We evaluated female reproductive output by recording pollination success and pre-dispersal seed predation in eight populations of contrasting size and density. Offspring quality was also characterised through seed weight and germination. A diverse guild of insects visited O. tridentata in spring, while only Apis mellifera was observed in autumn. Visitation frequency did not vary seasonally, but the number of flowers per foraging bout was lower, and seeds were heavier and had a higher germination rate in autumn. Plant and neighbourhood flowering display were not related to pollinator visitation frequency or behaviour. However, the rate of fertilised ovules, seed set and autumn flowering display size were positively related to population density. The maintenance of pollination in autumn enhances the reproductive performance of O. tridentata due to higher quality of autumn seed, and to a large reduction in seed predator pressure. We also suggest that observed changes in pollinator behaviour could be one of the processes behind seasonal variation in seed performance, since geitonogamous crosses were less likely to occur in autumn.

  8. 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.

  9. 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.

  10. 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.

  11. 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.

  12. 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

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

    PubMed

    Dlusskiĭ, G M

    2013-01-01

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

  14. Performance of Apis mellifera, Bombus impatiens, and Peponapis pruinosa (Hymenoptera: Apidae) as pollinators of pumpkin.

    PubMed

    Artz, Derek R; Nault, Brian A

    2011-08-01

    Pollination services of pumpkin, Cucurbita pepo L., provided by the European honey bee, Apis mellifera L., were compared with two native bee species, the common eastern bumble bee, Bombus impatiens (Cresson), and Peponapis pruinosa Say, in New York from 2008 to 2010. Performance of each species was determined by comparing single-visit pollen deposition, percentage of visits that contacted the stigma, flower-handling time, fruit and seed set, and fruit weight per number of visits. Fruit yield from small fields (0.6 ha) supplemented with commercial B. impatiens colonies was compared with yield from those not supplemented. A. mellifera spent nearly 2 and 3 times longer foraging on each pistillate flower compared with B. impatiens and P. pruinosa, respectively. A. mellifera also visited pistillate flowers 10-20 times more frequently than B. impatiens and P. pruinosa, respectively. Yet, B. impatiens deposited 3 times more pollen grains per stigma and contacted stigmas significantly more often than either A. mellifera or P. pruinosa. Fruit set and weight from flowers visited four to eight times by B. impatiens were similar to those from open-pollinated flowers, whereas flowers pollinated by A. mellifera and P. pruinosa produced fewer fruit and smaller fruit compared with those from open-pollinated flowers. Fields supplemented with B. impatiens produced significantly more pumpkins per plant than nonsupplemented fields. B. impatiens was a better pollinator of pumpkin than P. pruinosa and should be considered as a promising alternative to A. mellifera for pollinating this crop.

  15. 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.

  16. 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

    2009-06-09

    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.

  17. 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

  18. 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.

  19. 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.

  20. Pseudocopulatory Pollination in Lepanthes (Orchidaceae: Pleurothallidinae) by Fungus Gnats

    PubMed Central

    BLANCO, MARIO A.; BARBOZA, GABRIEL

    2005-01-01

    • Background and Aims Lepanthes is one of the largest angiosperm genera (>800 species). Their non-rewarding, tiny and colourful flowers are structurally complex. Their pollination mechanism has hitherto remained unknown, but has been subject of ample speculation; the function of the minuscule labellum appendix is especially puzzling. Here, the pollination of L. glicensteinii by sexually deceived male fungus gnats is described and illustrated. • Methods Visitors to flowers of L. glicensteinii were photographed and their behaviour documented; some were captured for identification. Occasional visits to flowers of L. helleri, L. stenorhyncha and L. turialvae were also observed. Structural features of flowers and pollinators were studied with SEM. • Key Results Sexually aroused males of the fungus gnat Bradysia floribunda (Diptera: Sciaridae) were the only visitors and pollinators of L. glicensteinii. The initial long-distance attractant seems to be olfactory. Upon finding a flower, the fly curls his abdomen under the labellum and grabs the appendix with his genitalic claspers, then dismounts the flower and turns around to face away from it. The pollinarium attaches to his abdomen during this pivoting manoeuvre. Pollinia are deposited on the stigma during a subsequent flower visit. The flies appear to ejaculate during pseudocopulation. The visitors of L. helleri, L. stenorhyncha and L. turialvae are different species of fungus gnats that display a similar behaviour. • Conclusions Lepanthes glicensteinii has genitalic pseudocopulatory pollination, the first case reported outside of the Australian orchid genus Cryptostylis. Since most species of Lepanthes have the same unusual flower structure, it is predicted that pollination by sexual deception is prevalent in the genus. Several morphological and phenological traits in Lepanthes seem well suited for exploiting male fungus gnats as pollinators. Correspondingly, some demographic trends common in Lepanthes are

  1. Pollination Ecology of Four Epiphytic Orchids of New Zealand

    PubMed Central

    LEHNEBACH, CARLOS A.; ROBERTSON, ALASTAIR W

    2004-01-01

    • Background and Aims In New Zealand epiphytic orchids are represented by four genera and eight species. The genera Earina (three species) and Winika (one species) are the most conspicuous and widespread. These are likely to be some of the southernmost distributed genera of epiphytic orchids in the world. • Methods To identify the pollination strategies that have evolved in these orchids, hand‐pollination treatments were done and floral visitors were observed in several wild populations at two areas of southern North Island (approx. 40°S). Pollen : ovule ratio and osmophores were also studied and the total carbohydrate content of the nectar produced by each species was measured. • Key results Earina autumnalis and Earina mucronata are self‐compatible, whereas Earina aestivalis and Winika cunninghamii appear to be partially self‐incompatible. All four orchids are incapable of autonomous selfing and therefore completely dependent on pollinators to set fruits. Floral visitors observed in the genus Earina belong to Diptera, Coleoptera and Hymenoptera and to Diptera and Hymenoptera in W. cunninghamii. • Conclusions Contrary to many epiphytic orchids in the tropics, the orchid–pollinator relationship in these orchids is unspecialized and flowers are visited by a wide range of insects. Putative pollinators are flies of the families Bibionidae, Calliphoridae, Syrphidae and Tachinidae. All four orchids display anthecological adaptations to a myophilous pollination system such as simple flowers, well‐exposed reproductive structures, easily accessed nectar and high pollen : ovule ratios. PMID:15113741

  2. 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.

  3. Pollination biology of Harrisia portoricensis (Cactaceae), an endangered Caribbean species.

    PubMed

    Rojas-Sandoval, Julissa; Meléndez-Ackerman, Elvia

    2009-12-01

    Traits associated with self-pollination are common features of island plant communities. In this work, we studied the pollination biology and the breeding system of Harrisia portoricensis, an island columnar cactus, to test for the presence of inbreeding and inbreeding depression. For H. portoricensis, which bears flowers with typical outcrossing morphology, the results from 322 h of direct observations and videotaping showed that visits to flowers by animals were uncommon. Controlled pollinations demonstrated that H. portoricensis has a partially self-compatible breeding system that it is not autogamous and thus requires an external mechanism for the movement of pollen to set fruit. We detected differences in seed size, seed mass, germination success, and multiplicative fitness estimates between self- and cross-pollination treatments. We found that progeny resulting from natural and self-pollination treatments showed signs of inbreeding depression compared with progeny resulting from cross-pollination; however, the magnitude of the inbreeding depression was less than 50%. Our combined results suggest that for this species an endogamous breeding system should be favored by natural selection.

  4. 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.

  5. 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.

  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.

  7. 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.

  8. 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

  9. 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.

  10. 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

  11. 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

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

    PubMed Central

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

    2008-01-01

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

  13. 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

  14. 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

  15. 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.

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

    PubMed

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

    2015-07-01

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

  17. Modest enhancements to conventional grassland diversity improve the provision of pollination services.

    PubMed

    Orford, Katherine A; Murray, Phil J; Vaughan, Ian P; Memmott, Jane

    2016-06-01

    Grassland for livestock production is a major form of land use throughout Europe and its intensive management threatens biodiversity and ecosystem functioning in agricultural landscapes. Modest increases to conventional grassland biodiversity could have considerable positive impacts on the provision of ecosystem services, such as pollination, to surrounding habitats.Using a field-scale experiment in which grassland seed mixes and sward management were manipulated, complemented by surveys on working farms and phytometer experiments, the impact of conventional grassland diversity and management on the functional diversity and ecosystem service provision of pollinator communities were investigated.Increasing plant richness, by the addition of both legumes and forbs, was associated with significant enhancements in the functional diversity of grassland pollinator communities. This was associated with increased temporal stability of flower-visitor interactions at the community level. Visitation networks revealed pasture species Taraxacum sp. (Wigg.) (dandelion) and Cirsium arvense (Scop.) (creeping thistle) to have the highest pollinator visitation frequency and richness. Cichorium intybus (L.) (chichory) was highlighted as an important species having both high pollinator visitation and desirable agronomic properties.Increased sward richness was associated with an increase in the pollination of two phytometer species; Fragaria × ananassa (strawberry) and Silene dioica (red campion), but not Vicia faba (broad bean). Enhanced functional diversity, richness and abundance of the pollinator communities associated with more diverse neighbouring pastures were found to be potential mechanisms for improved pollination. Synthesis and applications. A modest increase in conventional grassland plant diversity with legumes and forbs, achievable with the expertise and resources available to most grassland farmers, could enhance pollinator functional diversity, richness and abundance

  18. 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.

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

    PubMed Central

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

    2014-01-01

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

  20. 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.

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

    PubMed Central

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

    2011-01-01

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

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

    PubMed

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

    2015-01-01

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

  3. Differences in pollination success between local and foreign flower color phenotypes: a translocation experiment with Gentiana lutea (Gentianaceae)

    PubMed Central

    Sobral, Mar; Veiga, Tania; Guitián, Pablo; Guitián, José M.

    2017-01-01

    Background The adaptive maintenance of flower color variation is frequently attributed to pollinators partly because they preferentially visit certain flower phenotypes. We tested whether Gentiana lutea—which shows a flower color variation (from orange to yellow) in the Cantabrian Mountains range (north of Spain)—is locally adapted to the pollinator community. Methods We transplanted orange-flowering individuals to a population with yellow-flowering individuals and vice versa, in order to assess whether there is a pollination advantage in the local morph by comparing its visitation rate with the foreign morph. Results Our reciprocal transplant experiment did not show clear local morph advantage in overall visitation rate: local orange flowers received more visits than foreign yellow flowers in the orange population, while both local and foreign flowers received the same visits in the yellow population; thus, there is no evidence of local adaptation in Gentiana lutea to the pollinator assemblage. However, some floral visitor groups (such as Bombus pratorum, B. soroensis ancaricus and B. lapidarius decipiens) consistently preferred the local morph to the foreign morph whereas others (such as Bombus terrestris) consistently preferred the foreign morph. Discussion We concluded that there is no evidence of local adaptation to the pollinator community in each of the two G. lutea populations studied. The consequences for local adaptation to pollinator on G. lutea flower color would depend on the variation along the Cantabrian Mountains range in morph frequency and pollinator community composition. PMID:28194308

  4. 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.

  5. 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.

  6. 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

    2016-01-05

    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.

  7. 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

  8. 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.

  9. 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.

  10. 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

  11. 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.

  12. 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.

  13. Viruses of commercialized insect pollinators.

    PubMed

    Gisder, Sebastian; Genersch, Elke

    2016-08-03

    Managed insect pollinators are indispensable in modern agriculture. They are used worldwide not only in the open field but also in greenhouses to enhance fruit set, seed production, and crop yield. Managed honey bee (Apis mellifera, Apis cerana) colonies provide the majority of commercial pollination although other members of the superfamily Apoidea are also exploited and commercialized as managed pollinators. In the recent past, it became more and more evident that viral diseases play a key role in devastating honey bee colony losses and it was also recognized that many viruses originally thought to be honey bee specific can also be detected in other pollinating insects. However, while research on viruses infecting honey bees started more than 50years ago and the knowledge on these viruses is growing ever since, little is known on virus diseases of other pollinating bee species. Recent virus surveys suggested that many of the viruses thought to be honey bee specific are actually circulating in the pollinator community and that pollinator management and commercialization of pollinators provide ample opportunity for viral diseases to spread. However, the direction of disease transmission is not always clear and the impact of these viral diseases on the different hosts remains elusive in many cases. With our review we want to provide an up-to-date overview on the viruses detected in different commercialized pollinators in order to encourage research in the field of pollinator virology that goes beyond molecular detection of viruses. A deeper understanding of this field of virology is urgently needed to be able to evaluate the impact of viruses on pollinator health and the role of different pollinators in spreading viral diseases and to be able to decide on appropriate measures to prevent virus-driven pollinator decline.

  14. Flower-Visiting Butterflies Avoid Predatory Stimuli and Larger Resident Butterflies: Testing in a Butterfly Pavilion.

    PubMed

    Fukano, Yuya; Tanaka, Yosuke; Farkhary, Sayed Ibrahim; Kurachi, Takuma

    2016-01-01

    The flower-visiting behaviors of pollinator species are affected not only by flower traits but also by cues of predators and resident pollinators. There is extensive research into the effects of predator cues and resident pollinators on the flower-visiting behaviors of bee pollinators. However, there is relatively little research into their effects on butterfly pollinators probably because of the difficulty in observing a large number of butterfly pollination events. We conducted a dual choice experiment using artificial flowers under semi-natural conditions in the butterfly pavilion at Tama Zoological Park to examine the effects of the presence of a dead mantis and resident butterflies have on the flower-visiting behavior of several butterfly species. From 173 hours of recorded video, we observed 3235 visitations by 16 butterfly species. Statistical analysis showed that (1) butterflies avoided visiting flowers occupied by a dead mantis, (2) butterflies avoided resident butterflies that were larger than the visitor, and (3) butterflies showed greater avoidance of a predator when the predator was present together with the resident butterfly than when the predator was located on the opposite flower of the resident. Finally, we discuss the similarities and differences in behavioral responses of butterfly pollinators and bees.

  15. Flower-Visiting Butterflies Avoid Predatory Stimuli and Larger Resident Butterflies: Testing in a Butterfly Pavilion

    PubMed Central

    Fukano, Yuya; Tanaka, Yosuke; Farkhary, Sayed Ibrahim; Kurachi, Takuma

    2016-01-01

    The flower-visiting behaviors of pollinator species are affected not only by flower traits but also by cues of predators and resident pollinators. There is extensive research into the effects of predator cues and resident pollinators on the flower-visiting behaviors of bee pollinators. However, there is relatively little research into their effects on butterfly pollinators probably because of the difficulty in observing a large number of butterfly pollination events. We conducted a dual choice experiment using artificial flowers under semi-natural conditions in the butterfly pavilion at Tama Zoological Park to examine the effects of the presence of a dead mantis and resident butterflies have on the flower-visiting behavior of several butterfly species. From 173 hours of recorded video, we observed 3235 visitations by 16 butterfly species. Statistical analysis showed that (1) butterflies avoided visiting flowers occupied by a dead mantis, (2) butterflies avoided resident butterflies that were larger than the visitor, and (3) butterflies showed greater avoidance of a predator when the predator was present together with the resident butterfly than when the predator was located on the opposite flower of the resident. Finally, we discuss the similarities and differences in behavioral responses of butterfly pollinators and bees. PMID:27846252

  16. 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

  17. Nectar robbery by bees Xylocopa virginica and Apis mellifera contributes to the pollination of rabbiteye blueberry.

    PubMed

    Sampson, Blair J; Danka, Robert G; Stringer, Stephen J

    2004-06-01

    Honey bees, Apis mellifera L., probe for nectar from robbery slits previously made by male carpenter bees, Xylocopa virginica (L.), at the flowers of rabbiteye blueberry, Vaccinium ashei Reade. This relationship between primary nectar robbers (carpenter bees) and secondary nectar thieves (honey bees) is poorly understood but seemingly unfavorable for V. ashei pollination. We designed two studies to measure the impact of nectar robbers on V. ashei pollination. First, counting the amount of pollen on stigmas (stigmatic pollen loading) showed that nectar robbers delivered fewer blueberry tetrads per stigma after single floral visits than did our benchmark pollinator, the southeastern blueberry bee, Habropoda laboriosa (F.), a recognized effective pollinator of blueberries. Increasing numbers of floral visits by carpenter bee and honey bee robbers yielded larger stigmatic loads. As few as three robbery visits were equivalent to one legitimate visit by a pollen-collecting H. laboriosa female. More than three robbery visits per flower slightly depressed stigmatic pollen loads. In our second study, a survey of 10 commercial blueberry farms demonstrated that corolla slitting by carpenter bees (i.e., robbery) has no appreciable affect on overall V. ashei fruit set. Our observations demonstrate male carpenter bees are benign or even potentially beneficial floral visitors of V ashei. Their robbery of blueberry flowers in the southeast may attract more honey bee pollinators to the crop.

  18. Butterfly pollination and high-contrast visual signals in a low-density distylous plant.

    PubMed

    Borges, Renee M; Gowda, Vinita; Zacharias, Merry

    2003-08-01

    In low-density butterfly-pollinated Mussaenda frondosa (Rubiaceae), flowers attract pollinators at short distances while conspicuous, non-rewarding accessory bracts are detectable at long distances by long-ranging pollinators such as the birdwing butterfly Troides minos that did not detect flower-bearing plants in the absence of these bracts. However, even in the absence of flowers, the white, ultraviolet-absorbing bracts attracted butterflies that visited flowerless plants. Although flower visits by short-ranging territorial butterflies declined significantly on removal of bracts, they did not cease completely. Nectar-robbing carpenter bees and birds did not change their behaviour following bract removal. Bract removal caused a significant decline in fruit set, indicating their importance as visual signals to pollinators.

  19. Reproductive biology of Acrolophia cochlearis (Orchidaceae): estimating rates of cross-pollination in epidendroid orchids

    PubMed Central

    Peter, Craig I.; Johnson, Steven D.

    2009-01-01

    Background and Aims Pollen fates strongly influence mating success in plants but are difficult to quantify. By promoting foraging constancy in pollinators, floral rewards such as nectar may enhance the overall efficiency of pollen transfer. However, this can also lead to high levels of geitonogamy. Pollen fates were studied in Acrolophia cochlearis, a member of a terrestrial epidendroid orchid genus that includes both rewarding and deceptive species. Methods Pollinator observations were conducted. Pollen transfer efficiency (PTE), the proportion of removed pollinia deposited on stigmas, was measured in a large population at regular intervals throughout the 5-month flowering season. The level of cross-pollination in two populations was estimated from the percentage of seeds with embryos in naturally pollinated fruits. Key Results Acrolophia cochlearis (and a congener A. micrantha) produce minute but concentrated nectar rewards. Observations showed that A. cochlearis is pollinated exclusively by a solitary bee species, Colletes claripes. Although both sexes visited flowers, only males carried pollinaria. Overall levels of pollination and PTE of the rewarding A. cochlearis were much higher than in a deceptive congener, A. capensis. Seeds resulting from self-fertilization had a significantly lower probability of containing viable embryos than did those from cross-fertilization. This dichotomy in fruit quality was used to estimate that cross-pollination occurred in approx. 66 % of A. cochlearis flowers in a large dense population and approx. 10 % in a small sparse population. Traits of A. cochlearis that limit geitonogamy include pollinarium reconfiguration that exceeds the visit time of pollinators and rapid flower senescence following visitation. Conclusions Presence of a nectar reward in Acrolophia cochlearis results in high levels of PTE. It is estimated that approx. 33–90 % of fruits in natural populations arise from self-pollination in this species. PMID

  20. Comparative reproductive biology and pollinator specificity among sympatric Gomesa (Orchidaceae: Oncidiinae).

    PubMed

    Pansarin, E R; Alves-Dos-Santos, I; Pansarin, L M

    2017-03-01

    The incredible pollination mechanisms displayed by orchid flowers has inspired biologists over the centuries. Based on the intriguing flower structures, the relationship among orchid species and their pollinators has been frequently regarded as very specialised. Given that visits on flowers pollinated by oil-collecting bees are regularly rare, and in Oncidiinae the flowers frequently attractexclusively species that act as effective pollinators, the comparative reproductive biology and pollinator specificity of two sympatric Gomesa (G. varicosa and G. montana; Oncidiinae) were analysedbased on records of floral morphology, production of floral rewards, pollinators and pollination mechanisms. Furthermore, experimental pollinations were carried out in order to examine the breeding systems. The results have show that in the studied population, both Gomesa are visited by several bee species, but these orchids present a specific pollination system.Pollinaria are deposited on the head of Centridini (G. varicosa and G. montana) and Epicharitini (G. varicosa) bees when landed on the central callus of the labellumto collect lipoidal substances produced by glandular elaiophores on lateral lobes of the labellum. Both species are dependent on a biotic pollen vector to set fruits. Gomesamontana is completely self-incompatible, while G. varicosa is partially self-compatible. Our results indicate that although the occurrence of self-sterile species seems to be common in Oncidiinae, in partially self-incompatible species, as is the case of G. varicosa, self-compatibility has been considered as an important factor favouring reproductive assurance in populations with low visitation frequencies, despite occurrence of inbreeding depression.

  1. [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

  2. Can short-billed nectar thieving sunbirds replace long-billed sunbird pollinators in transformed landscapes?

    PubMed

    Geerts, S

    2016-11-01

    Pollinator specialisation through exploitation barriers (such as long floral tubes) does not necessarily mean a lack of pollination when the favoured pollinator is rare or absent. Theory predicts that suboptimal visitors will contribute to plant reproduction in the absence of the most effective pollinator. Here I address these questions with Chasmanthe floribunda a long-tubed plant species in the Cape Floristic Region, which is reliant on one species of pollinator, the long-billed Malachite Sunbird. In contrast to short-billed sunbirds, the Malachite Sunbird occurs in lower abundance or is absent in transformed landscapes. Short-billed sunbirds rob and thieve nectar from long-tubed flowers, but their potential contribution towards pollination is unknown. Experiments assessing seed set after single flower visits were performed to determine whether thieving short-billed sunbirds can act as substitute pollinators. To determine whether short-billed sunbirds reduce pollen limitation in transformed areas, pollen supplementation was done by hand and compared to natural fruit set. Short billed sunbirds are unable to act as substitute pollinators, and seed set is significantly lower in the flowers that they visited, compared to flowers visited by long-billed sunbirds. This is substantiated on a landscape scale, where fruit production in Chasmanthe floribunda could artificially be increased by 35% in transformed landscapes, but not so in natural areas. These findings have important consequences for the management and conservation of long-tubed bird-pollinated plant species that exist in recently transformed landscapes. The potential vulnerability of specialised plant species in transformed landscapes is highlighted.

  3. Pollination syndromes in African Marantaceae

    PubMed Central

    Ley, Alexandra C.; Claßen-Bockhoff, Regine

    2009-01-01

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

  4. 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.

  5. 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

  6. 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.

  7. 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.

  8. 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.

  9. 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

  10. 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.

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

    PubMed

    Piechowski, D; Dötterl, S; Gottsberger, G

    2010-01-01

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

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

    PubMed

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

    2014-08-19

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

  13. 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

  14. One fly to rule them all-muscid flies are the key pollinators in the Arctic.

    PubMed

    Tiusanen, Mikko; Hebert, Paul D N; Schmidt, Niels Martin; Roslin, Tomas

    2016-09-28

    Global change is causing drastic changes in the pollinator communities of the Arctic. While arctic flowers are visited by a wide range of insects, flies in family Muscidae have been proposed as a pollinator group of particular importance. To understand the functional outcome of current changes in pollinator community composition, we examined the role of muscids in the pollination of a key plant species, the mountain avens (Dryas). We monitored the seed set of Dryas across 15 sites at Zackenberg, northeast Greenland, and used sticky flower mimics and DNA barcoding to describe the flower-visiting community at each site. To evaluate the consequences of shifts in pollinator phenology under climate change, we compared the flower visitors between the early and the late season. Our approach revealed a diverse community of insects visiting Dryas, including two-thirds of all insect species known from the area. Even against this diverse background, the abundance of muscid flies emerged as a key predictor for seed set in Dryas, whereas overall insect abundance and species richness had little or no effect. With muscid flies as the main drivers of the pollinating function in the High Arctic, a recently observed decline in their abundances offers cause for concern.

  15. 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.

  16. 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.

  17. 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.

  18. 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

  19. 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.

  20. A generalized deceptive pollination system of Doritis pulcherrima (Aeridinae: Orchidaceae) with non-reconfigured pollinaria

    PubMed Central

    2012-01-01

    Background As one of largest angiosperm families, orchids have long fascinated evolutionary biologists with their staggering diversity in floral design and display to promote outcrossing. Two of the most intriguing aspects of orchid pollination that promote cross-pollination are pollinarium reconfiguration (PR) and deceptive pollination. PR and generalized food deception employ virtually antagonistic methods of promoting cross-pollination: PR occurs through delayed pollination, involving the relatively long visitation periods that are typically observed for the pollinators of one flower or inflorescence; conversely, generalized food deception leads to reductions in the visitation periods of pollinators to one flower or inflorescence. Thus, it is logical to hypothesize that PR is unnecessary or PR happens soon in generalized food-deceptive orchids in the promotion of cross-pollination. Using Doritis pulcherrima as a model, the aim of this study was to understand the following: (1) the pollination and breeding system of D. pulcherrima; (2) the morphological interactions between orchids and their pollinators; and (3) whether PR is necessary in the promotion of cross-pollination in D. pulcherrima. Results Our observations indicated that Doritis pulcherrima is pollinated almost exclusively by Amegilla nigritar (Hymenoptera: Apidae) and possesses pollinia that are deposited on the “occiputs” (cervical membranes) of these insects. All of evidences are indicated that D. pulcherrima is a generalized food-deceptive orchid. Our morphometric measurements of the flowers and pollinators show that the heights of the “occiputs” with un-oriented pollinaria were equal to the distances between stigmas and surfaces of the middle lobes, suggesting that pollinarium reconfiguration is not necessary in Doritis pulcherrima. Conclusions Our observation and analyses supported the hypothesis that pollinarium reconfiguration is unnecessary in generalized food-deceptive orchids, such as

  1. 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.

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

    PubMed

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

    2014-08-05

    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

  3. 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.

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

    PubMed Central

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

    2014-01-01

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

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

    PubMed Central

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

    2014-01-01

    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

  6. 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.

  7. 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.

  8. 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

  9. 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

  10. Predicting plant attractiveness to pollinators with passive crowdsourcing

    SciTech Connect

    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-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

  11. 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

  12. 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.

  13. Thrips pollination of Mesozoic gymnosperms

    PubMed Central

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

    2012-01-01

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

  14. Do consecutive flower visits within a crown diminish fruit set in mass-flowering Hancornia speciosa (Apocynaceae)?

    PubMed

    Pinto, C E; Oliveira, R; Schlindwein, C

    2008-05-01

    Hancornia speciosa is a self-incompatible, mass-flowering, sphingophilous fruit crop (mangaba) of northeast and central Brazil. The flowers have a precise pollination apparatus, which optimizes pollen transfer between flower and pollinator. While the pollination mechanism avoids self-pollination, mass-flowering promotes geitonogamy. During a flower visit, almost half of the exogenous pollen grains adhering to the proboscis are deposited on the stigma surface. A pollination experiment with a nylon thread simulating six consecutive flower visits within a crown revealed that only the first two flowers visited (positions 1 and 2) are highly likely to set fruit. Super-production of flowers, and consequently obligate low fruit set, seem to be part of the reproductive strategy of the obligate outcrossing plant, Hancornia speciosa.

  15. 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.

  16. Pervasiveness of Parasites in Pollinators

    PubMed Central

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

    2012-01-01

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

  17. 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.

  18. 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

  19. Plant Pollinator Networks along a Gradient of Urbanisation

    PubMed Central

    Geslin, Benoît; Gauzens, Benoit; Thébault, Elisa; Dajoz, Isabelle

    2013-01-01

    Background Habitat loss is one of the principal causes of the current pollinator decline. With agricultural intensification, increasing urbanisation is among the main drivers of habitat loss. Consequently studies focusing on pollinator community structure along urbanisation gradients have increased in recent years. However, few studies have investigated how urbanisation affects plant-pollinator interaction networks. Here we assessed modifications of plant-pollinator interactions along an urbanisation gradient based on the study of their morphological relationships. Methodology/Principal Findings Along an urbanisation gradient comprising four types of landscape contexts (semi-natural, agricultural, suburban, urban), we set up experimental plant communities containing two plant functional groups differing in their morphological traits (“open flowers” and “tubular flowers”). Insect visitations on these communities were recorded to build plant-pollinator networks. A total of 17 857 interactions were recorded between experimental plant communities and flower-visitors. The number of interactions performed by flower-visitors was significantly lower in urban landscape context than in semi-natural and agricultural ones. In particular, insects such as Syrphidae and solitary bees that mostly visited the open flower functional group were significantly impacted by urbanisation, which was not the case for bumblebees. Urbanisation also impacted the generalism of flower-visitors and we detected higher interaction evenness in urban landscape context than in agricultural and suburban ones. Finally, in urban context, these modifications lowered the potential reproductive success of the open flowers functional group. Conclusions/Significance Our findings show that open flower plant species and their specific flower-visitors are especially sensitive to increasing urbanisation. These results provide new clues to improve conservation measures within urbanised areas in favour of

  20. 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

  1. Dynamics of plant-pollinator-robber systems.

    PubMed

    Wang, Yuanshi

    2013-05-01

    Plant-pollinator-robber systems are considered, where the plants and pollinators are mutualists, the plants and nectar robbers are in a parasitic relation, and the pollinators and nectar robbers consume a common limiting resource without interfering competition. My aim is to show a mechanism by which pollination-mutualism could persist when there exist nectar robbers. Through the dynamics of a plant-pollinator-robber model, it is shown that (i) when the plants alone (i.e., without pollination-mutualism) cannot provide sufficient resources for the robbers' survival but pollination-mutualism can persist in the plant-pollinator system, the pollination-mutualism may lead to invasion of the robbers, while the pollinators will not be driven into extinction by the robbers' invasion. (ii) When the plants alone cannot support the robbers' survival but persistence of pollination-mutualism in the plant-pollinator system is density-dependent, the pollinators and robbers could coexist if the robbers' efficiency in translating the plant-robber interactions into fitness is intermediate and the initial densities of the three species are in an appropriate region. (iii) When the plants alone can support the robbers' survival, the pollinators will not be driven into extinction by the robbers if their efficiency in translating the plant-pollinator interactions into fitness is relatively larger than that of the robbers. The analysis leads to an explanation for the persistence of pollination-mutualism in the presence of nectar robbers in real situations.

  2. 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.

  3. 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.

  4. 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.

  5. 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.

  6. Role of honey bees (Hymenoptera: Apidae) in the pollination biology of a California native plant, Triteleia laxa (Asparagales: Themidaceae).

    PubMed

    Chamberlain, S A; Schlising, R A

    2008-06-01

    A central focus of pollination biology is to document the relative effectiveness of different flower visitors as pollinators. Ongoing research seeks to determine the role that introduced honey bees (Apis mellifera L.) play in the pollination of both invasive and native plants. Here we report on the importance of A. mellifera as pollinators of a California native plant, Triteleia laxa Bentham. In observation plots and transect censuses, A. mellifera overwhelmingly dominated the T. laxa flower visitor assemblage. We believe the proximity to agriculture, where A. mellifera density is higher relative to areas far from agriculture, contributes to the discrepancy between A. mellifera abundance at the two sites. Although A. mellifera were inferior flower visitors qualitatively (visited less flowers per minute), they were the most frequent interactors with flowers. Furthermore, the proportion of visits to flowers on the same plant among flower visitor species did not differ, suggesting a general mechanism by which insects forage at T. laxa flowers and that A. mellifera do not cause more deleterious geitonogamy than do native pollinators. Flower visitation rates as a function of floral display size did not differ between A. mellifera and other flower visitors. The difference in the magnitude of flower visitation (largely by A. mellifera) between sites is consistent with a difference in seed set between sites. These results suggest that non-native A. mellifera bees can play an important role in the pollination of native plant species.

  7. Transition from wind pollination to insect pollination in sedges: experimental evidence and functional traits.

    PubMed

    Wragg, Peter D; Johnson, Steven D

    2011-09-01

    Transitions from wind pollination to insect pollination were pivotal to the radiation of land plants, yet only a handful are known and the trait shifts required are poorly understood. We tested the hypothesis that a transition to insect pollination took place in the ancestrally wind-pollinated sedges (Cyperaceae) and that floral traits modified during this transition have functional significance. We paired putatively insect-pollinated Cyperus obtusiflorus and Cyperus sphaerocephalus with related, co-flowering, co-occurring wind-pollinated species, and compared pairs in terms of pollination mode and functional roles of floral traits. Experimentally excluding insects reduced seed set by 56-89% in putatively insect-pollinated species but not in intermingled wind-pollinated species. The pollen of putatively insect-pollinated species was less motile in a wind tunnel than that of wind-pollinated species. Bees, beetles and flies preferred inflorescences, and color-matched white or yellow models, of putatively insect-pollinated species over inflorescences, or color-matched brown models, of wind-pollinated species. Floral scents of putatively insect-pollinated species were chemically consistent with those of other insect-pollinated plants, and attracted pollinators; wind-pollinated species were unscented. These results show that a transition from wind pollination to insect pollination occurred in sedges and shed new light on the function of traits involved in this important transition.

  8. 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

  9. Pollination biology of the hexaploid self-compatible species Turnera velutina (Passifloraceae).

    PubMed

    Sosenski, P; Ramos, S E; Domínguez, C A; Boege, K; Fornoni, J

    2017-03-01

    The evolution of monomorphisms from heterostylous ancestors has been related to the presence of homostyly and the loss of self-incompatibility, allowing the occurrence of selfing, which could be advantageous under pollinator limitation. However, flowers of some monomorphic species show herkogamy, attraction and rewarding traits that presumably favour cross-pollination and/or a mixed mating system. This study evaluated the contributions of pollinators, breeding system and floral traits to the reproduction of Turnera velutina, a herkogamous monomorphic species. Floral visitors and frequency of visits were recorded, controlled hand cross-pollinations were conducted under greenhouse and natural conditions, and individual variation in floral traits was characterised to determine their contribution to seed production. Apis mellifera was the most frequent floral visitor. Flowers presented approach herkogamy, high variation in nectar features, and a positive correlation of floral length with nectar volume and sugar concentration. Seed production did not differ between manual self- and cross-pollinations, controls or open cross-pollinations, but autonomous self-pollination produced, on average, 82.74% fewer seeds than the other forms, irrespective of the level of herkogamy. Differences in seed production among autonomous self-pollination and other treatments showed that T. velutina flowers depend on insect pollination for reproduction, and that approach herkogamy drastically reduced seed production in the absence of pollen vectors. The lack of differences in seed production from manual cross- and self-pollinations suggests the possible presence of a mixed mating system in the studied population. Overall, this species was possibly derived from a distylous ancestor but appears fully capable of outcrossing despite being monomorphic.

  10. 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

  11. Notes on the pollination biology of Notylia nemorosa (Orchidaceae): do pollinators necessarily promote cross pollination?

    PubMed

    Singer, Rodrigo B; Koehler, Samantha

    2003-02-01

    The pollination biology of Notylia nemorosa was elucidated from field and ex situ observations. Field observations were carried out in Minas Gerais, southeastern Brazil, where this orchid is pollinated by males of Eulaema nigrita(Euglossini). Plants cultivated in Campinas (São Paulo State, southeastern Brazil) were eventually pollinated by males of Eulaema nigrita and Euglossa melanothricha(Euglossini). In both cases, Euglossini males collect aromatic compounds produced on the surface of the lip, fix the pollinaria on the dorsal surface of the labrum and perform pollination. This species is protandrous. Recently opened flowers present their stigmatic surfaces blocked and thus flowers act only as pollen donors. After 2-3 days the viscidium dries out and pollinaria cannot be removed anymore. Then, a narrow slit opens in the stigmatic cavity, allowing pollen deposition. Experiments performed with cultivated plants suggest that this orchid species is strongly, though not completely self-incompatible. Pollination experiments showed that bees tend to stay several minutes in each inflorescence. This behavior may promote some degree of geitonogamous pollination because flowers in male and female phases coexist in the same inflorescence. The combination of self-incompatibility with this specific pollinator behavior may explain the rarity of fruits in several neotropical reward-offering Orchidaceae.

  12. 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

    2016-02-24

    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.

  13. 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

  14. EPA Actions to Protect Pollinators

    EPA Pesticide Factsheets

    Pesticide risk management must be based on sound science, consistent with the laws under which pesticides are regulated in the United States. EPA has been working aggressively to protect bees and other pollinators from pesticide exposures.

  15. 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.

  16. Diel Patterns of Activity for Insect Pollinators of Two Oil Palm Species (Arecales : Arecaceae).

    PubMed

    Auffray, Thomas; Frérot, Brigitte; Poveda, Roberto; Louise, Claude; Beaudoin-Ollivier, Laurence

    2017-01-01

    The pollination of two oil palm species, Elaeis guineensis Jacquin and Elaeis oleifera Cortés (Arecales: Arecaceae), depends on a mutualistic relation with insects, which use male inflorescences as a brood site, and visits female inflorescences lured by the emitted odor, which is similar to that of males. Although the activity of visiting the inflorescences by these insects is critical for the adequate natural pollination of the host plant, their activity is poorly documented. In the present study, we determine the diel activity of two specialized pollinator weevils (Coleoptera: Curculionidae) on inflorescences of their respective host-palm: Elaeidobius kamerunicus Faust specialized on E. guineensis, and Grasidius hybridus O'Brien and Beserra specialized on E. oleifera. The average timing of activity was studied by using passive interception traps. Then the pattern and the duration were refined by using aspiration trapping within the active period for each insect species at the male and female inflorescences. All the experiments were conducted in an Ecuadorian oil palm plantation, located close to Amazonian forest. El. kamerunicus and G. hybridus were found to be the pollinators of E. guineensis and E. oleifera, respectively. The two species differed in their diel pattern of activity: E. kamerunicus was active in the morning and G. hybridus during a short period at dusk. For both palm species, insect visits were synchronous on both male and female inflorescences. The synchronicity is discussed as a strategy to maintain the relation mutualistic between partners. These findings increase our understanding of the oil palm pollination system.

  17. 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.

  18. Morning floral heat as a reward to the pollinators of the Oncocyclus irises.

    PubMed

    Sapir, Yuval; Shmida, Avi; Ne'eman, Gidi

    2006-02-01

    Relationships between flowering plants and their pollinators are usually affected by the amount of reward, mainly pollen or nectar, offered to pollinators by flowers, with these amounts usually positively correlated with floral display. The large Oncocyclus iris flowers, despite being the largest flowers in the East Mediterranean flora, are nectarless and have hidden pollen. No pollinators visit the flowers during daytime, and these flowers are pollinated only by night-sheltering solitary male bees. These iris flowers are partially or fully dark-colored, suggesting that they gather heat by absorbing solar radiation. Here we test the hypothesis that the dark-colored flowers of the Oncocyclus irises offer heat reward to their male solitary bee pollinators. Floral temperature was higher by 2.5 degrees C than ambient air after sunrise. Solitary male bees emerged earlier after sheltering in Oncocyclus flowers than from other experimental shelter types. Pollination tunnels facing east towards the rising sun hosted more male bees than other aspects. We suggest that floral heat reward can explain the evolution of dark floral colors in Oncocyclus irises, mediated by the pollinators' behavior.

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

    PubMed

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

    2011-02-01

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

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

    PubMed

    Devaux, Céline; Lande, Russell; Porcher, Emmanuelle

    2014-11-01

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

  1. 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.

  2. 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.

  3. Interaction intensity and pollinator-mediated selection.

    PubMed

    Trunschke, Judith; Sletvold, Nina; Ågren, Jon

    2017-02-27

    In animal-pollinated plants, the opportunity for selection and the strength of pollinator-mediated selection are expected to increase with the degree of pollen limitation. However, whether differences in pollen limitation can explain variation in pollinator-mediated and net selection among animal-pollinated species is poorly understood. In the present study, we quantified pollen limitation, variance in relative fitness and pollinator-mediated selection on five traits important for pollinator attraction (flowering start, plant height, flower number, flower size) and pollination efficiency (spur length) in natural populations of 12 orchid species. Pollinator-mediated selection was quantified by subtracting estimates of selection gradients for plants receiving supplemental hand-pollination from estimates obtained for open-pollinated control plants. Mean pollen limitation ranged from zero to 0.96. Opportunity for selection, pollinator-mediated selection and net selection were all positively related to pollen limitation, whereas nonpollinator-mediated selection was not. Opportunity for selection varied five-fold, strength of pollinator-mediated selection varied three-fold and net selection varied 1.5-fold among species. Supplemental hand-pollination reduced both opportunity for selection and selection on floral traits. The results show that the intensity of biotic interactions is an important determinant of the selection regime, and indicate that the potential for pollinator-mediated selection and divergence in floral traits is particularly high in species that are strongly pollen-limited.

  4. 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.

  5. 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

  6. 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

  7. 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.

  8. 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.

  9. 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.

  10. 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.

  11. 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

  12. 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

  13. 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.

  14. 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

  15. Pollinator shortage and global crop yield

    PubMed Central

    Aizen, Marcelo A; Cunningham, Saul A; Klein, Alexandra M

    2009-01-01

    A pollinator decline caused by environmental degradation might be compromising the production of pollinator-dependent crops. In a recent article, we compared 45 year series (1961–2006) in yield, production and cultivated area of pollinator-dependent and nondependent crop around the world. If pollinator shortage is occurring globally, we expected a lower annual growth rate in yield for pollinator-dependent than nondependent crops, but a higher growth in cultivated area to compensate the lower yield. We have found little evidence for the first “yield” prediction but strong evidence for the second “area” prediction. Here, we present an additional analysis to show that the first and second predictions are both supported for crops that vary in dependency levels from nondependent to moderate dependence (i.e., up to 65% average yield reduction without pollinators). However, those crops for which animal pollination is essential (i.e., 95% average yield reduction without pollinators) showed higher growth in yield and lower expansion in area than expected in a pollination shortage scenario. We propose that pollination management for highly pollinator-dependent crops, such us renting hives or hand pollination, might have compensated for pollinator limitation of yield. PMID:19704865

  16. 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.

  17. 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.

  18. Telipogon peruvianus (Orchidaceae) Flowers Elicit Pre-Mating Behaviour in Eudejeania (Tachinidae) Males for Pollination

    PubMed Central

    Cairampoma, Lianka; Stauffer, Fred W.; Ayasse, Manfred

    2016-01-01

    Several neotropical orchid genera have been proposed as being sexually deceptive; however, this has been carefully tested in only a few cases. The genus Telipogon has long been assumed to be pollinated by male tachinid flies during pseudocopulatory events but no detailed confirmatory reports are available. Here, we have used an array of methods to elucidate the pollination mechanism in Telipogon peruvianus. The species presents flowers that have a mean floral longevity of 33 days and that are self-compatible, although spontaneous self-pollination does not occur. The flowers attract males of four tachinid species but only the males of an undescribed Eudejeania (Eudejeania aff. browni; Tachinidae) species are specific pollinators. Males visit the flowers during the first few hours of the day and the pollination success is very high (42% in one patch) compared with other sexually deceptive species. Female-seeking males are attracted to the flowers but do not attempt copulation with the flowers, as is usually described in sexually deceptive species. Nevertheless, morphological analysis and behavioural tests have shown an imperfect mimicry between flowers and females suggesting that the attractant stimulus is not based only on visual cues, as long thought. Challenging previous conclusions, our chemical analysis has confirmed that flowers of Telipogon release volatile compounds; however, the role of these volatiles in pollinator behaviour remains to be established. Pollinator behaviour and histological analyses indicate that Telipogon flowers possess scent-producing structures throughout the corolla. Our study provides the first confirmed case of (i) a sexually deceptive species in the Onciidinae, (ii) pollination by pre-copulatory behaviour and (iii) pollination by sexual deception involving tachinid flies. PMID:27812201

  19. Telipogon peruvianus (Orchidaceae) Flowers Elicit Pre-Mating Behaviour in Eudejeania (Tachinidae) Males for Pollination.

    PubMed

    Martel, Carlos; Cairampoma, Lianka; Stauffer, Fred W; Ayasse, Manfred

    2016-01-01

    Several neotropical orchid genera have been proposed as being sexually deceptive; however, this has been carefully tested in only a few cases. The genus Telipogon has long been assumed to be pollinated by male tachinid flies during pseudocopulatory events but no detailed confirmatory reports are available. Here, we have used an array of methods to elucidate the pollination mechanism in Telipogon peruvianus. The species presents flowers that have a mean floral longevity of 33 days and that are self-compatible, although spontaneous self-pollination does not occur. The flowers attract males of four tachinid species but only the males of an undescribed Eudejeania (Eudejeania aff. browni; Tachinidae) species are specific pollinators. Males visit the flowers during the first few hours of the day and the pollination success is very high (42% in one patch) compared with other sexually deceptive species. Female-seeking males are attracted to the flowers but do not attempt copulation with the flowers, as is usually described in sexually deceptive species. Nevertheless, morphological analysis and behavioural tests have shown an imperfect mimicry between flowers and females suggesting that the attractant stimulus is not based only on visual cues, as long thought. Challenging previous conclusions, our chemical analysis has confirmed that flowers of Telipogon release volatile compounds; however, the role of these volatiles in pollinator behaviour remains to be established. Pollinator behaviour and histological analyses indicate that Telipogon flowers possess scent-producing structures throughout the corolla. Our study provides the first confirmed case of (i) a sexually deceptive species in the Onciidinae, (ii) pollination by pre-copulatory behaviour and (iii) pollination by sexual deception involving tachinid flies.

  20. 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.

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

    PubMed

    Sabara, Holly A; Winston, Mark L

    2003-06-01

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

  2. 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

  3. Rareness and specialization in plant-pollinator networks.

    PubMed

    Dorado, Jimena; Vázquez, Diego P; Stevani, Erica L; Chacoff, Natacha P

    2011-01-01

    Most rare species appear to be specialists in plant-pollinator networks. This observation could result either from real ecological processes or from sampling artifacts. Several methods have been proposed to overcome these artifacts, but they have the limitation of being based on visitation data, causing interactions involving rare visitor species to remain undersampled. We propose the analysis of food composition in bee trap nests to assess the reliability of network specialization estimates. We compared data from a plant-pollinator network in the Monte Desert of Villavicencio Nature Reserve, Argentina, sampled by visit observation, and data from trap nests sampled at the same time and location. Our study shows that trap nest sampling was good for estimating rare species degree. The rare species in the networks appear to be more specialized than they really are, and the bias in the estimation of the species degree increases with the rareness. The low species degree of these rare species in the visitation networks results from insufficient sampling of the rare interactions, which could have important consequences for network structure.

  4. 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.

  5. 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.

  6. Comparative pollination biology of Venezuelan columnar cacti and the role of nectar-feeding bats in their sexual reproduction.

    PubMed

    Nassar, J; Ramirez, N; Linares, O

    1997-07-01

    The floral biology, reproductive system, and visitation behavior of pollinators of four species of columnar cacti, Stenocereus griseus, Pilosocereus moritzianus, Subpilocereus repandus, and Subpilocereus horrispinus, were studied in two arid zones in the north of Venezuela. Our results support the hypothesis that Venezuelan species of columnar cacti have evolved toward specialization on bat pollination. Additional information on the floral biology of a fifth species, Pilosocereus lanuginosus, was also included. All species showed the typical traits that characterize the pollination syndrome of chiropterophily. All species but Pilosocereus moritzianus were obligate outcrossers. Nectar and pollen were restricted to nocturnal floral visitors. Two species of nectar-feeding bats, Leptonycteris curasoae Miller and Glossophaga longirostris Miller, were responsible for practically all the fruit set in these cacti. Frequency of bat visitation per flower per night was highly variable within and between species of cactus, with average frequencies varying between 27 and 78 visits/flower/night. In general terms, the pattern of floral visitation through the night was significantly correlated with the pattern of nectar production and nectar sugar concentration for all species of cactus. Under natural pollination, fruit:flower ratios varied from 0.46 in Subpilocereus repandus to 0.76 in Stenocereus griseus. The efficiency of bat pollination in terms of seed:ovule ratio was high in all species, varying between 0.70 and 0.94.

  7. 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.

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

    PubMed

    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.

  9. 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

  10. 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

  11. Constrained lability in floral evolution: counting convergent origins of hummingbird pollination in Penstemon and Keckiella.

    PubMed

    Wilson, Paul; Wolfe, Andrea D; Armbruster, W Scott; Thomson, James D

    2007-01-01

    In the clade of Penstemon and segregate genera, pollination syndromes are well defined among the 284 species. Most display combinations of floral characters associated with pollination by Hymenoptera, the ancestral mode of pollination for this clade. Forty-one species present characters associated with hummingbird pollination, although some of these ornithophiles are also visited by insects. The ornithophiles are scattered throughout the traditional taxonomy and across phylogenies estimated from nuclear (internal transcribed spacer (ITS)) and chloroplast DNA (trnCD/TL) sequence data. Here, the number of separate origins of ornithophily is estimated, using bootstrap phylogenies and constrained parsimony searches. Analyses suggest 21 separate origins, with overwhelming support for 10 of these. Because species sampling was incomplete, this is probably an underestimate. Penstemons therefore show great evolutionary lability with respect to acquiring hummingbird pollination; this syndrome acts as an attractor to which species with large sympetalous nectar-rich flowers have frequently been drawn. By contrast, penstemons have not undergone evolutionary shifts backwards or to other pollination syndromes. Thus, they are an example of both striking evolutionary lability and constrained evolution.

  12. 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

    2014-05-07

    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.

  13. 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.

  14. 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

  15. 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.

  16. The robustness of plant-pollinator assemblages: linking plant interaction patterns and sensitivity to pollinator loss.

    PubMed

    Astegiano, Julia; Massol, François; Vidal, Mariana Morais; Cheptou, Pierre-Olivier; Guimarães, Paulo R

    2015-01-01

    Most flowering plants depend on pollinators to reproduce. Thus, evaluating the robustness of plant-pollinator assemblages to species loss is a major concern. How species interaction patterns are related to species sensitivity to partner loss may influence the robustness of plant-pollinator assemblages. In plants, both reproductive dependence on pollinators (breeding system) and dispersal ability may modulate plant sensitivity to pollinator loss. For instance, species with strong dependence (e.g. dioecious species) and low dispersal (e.g. seeds dispersed by gravity) may be the most sensitive to pollinator loss. We compared the interaction patterns of plants differing in dependence on pollinators and dispersal ability in a meta-dataset comprising 192 plant species from 13 plant-pollinator networks. In addition, network robustness was compared under different scenarios representing sequences of plant extinctions associated with plant sensitivity to pollinator loss. Species with different dependence on pollinators and dispersal ability showed similar levels of generalization. Although plants with low dispersal ability interacted with more generalized pollinators, low-dispersal plants with strong dependence on pollinators (i.e. the most sensitive to pollinator loss) interacted with more particular sets of pollinators (i.e. shared a low proportion of pollinators with other plants). Only two assemblages showed lower robustness under the scenario considering plant generalization, dependence on pollinators and dispersal ability than under the scenario where extinction sequences only depended on plant generalization (i.e. where higher generalization level was associated with lower probability of extinction). Overall, our results support the idea that species generalization and network topology may be good predictors of assemblage robustness to species loss, independently of plant dispersal ability and breeding system. In contrast, since ecological specialization among

  17. Oviposition choices by a pre-dispersal seed predator (Hylemya sp.) : I. Correspondence with hummingbird pollinators, and the role of plant size, density and floral morphology.

    PubMed

    Brody, Alison K

    1992-08-01

    Although the importance of pollinators has most often been examined in the evolution of floral characters, seed predators may also play a role in shaping floral evolution. In this study, I examined the role of interplant distance, plant size, and flower morphology on Ipomopsis aggregatás (Polemoniaceae) attractiveness to a pre-dispersal seed predator, Hylemya sp. (Anthomyiidae) and to hummingbird pollinators. The attractiveness of I. aggregata individuals to Hylemya was nonlinearly related to interplant distance in experimental arrays. Clumped and highly dispersed plants were preyed upon more frequently than those at intermediate distances. I found no relationship between interplant distance and visitation rates by hummingbird pollinators in these experimental arrays. However, in natural populations studied, clumped plants were more frequently approached by hummingbirds than those growing more widely dispersed. Display size was unrelated to visitation by Hylemya on inflorescences I clipped and maintained as "large", "small" and "control". Display size was also unrelated to the total number of visits by hummingbird pollinators to each of these experimental plants, however "large" display plants were more likely to be visited first in any given visitation sequence. Of various morphological measurements, corolla length showed the strongest positive correlation with Hylemya egg presence. To the extent that plant spacing and morphology is correlated with pollinator visits and ultimate seed set, Hylemya could be choosing flowers optimally, and playing a role in the evolution of floral traits.

  18. Early steps of angiosperm pollinator coevolution.

    PubMed

    Hu, Shusheng; Dilcher, David L; Jarzen, David M; Winship Taylor, David

    2008-01-08

    The hypothesis that early flowering plants were insect-pollinated could be tested by an examination of the pollination biology of basal angiosperms and the pollination modes of fossil angiosperms. We provide data to show that early fossil angiosperms were insect-pollinated. Eighty-six percent of 29 extant basal angiosperm families have species that are zoophilous (of which 34% are specialized) and 17% of the families have species that are wind-pollinated, whereas basal eudicot families and basal monocot families more commonly have wind and specialized pollination modes (up to 78%). Character reconstruction based on recent molecular trees of angiosperms suggests that the most parsimonious result is that zoophily is the ancestral state. Combining pollen ornamentation, size, and aperture characteristics and the abundance of single-species pollen clumps of Cenomanian angiosperm-dispersed pollen species from the Dakota Formation demonstrates a dominance of zoophilous pollination (76% versus 24% wind pollination). The zoophilous pollen species have adaptations for pollination by generalist insects (39%), specialized pollen-collecting insects (27%), and other specialized pollinators (10%). These data quantify the presences of more specialized pollination modes during the mid-Cretaceous angiosperm diversification.

  19. New frontiers in competition for pollination

    PubMed Central

    Mitchell, Randall J.; Flanagan, Rebecca J.; Brown, Beverly J.; Waser, Nickolas M.; Karron, Jeffrey D.

    2009-01-01

    Background Co-flowering plant species frequently share pollinators. Pollinator sharing is often detrimental to one or more of these species, leading to competition for pollination. Perhaps because it offers an intriguing juxtaposition of ecological opposites – mutualism and competition – within one relatively tractable system, competition for pollination has captured the interest of ecologists for over a century. Scope Our intent is to contemplate exciting areas for further work on competition for pollination, rather than to exhaustively review past studies. After a brief historical summary, we present a conceptual framework that incorporates many aspects of competition for pollination, involving both the quantity and quality of pollination services, and both female and male sex functions of flowers. Using this framework, we contemplate a relatively subtle mechanism of competition involving pollen loss, and consider how competition might affect plant mating systems, overall reproductive success and multi-species interactions. We next consider how competition for pollination might be altered by several emerging consequences of a changing planet, including the spread of alien species, climate change and pollinator declines. Most of these topics represent new frontiers whose exploration has just begun. Conclusions Competition for pollination has served as a model for the integration of ecological and evolutionary perspectives in the study of species interactions. Its study has elucidated both obvious and more subtle mechanisms, and has documented a range of outcomes. However, the potential for this interaction to inform our understanding of both pure and applied aspects of pollination biology has only begun to be realized. PMID:19304814

  20. Early steps of angiosperm–pollinator coevolution

    PubMed Central

    Hu, Shusheng; Dilcher, David L.; Jarzen, David M.; Winship Taylor, David

    2008-01-01

    The hypothesis that early flowering plants were insect-pollinated could be tested by an examination of the pollination biology of basal angiosperms and the pollination modes of fossil angiosperms. We provide data to show that early fossil angiosperms were insect-pollinated. Eighty-six percent of 29 extant basal angiosperm families have species that are zoophilous (of which 34% are specialized) and 17% of the families have species that are wind-pollinated, whereas basal eudicot families and basal monocot families more commonly have wind and specialized pollination modes (up to 78%). Character reconstruction based on recent molecular trees of angiosperms suggests that the most parsimonious result is that zoophily is the ancestral state. Combining pollen ornamentation, size, and aperture characteristics and the abundance of single-species pollen clumps of Cenomanian angiosperm-dispersed pollen species from the Dakota Formation demonstrates a dominance of zoophilous pollination (76% versus 24% wind pollination). The zoophilous pollen species have adaptations for pollination by generalist insects (39%), specialized pollen-collecting insects (27%), and other specialized pollinators (10%). These data quantify the presences of more specialized pollination modes during the mid-Cretaceous angiosperm diversification. PMID:18172206

  1. Do Pollinators Contribute to Nutritional Health?

    PubMed Central

    Ellis, Alicia M.; Myers, Samuel S.; Ricketts, Taylor H.

    2015-01-01

    Despite suggestions that animal pollinators are crucial for human nutritional health, no studies have actually tested this claim. Here, we combined data on crop pollination requirements, food nutrient densities, and actual human diets to predict the effects of pollinator losses on the risk of nutrient deficiency. In four developing countries and across five nutrients, we found that 0 to 56% of populations would become newly at risk if pollinators were removed. Increases in risk were most pronounced for vitamin A in populations with moderate levels of total nutrient intake. Overall, the effects of pollinator decline varied widely among populations and nutrients. We conclude that the importance of pollinators to human nutrition depends critically on the composition of local diets, and cannot be reliably predicted from global commodity analyses. We identify conditions under which severe health effects of pollinator loss are most likely to occur. PMID:25575027

  2. Flowering plants under global pollinator decline.

    PubMed

    Thomann, Michel; Imbert, Eric; Devaux, Céline; Cheptou, Pierre-Olivier

    2013-07-01

    There is now compelling evidence of a reduction of pollinator richness and density at a global scale. In this opinion article, we argue that such pollinator decline intensifies pollen limitation and reduces plant reproductive success, threatening natural populations of extinction. We use genetic architecture and selection experiments on floral traits and evaluate the potential for plant reproductive strategies to adapt rapidly to new pollination environments. We propose that plant reproductive strategies could adapt to the current pollinator decline by decreasing or increasing their reliance to pollinators, for example, increasing autonomous selfing or reinforcing interactions with pollinators. We further discuss if and how adaptation of plant reproductive strategies can buffer the demographic consequences of pollinator decline, and possibly rescue plant populations from extinction.

  3. Do pollinators contribute to nutritional health?

    PubMed

    Ellis, Alicia M; Myers, Samuel S; Ricketts, Taylor H

    2015-01-01

    Despite suggestions that animal pollinators are crucial for human nutritional health, no studies have actually tested this claim. Here, we combined data on crop pollination requirements, food nutrient densities, and actual human diets to predict the effects of pollinator losses on the risk of nutrient deficiency. In four developing countries and across five nutrients, we found that 0 to 56% of populations would become newly at risk if pollinators were removed. Increases in risk were most pronounced for vitamin A in populations with moderate levels of total nutrient intake. Overall, the effects of pollinator decline varied widely among populations and nutrients. We conclude that the importance of pollinators to human nutrition depends critically on the composition of local diets, and cannot be reliably predicted from global commodity analyses. We identify conditions under which severe health effects of pollinator loss are most likely to occur.

  4. Limitations on reproductive success in endemic Aquilegia viscosa (Ranunculaceae) relative to its widespread congener Aquilegia vulgaris: the interplay of herbivory and pollination.

    PubMed

    Lavergne, Sébastien; Debussche, Max; Thompson, John D

    2005-01-01

    Plant reproduction can be strongly affected by herbivory and different features of pollination ecology, such as pollinator visitation rates and capacity for self-pollination. The purpose of this study is to compare the relative impact of herbivory and pollination on maternal reproductive success in endemic Aquilegia viscosa and its widespread congener Aquilegia vulgaris. We conducted herbivore exclusion experiments in two populations of each species in 2 different years and showed that the maternal fertility of A. viscosa was significantly more limited by floral predation and pre-dispersal seed predation than its widespread congener. In the absence of herbivory, A. viscosa retained significantly lower maternal fertility than A. vulgaris. Experimental pollinations in an insect-free glasshouse showed that the two species have an equal seed/ovule ratio both in the absence of pollinators and in the presence of non-limiting outcross pollination. Pollinator visitation rates were significantly higher in populations of A. vulgaris than in populations of A. viscosa. In addition, path analyses showed that spur length, an important trait for pollinator attraction in Aquilegia, and, indirectly sepal and petal width, contribute positively to the seed/ovule ratio in A. vulgaris, but not in A. viscosa. These results indicate that maternal fertility of endemic A. viscosa is strongly reduced by flower and seed predation despite low rates of pollinator visitation, and that pollen or resource limitation in the wild may further reduce maternal fertility. Finally, floral trait variation appears to be decoupled from fertility variation in endemic A. viscosa, which possibly constrains the evolution of reproductive traits in this species.

  5. 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

  6. 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.

  7. 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

  8. Does human-induced habitat transformation modify pollinator-mediated selection? A case study in Viola portalesia (Violaceae).

    PubMed

    Murúa, Maureen; Espinoza, Claudia; Bustamante, Ramiro; Marín, Víctor H; Medel, Rodrigo

    2010-05-01

    Pollinator-mediated selection is one of the most important factors driving adaptation in flowering plants. However, as ecological conditions change through habitat loss and fragmentation, the interactions among species may evolve in new and unexpected directions. Human-induced environmental variation is likely to affect selection regimes, but as yet no empirical examples have been reported. In the study reported here, we examined the influence of human-induced habitat transformation on the composition of pollinator assemblages and, hence, pollinator-mediated selection on the flower phenotype of Viola portalesia (Violaceae). Our results indicate that pollinator assemblages differed substantially in terms of species composition and visitation rate between nearby native and transformed habitats. Similarly, the insect species that contributed most to visitation rates differed between plant populations. While the magnitude and sign of pollinator-mediated selection on flower length and width did not differ between sites, selection for flower number lost significance in the transformed habitat, and a significant pattern of disruptive selection for flower shape, undetected in the native habitat, was present in the transformed one. Overall, the results of this study suggest that human-induced habitat change may not only modify the species composition of pollinator assemblages, relaxing the selection process on some flower characters, but they may also create new opportunities for fitness-trait covariation not present in pristine conditions.

  9. Modelling pollination services across agricultural landscapes

    PubMed Central

    Lonsdorf, Eric; Kremen, Claire; Ricketts, Taylor; Winfree, Rachael; Williams, Neal; Greenleaf, Sarah

    2009-01-01

    Background and Aims Crop pollination by bees and other animals is an essential ecosystem service. Ensuring the maintenance of the service requires a full understanding of the contributions of landscape elements to pollinator populations and crop pollination. Here, the first quantitative model that predicts pollinator abundance on a landscape is described and tested. Methods Using information on pollinator nesting resources, floral resources and foraging distances, the model predicts the relative abundance of pollinators within nesting habitats. From these nesting areas, it then predicts relative abundances of pollinators on the farms requiring pollination services. Model outputs are compared with data from coffee in Costa Rica, watermelon and sunflower in California and watermelon in New Jersey–Pennsylvania (NJPA). Key Results Results from Costa Rica and California, comparing field estimates of pollinator abundance, richness or services with model estimates, are encouraging, explaining up to 80 % of variance among farms. However, the model did not predict observed pollinator abundances on NJPA, so continued model improvement and testing are necessary. The inability of the model to predict pollinator abundances in the NJPA landscape may be due to not accounting for fine-scale floral and nesting resources within the landscapes surrounding farms, rather than the logic of our model. Conclusions The importance of fine-scale resources for pollinator service delivery was supported by sensitivity analyses indicating that the model's predictions depend largely on estimates of nesting and floral resources within crops. Despite the need for more research at the finer-scale, the approach fills an important gap by providing quantitative and mechanistic model from which to evaluate policy decisions and develop land-use plans that promote pollination conservation and service delivery. PMID:19324897

  10. Pollinator shortage and global crop yield: Looking at the whole spectrum of pollinator dependency.

    PubMed

    Garibaldi, Lucas A; Aizen, Marcelo A; Cunningham, Saul A; Klein, Alexandra M

    2009-01-01

    A pollinator decline caused by environmental degradation might be compromising the production of pollinator-dependent crops. In a recent article, we compared 45 year series (1961-2006) in yield, production and cultivated area of pollinator-dependent and nondependent crop around the world. If pollinator shortage is occurring globally, we expected a lower annual growth rate in yield for pollinator-dependent than nondependent crops, but a higher growth in cultivated area to compensate the lower yield. We have found little evidence for the first "yield" prediction but strong evidence for the second "area" prediction. Here, we present an additional analysis to show that the first and second predictions are both supported for crops that vary in dependency levels from nondependent to moderate dependence (i.e., up to 65% average yield reduction without pollinators). However, those crops for which animal pollination is essential (i.e., 95% average yield reduction without pollinators) showed higher growth in yield and lower expansion in area than expected in a pollination shortage scenario. We propose that pollination management for highly pollinator-dependent crops, such us renting hives or hand pollination, might have compensated for pollinator limitation of yield.

  11. Selection on Polemonium brandegeei (Polemoniaceae) flowers under hummingbird pollination: in opposition, parallel, or independent of selection by hawkmoths?

    PubMed

    Kulbaba, Mason W; Worley, Anne C

    2013-08-01

    Particular floral phenotypes are often associated with specific groups of pollinators. However, flowering plants are often visited, and may be effectively pollinated by more than one type of animal. Therefore, a major outstanding question in floral biology asks: what is the nature of selection on floral traits when pollinators are diverse? This study examined how hummingbirds selected on the floral traits of Polemonium brandegeei, a species pollinated by both hummingbirds and hawkmoths. In array populations of P. brandegeei, we measured pollen movement, and female (seeds set) and male (seeds sired) fitness under hummingbird pollination. We then compared the patterns of selection by hummingbirds with our previous study examining selection by hawkmoths. We documented contrasting selection on sex organ positioning through female function, with hummingbirds selecting for stigmas exserted beyond the anthers and hawkmoths selecting for stigmas recessed below the anthers. Furthermore, hummingbirds selected for longer and wider corolla tubes, and hawkmoths selected for narrower corolla tubes. Therefore, contrasting selection by hawkmoths and hummingbirds may account for variation in sex organ arrangements and corolla dimensions in P. brandegeei. We documented how floral traits under selection by multiple pollinators can result in either an intermediate "compromise" between selective pressures (sex organs) or apparent specialization (corolla tube length) to one pollinator.

  12. 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

  13. 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.

  14. 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.

  15. Nectar reward and advertisement in hummingbird-pollinated Silene virginica (Caryophyllaceae).

    PubMed

    Fenster, Charles B; Cheely, George; Dudash, Michele R; Reynolds, Richard J

    2006-12-01

    We tested for an association between nectar and various floral traits and investigated their roles as primary and secondary pollinator attractants in hummingbird-pollinated Silene virginica. Our goal was to gain insight into the mechanisms of pollinator-mediated selection that underlies floral trait divergence within the genus. In a field population of S. virginica, we measured five floral and eight vegetative traits and quantified nectar volume, nectar sugar concentration, and total sugar reward (nectar volume × nectar sugar concentration). All three components of nectar reward were positively correlated to flower size, and nectar volume varied significantly among individuals within the population. To ascertain whether the correlation of specific floral traits with nectar reward influences the behavior of the primary pollinator of S. virginica, the ruby-throated hummingbird, Archilochus colubris, we investigated whether A. colubris preferred the expression of floral traits associated with high nectar volume and total sugar reward. We accomplished this by constructing floral arrays consisting of artificial flowers that had equal nectar quantity and total sugar reward but that differed in petal area and corolla tube diameter, which were positively correlated with nectar quantity and total sugar reward in our field study. In observations of visitation frequencies to the various floral-trait combinations, hummingbirds preferentially visited artificial floral phenotypes with larger petal displays, with the greatest preference for floral phenotypes with both larger petals and wider corolla-tube diameters. This association between primary and secondary floral attractants and hummingbird discrimination of floral features supports the concept that the floral traits of S. virginica reflect pollinator-mediated selection by the principal pollinator.

  16. 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.

  17. 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.

  18. 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...

  19. 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...

  20. Back to the past for pollination biology.

    PubMed

    Kessler, Danny; Baldwin, Ian T

    2011-08-01

    Manipulations of the interactions between plants and their floral visitors remain the most successful path to an understanding of floral traits, which may have been shaped by both herbivores and pollinators. By using genetic tools in combination with old-fashioned field work the dual protective/advertisement functions of floral traits are being realized. The distinction between wanted and unwanted floral visitors is blurring, and plants with specialized pollination systems are being found capable of using alternative pollinators if the specialized pollinators fail to perform.

  1. 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

  2. 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

  3. 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

    2016-06-03

    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.

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

    PubMed

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

    2008-09-09

    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.

  5. A deceptive pollination system targeting drosophilids through olfactory mimicry of yeast.

    PubMed

    Stökl, Johannes; Strutz, Antonia; Dafni, Amots; Svatos, Ales; Doubsky, Jan; Knaden, Markus; Sachse, Silke; Hansson, Bill S; Stensmyr, Marcus C

    2010-10-26

    In deceptive pollination, insects are bamboozled into performing nonrewarded pollination. A prerequisite for the evolutionary stability in such systems is that the plants manage to generate a perfect sensory impression of a desirable object in the insect nervous system [1]. The study of these plants can provide important insights into sensory preference of their visiting insects. Here, we present the first description of a deceptive pollination system that specifically targets drosophilid flies. We show that the examined plant (Arum palaestinum) accomplishes its deception through olfactory mimicry of fermentation, a strategy that represents a novel pollination syndrome. The lily odor is composed of volatiles characteristic of yeast, and produces in Drosophila melanogaster an antennal detection pattern similar to that elicited by a range of fermentation products. By functional imaging, we show that the lily odors target a specific subset of odorant receptors (ORs), which include the most conserved OR genes in the drosophilid olfactome. Furthermore, seven of eight visiting drosophilid species show a congruent olfactory response pattern to the lily, in spite of comprising species pairs separated by ∼40 million years [2], showing that the lily targets a basal function of the fly nose, shared by species with similar ecological preference.

  6. 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

  7. 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.

  8. Potential pollinators of tomato, Lycopersicon esculentum (Solanaceae), in open crops and the effect of a solitary bee in fruit set and quality.

    PubMed

    Santos, A O R; Bartelli, B F; Nogueira-Ferreira, F H

    2014-06-01

    We identified native bees that are floral visitors and potential pollinators of tomato in Cerrado areas, described the foraging behavior of these species, and verified the influence of the visitation of a solitary bee on the quantity and quality of fruits. Three areas of tomato crops, located in Minas Gerais, Brazil, were sampled between March and November 2012. We collected 185 bees belonging to 13 species. Exomalopsis (Exomalopsis) analis Spinola, 1853 (Hymenoptera: Apidae) was the most abundant. Ten species performed buzz pollination. Apis mellifera L. 1758 (Hymenoptera: Apidae) and Paratrigona lineata (Lepeletier, 1836) (Hymenoptera: Apidae) could also act as pollinators. The fruit set and number of seeds obtained from the pollination treatment by E. analis were higher than those in the control group. Our results allowed the identification of potential tomato pollinators in Cerrado areas and also contributed information regarding the impact of a single species (E. analis) on fruit set and quality. Although most of the visiting bees show the ability for tomato pollination, there is an absence of adequate management techniques, and its usage is difficult with the aim of increasing the crop production, which is the case for E. analis. Species such as Melipona quinquefasciata, P. lineata, and A. mellifera, which are easy to handle, are not used for pollination services. Finally, it is suggested that a combination of different bee species that are able to pollinate the tomato is necessary to prevent the super-exploitation of only a single species for pollination services and to guarantee the occurrence of potential pollinators in the crop area.

  9. 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.

  10. 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.

  11. 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.

  12. Growth rates, reproductive phenology, and pollination ecology of Espeletia grandiflora (Asteraceae), a giant Andean caulescent rosette.

    PubMed

    Fagua, J C; Gonzalez, V H

    2007-01-01

    From March 2001 to December 2002, we studied the reproductive phenology, pollination ecology, and growth rates of Espeletia grandiflora Humb. and Bonpl. (Asteraceae), a giant caulescent rosette from the Páramos of the Eastern Andes of Colombia. Espeletia grandiflora was found to be predominantly allogamous and strongly self-incompatible. Bumblebees (Bombus rubicundus and B. funebris) were the major pollinators of E. grandiflora, although moths, hummingbirds, flies, and beetles also visited flowers. Inflorescence development began in March and continued through August to September. Plants flowered for 30 - 96 days with a peak from the beginning of October through November. The percentage of flowering plants strongly differed among size classes and between both years. Seed dispersal occurred as early as September through May of the following year. The average absolute growth rate for juveniles and adults rate was 7.6 cm/year. Given the scarcity of floral visitors at high altitudes due to climatic conditions, we suggest that even small contributions from a wide range of pollinators might be advantageous for pollination of E. grandiflora. Long-term studies on different populations of E. grandiflora are required to determine if the high growth rates are representative, to quantify the variation in the flowering behavior within and among populations, and to establish if nocturnal pollination is a trait that is exclusive to our population of E. grandiflora.

  13. Bee diversity effects on pollination depend on functional complementarity and niche shifts.

    PubMed

    Fründ, Jochen; Dormann, Carsten F; Holzschuh, Andrea; Tscharntke, Teja

    2013-09-01

    Biodiversity is important for many ecosystem processes. Global declines in pollinator diversity and abundance have been recognized, raising concerns about a pollination crisis of crops and wild plants. However, experimental evidence for effects of pollinator species diversity on plant reproduction is extremely scarce. We established communities with 1-5 bee species to test how seed production of a plant community is determined by bee diversity. Higher bee diversity resulted in higher seed production, but the strongest difference was observed for one compared to more than one bee species. Functional complementarity among bee species had a far higher explanatory power than bee diversity, suggesting that additional bee species only benefit pollination when they increase coverage of functional niches. In our experiment, complementarity was driven by differences in flower and temperature preferences. Interspecific interactions among bee species contributed to realized functional complementarity, as bees reduced interspecific overlap by shifting to alternative flowers in the presence of other species. This increased the number of plant species visited by a bee community and demonstrates a new mechanism for a biodiversity-function relationship ("interactive complementarity"). In conclusion, our results highlight both the importance of bee functional diversity for the reproduction of plant communities and the need to identify complementarity traits for accurately predicting pollination services by different bee communities.

  14. 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.

  15. 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

  16. 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.

  17. 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

  18. 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...

  19. 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...

  20. 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.

  1. Pollination of lark daisy on roadsides declines as traffic speed increases along an Amazonian highway.

    PubMed

    Dargas, J H F; Chaves, S R; Fischer, E

    2016-05-01

    Ecological disturbances caused by roadways have previously been reported, but traffic speed has not been addressed. We investigate effects of traffic speed on pollination of Centratherum punctatum (Asteraceae) along an Amazonian highway roadside. We hypothesised that frequency of flower visitors, duration of single visits and pollen deposition on stigmas will vary negatively as traffic speed increases. After measuring vehicle velocities, we classified three road sections as low-, mid- and high-velocity traffic. The main pollinator bee, Augochlora sp., visited C. punctatum inflorescences with decreasing frequency from low- to high-velocity roadside sections, whereas the nectar thief butterflies did the opposite. Duration of single visits by bees and butterflies was shorter, and arrival of pollen on C. punctatum stigmas was lower, in high- than in low-velocity roadside. Air turbulence due to passing vehicles increases with velocity and disturbed the flower visitors. Overall, results support that traffic velocity negatively affects foraging of flower visitors and the pollination of C. punctatum on roadsides.

  2. Localization of production and emission of pollinator attractant on whole leaves of Chamaerops humilis (Arecaceae).

    PubMed

    Caissard, Jean-Claude; Meekijjironenroj, Aroonrat; Baudino, Sylvie; Anstett, Marie-Charlotte

    2004-08-01

    Volatile compounds, which frequently play important roles in plant-insect interaction, can be produced either by flowers to attract pollinators or by leaves to deter herbivores. The specialized structures associated with odor production differ in these two organs. The European dwarf palm Chamaerops humilis represents a unique intermediate between these two. In previous work, its leaves were shown to produce volatile organic compounds (VOCs) that attract pollinators only during flowering. Because the leaf sinuses look like a gland, the sinus was examined histologically and with environmental scanning electron microscopy (ESEM) for evidence that the sinus emits VOCs. Volatile compounds emitted by the different parts of the leaf were extracted by washes and headspace then analyzed by gas chromatograph-mass spectrometer (GC-MS). The sinus does not have the expected gland-like structure; the VOCs are actually produced by the whole leaf, even if the composition of the VOCs emitted by the sinus slightly differs. Thus, attraction of pollinators does not result from specialized secreting cells in leaves of flowering European dwarf palms. The results are discussed in the context of a convergent evolution of leaves toward petals.

  3. 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…

  4. 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.

  5. Supriya Jindal visits school

    NASA Technical Reports Server (NTRS)

    2009-01-01

    Louisiana First Lady Supriya Jindal fields a question from a student at A.P. Tureaud Elementary School in New Orleans during a March 19 visit. Jindal was joined on her visit by retired astronaut Sally Ride, the first American woman in space.

  6. 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

  7. 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.

  8. Reproductive biology and pollination ecology of Triplaris gardneriana (Polygonaceae): a case of ambophily in the Brazilian Chaco.

    PubMed

    Custodio, T; Comtois, P; Araujo, A C

    2017-02-01

    Triplaris gardneriana (Polygonaceae) is a dioecious pioneer tree reported as insect-pollinated, despite possessing traits related to anemophily. Here, we analyse the possible roles of insects and wind on the pollination of this species to establish whether the species is ambophilous. We carried out observations of floral biology, as well as on the frequency and behaviour of pollinators visiting flowers in a population of T. gardneriana in the Chaco vegetation of Brazil. We conducted experimental pollinations to determine the maternal fertility of female plants and whether they were pollen-limited, and we also conducted aerobiological experiments to provide evidence of how environmental factors influence atmospheric pollen dispersal. The population comprised an area of approximately 152.000 m(2) and was composed of 603 female and 426 male plants (sex ratio = 0.59:0.41). We observed 48 species of insects visiting flowers of T. gardneriana, of which the bees Scaptotrigona depilis and Apis mellifera scutellata were the most effective pollinators. We recorded pollen grains dispersed by wind on 74% of the glass slides placed on females, located at different distances (1-10 m) from male plants. Airborne pollen concentration was negatively correlated with relative humidity and positively correlated with temperature. Our observations and experimental results provide the first evidence that T. gardneriana is an ambophilous species, with pollen dispersal resulting from both animal and wind pollination. This mixed pollination strategy may be adaptive in T. gardneriana providing reproductive assurance during colonisation of sites with different biotic and abiotic conditions.

  9. 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.

  10. 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

  11. Density-dependent effects of ants on selection for bumble bee pollination in Polemonium viscosum.

    PubMed

    Galen, Candace; Geib, Jennifer C

    2007-05-01

    positive over a wide range of ant abundance (20-80% of plants visited by ants daily). Although high cheater abundance reduces the fitness returns of bumble bee pollination, it does not completely eliminate selection for bumble bee attraction in P. viscosum.

  12. Pollinator shifts and the evolution of spur length in the moth-pollinated orchid Platanthera bifolia

    PubMed Central

    Boberg, Elin; Alexandersson, Ronny; Jonsson, Magdalena; Maad, Johanne; Ågren, Jon; Nilsson, L. Anders

    2014-01-01

    Background and Aims Plant–pollinator interactions are thought to have shaped much of floral evolution. Yet the relative importance of pollinator shifts and coevolutionary interactions for among-population variation in floral traits in animal-pollinated species is poorly known. This study examined the adaptive significance of spur length in the moth-pollinated orchid Platanthera bifolia. Methods Geographical variation in the length of the floral spur of P. bifolia was documented in relation to variation in the pollinator fauna across Scandinavia, and a reciprocal translocation experiment was conducted in south-east Sweden between a long-spurred woodland population and a short-spurred grassland population. Key Results Spur length and pollinator fauna varied among regions and habitats, and spur length was positively correlated with the proboscis length of local pollinators. In the reciprocal translocation experiment, long-spurred woodland plants had higher pollination success than short-spurred grassland plants at the woodland site, while no significant difference was observed at the grassland site. Conclusions The results are consistent with the hypothesis that optimal floral phenotype varies with the morphology of the local pollinators, and that the evolution of spur length in P. bifolia has been largely driven by pollinator shifts. PMID:24169591

  13. 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

  14. Evaluation of Common Methods for Sampling Invertebrate Pollinator Assemblages: Net Sampling Out-Perform Pan Traps

    PubMed Central

    Popic, Tony J.; Davila, Yvonne C.; Wardle, Glenda M.

    2013-01-01

    Methods for sampling ecological assemblages strive to be efficient, repeatable, and representative. Unknowingly, common methods may be limited in terms of revealing species function and so of less value for comparative studies. The global decline in pollination services has stimulated surveys of flower-visiting invertebrates, using pan traps and net sampling. We explore the relative merits of these two methods in terms of species discovery, quantifying abundance, function, and composition, and responses of species to changing floral resources. Using a spatially-nested design we sampled across a 5000 km2 area of arid grasslands, including 432 hours of net sampling and 1296 pan trap-days, between June 2010 and July 2011. Net sampling yielded 22% more species and 30% higher abundance than pan traps, and better reflected the spatio-temporal variation of floral resources. Species composition differed significantly between methods; from 436 total species, 25% were sampled by both methods, 50% only by nets, and the remaining 25% only by pans. Apart from being less comprehensive, if pan traps do not sample flower-visitors, the link to pollination is questionable. By contrast, net sampling functionally linked species to pollination through behavioural observations of flower-visitation interaction frequency. Netted specimens are also necessary for evidence of pollen transport. Benefits of net-based sampling outweighed minor differences in overall sampling effort. As pan traps and net sampling methods are not equivalent for sampling invertebrate-flower interactions, we recommend net sampling of invertebrate pollinator assemblages, especially if datasets are intended to document declines in pollination and guide measures to retain this important ecosystem service. PMID:23799127

  15. Evaluation of common methods for sampling invertebrate pollinator assemblages: net sampling out-perform pan traps.

    PubMed

    Popic, Tony J; Davila, Yvonne C; Wardle, Glenda M

    2013-01-01

    Methods for sampling ecological assemblages strive to be efficient, repeatable, and representative. Unknowingly, common methods may be limited in terms of revealing species function and so of less value for comparative studies. The global decline in pollination services has stimulated surveys of flower-visiting invertebrates, using pan traps and net sampling. We explore the relative merits of these two methods in terms of species discovery, quantifying abundance, function, and composition, and responses of species to changing floral resources. Using a spatially-nested design we sampled across a 5000 km(2) area of arid grasslands, including 432 hours of net sampling and 1296 pan trap-days, between June 2010 and July 2011. Net sampling yielded 22% more species and 30% higher abundance than pan traps, and better reflected the spatio-temporal variation of floral resources. Species composition differed significantly between methods; from 436 total species, 25% were sampled by both methods, 50% only by nets, and the remaining 25% only by pans. Apart from being less comprehensive, if pan traps do not sample flower-visitors, the link to pollination is questionable. By contrast, net sampling functionally linked species to pollination through behavioural observations of flower-visitation interaction frequency. Netted specimens are also necessary for evidence of pollen transport. Benefits of net-based sampling outweighed minor differences in overall sampling effort. As pan traps and net sampling methods are not equivalent for sampling invertebrate-flower interactions, we recommend net sampling of invertebrate pollinator assemblages, especially if datasets are intended to document declines in pollination and guide measures to retain this important ecosystem service.

  16. 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.

  17. 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.

  18. Variation in pollinator assemblages in a fragmented landscape and its effects on reproductive stages of a self-incompatible treelet, Psychotria suterella (Rubiaceae).

    PubMed

    Lopes, Luciano E; Buzato, Silvana

    2007-11-01

    Few studies of plant-pollinator interactions in fragmented landscapes evaluate the consequences of floral visitor variation on multiple stages of plant reproduction. Given that fragmentation potentially has positive or negative effects on different organisms, and that self-incompatible plant species depend on pollinators for sexual reproduction, differences in floral visitor assemblages may affect certain plant reproductive stages. We evaluated how pollinator assemblage, availability of floral resources, pollination, reproductive output, and seed and seedling performance of Psychotria suterella Muell. Arg. varied among three fragmentation categories: non-fragmented habitats, fragments connected by corridors, and isolated fragments. Richness and frequency of floral visitors were greater in fragments than in non-fragmented sites, resulting mainly from the addition of species typically found in disturbed areas. Although 24 species visited Psychotria suterella flowers, bumblebees were considered the most important pollinators, because they showed the highest frequency of visits and were present in eight out of ten sites. Additionally, the number of pollen tubes per flower per visit was lower in areas without bumblebees. The increased visitation in fragments seemed to enhance pollination slightly. However, fruit and seed output, germination, and seed and seedling mass were similar in non-fragmented sites, connected sites, and isolated fragments. Our results suggested that, even for a self-incompatible species, responses to habitat fragmentation at different stages of plant reproduction might be decoupled from the responses observed in floral visitors, if fruit set is not pollen limited. If all reproductive stages were considered, variation on the small scale was more important than the variation explained by fragmentation category. In spite of its self-incompatible breeding system, this plant-pollinator system showed resilience to habitat fragmentation, mainly as a

  19. Persistence of pollination mutualisms in the presence of ants.

    PubMed

    Wang, Yuanshi; Wang, Shikun

    2015-01-01

    This paper considers plant-pollinator-ant systems in which the plant-pollinator interaction is mutualistic but ants have both positive and negative effects on plants. The ants also interfere with pollinators by preventing them from accessing plants. While a Beddington-DeAngelis (BD) formula can describe the plant-pollinator interaction, the formula is extended in this paper to characterize the pollination mutualism under the ant interference. Then, a plant-pollinator-ant system with the extended BD functional response is discussed, and global dynamics of the model demonstrate the mechanisms by which pollination mutualism can persist in the presence of ants. When the ant interference is strong, it can result in extinction of pollinators. Moreover, if the ants depend on pollination mutualism for survival, the strong interference could drive pollinators into extinction, which consequently lead to extinction of the ants themselves. When the ant interference is weak, a cooperation between plant-ant and plant-pollinator mutualisms could occur, which promotes survival of both ants and pollinators, especially in the case that ants (respectively, pollinators) cannot survive in the absence of pollinators (respectively, ants). Even when the level of ant interference remains invariant, varying ants' negative effect on plants can result in survival/extinction of both ants and pollinators. Therefore, our results provide an explanation for the persistence of pollination mutualism when there exist ants.

  20. 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

  1. 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

  2. Frequency-dependent pollinator discrimination acts against female plants in the gynodioecious Geranium maculatum

    PubMed Central

    Van Etten, Megan L.; Chang, Shu-Mei

    2014-01-01

    Background and Aims Gynodioecy, the co-occurrence of female and hermaphroditic individuals, is thought to be an intermediate step between hermaphroditism and separate sexes, a major transition in flowering plants. Because retaining females in a population requires that they have increased seed fitness (to compensate for the lack of pollen fitness), factors that affect seed fitness are of great importance to the evolution of this mating system and have often been studied. However, factors negatively affecting female fitness are equally important and have been largely neglected. One such factor stems from female flowers being less attractive to insects than hermaphrodite flowers, thereby decreasing their relative fitness. Methods To test the severity and consequences of this type of pollinator discrimination in Geranium maculatum, experimental populations with the range of sex ratios observed in nature were created, ranging from 13 % to 42 % females. Pollinators were observed in order to measure the strength of discrimination, and pollen deposition and seed production of both sexes were measured to determine the fitness consequences of this discrimination. Additionally a comparison was made across the sex ratios to determine whether discrimination was frequency-dependent. Key Results It was found that female flowers, on average, were visited at half of the rate of hermaphrodite flowers, which decreased their pollen receipt and seed production. Additionally, females were most discriminated against when rare, due to both changes in the pollinators' behaviour and a shift in pollinator composition. Conclusions The results suggest that pollinator discrimination negatively affects females' relative fitness when they are rare. Thus, the initial spread of females in a population, the first step in the evolution of gynodioecy, may be made more difficult due to pollinator discrimination. PMID:25326647

  3. 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

  4. Confirmed mixed bird-insect pollination system of Scrophularia trifoliata L., a Tyrrhenian species with corolla spots.

    PubMed

    Navarro-Pérez, M L; López, J; Rodríguez-Riaño, T; Bacchetta, G; de Miguel Gordillo, C; Ortega-Olivencia, A

    2017-01-28

    Both bird and mixed vertebrate-insect (MVI) pollination systems are very rare in Europe and the Mediterranean region. Because MVI can ensure reproduction over a wider range of environmental conditions than when insects are the sole pollinators, under certain circumstances such systems are highly advantageous to plants. Here, we investigated the pollination and some reproductive traits of the Tyrrhenian Scrophularia trifoliata, the only species of the genus possessing two showy dark spots inside the corolla, for which MVI pollination system had been inferred on the basis of limited censuses. We conducted field experiments to study MVI pollination and some reproductive traits and elucidate the role of corolla spots, analysing their ultraviolet pattern, histology and pigments versus the rest of the corolla. The primary pollinators were wasps and passerine birds. Corolla spots absorb UV light, present abundant anthocyanins and are histologically identical to the rest of the corolla. Control flowers had higher visitation frequency than flowers without spots. S. trifoliata is self-compatible, with efficient intrafloral protogyny and herkogamy that prevent self-pollination but not geitonogamy. We confirmed the existence of a mixed bird-insect pollination system in S. trifoliata. This system is found in three other Scrophularia species with large, showy flowers - two Mediterranean (S. grandiflora and S. sambucifolia) and one Macaronesian (S. calliantha). Unlike those species, S. trifoliata has two large spots inside the corolla. These likely operate as nectar guides and their dark colouration is related to abundant anthocyanin content.

  5. 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.

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

    PubMed

    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

  7. 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

  8. 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

  9. 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)

  10. Well-child visits

    MedlinePlus

    ... listening to heart, breath, and stomach sounds) Heart sounds Infantile reflexes and deep tendon reflexes as the child gets older Neonatal jaundice -- first few visits only Palpation Percussion Standard ophthalmic exam Temperature measurement (see also normal body temperature ) Immunization information: ...

  11. 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.

  12. 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...

  13. 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.

  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. Floral evolution and pollinator mate choice in a sexually deceptive orchid.

    PubMed

    Schiestl, F P

    2004-01-01

    Sexually deceptive orchids mimic sex pheromones and appearance of female insects to attract males, which pollinate the flowers in an attempted mating. This study examines the effects of pollinator mate choice on orchid floral evolution using the Thynnine wasp Neozeleboria cryptoides (Smith) (Hymenoptera: Tiphiidae), which pollinates the sexually deceptive orchid Chiloglottis trapeziformis Fitzg. (i) When male wasps were given the choice between two female dummies of different sizes and identical amount of synthetic pheromone, they preferentially attempted to copulate with medium-sized dummies over small dummies. (ii) When given the choice between two dummies of identical size but different amounts of pheromone, males preferred the larger amount of pheromone. Larger amounts of pheromone generally attracted more males than smaller amounts. (iii) Orchid flower labella, which mimic a female body, were significantly longer and broader than female wasp bodies, and the flowers also produced on average 10 times more 'pheromone' than females. The evolution and maintenance of these exaggerated mating signals is likely to be mediated by the male pollinator behaviour demonstrated here. (iv) When five dummies were offered simultaneously in a 10 cm circular array, males rarely attempted copulation on more than one dummy during a single visit. This behaviour may foster the evolution or maintenance of clonality in C. trapeziformis, as it will minimize pollen exchange within clones.

  16. Pollinator diversity affects plant reproduction and recruitment: the tradeoffs of generalization.

    PubMed

    Gómez, José M; Bosch, Jordi; Perfectti, Francisco; Fernández, Juande; Abdelaziz, Mohamed

    2007-09-01

    One outstanding and unsolved challenge in ecology and conservation biology is to understand how pollinator diversity affects plant performance. Here, we provide evidence of the functional role of pollination diversity in a plant species, Erysimum mediohispanicum (Brassicaceae). Pollinator abundance, richness and diversity as well as plant reproduction and recruitment were determined in eight plant populations. We found that E. mediohispanicum was generalized both at the regional and local (population) scale, since its flowers were visited by more than 100 species of insects with very different morphology, size and behaviour. However, populations differed in the degree of generalization. Generalization correlated with pollinator abundance and plant population size, but not with habitat, ungulate damage intensity, altitude or spatial location. More importantly, the degree of generalization had significant consequences for plant reproduction and recruitment. Plants from populations with intermediate generalization produced more seeds than plants from populations with low or high degrees of generalization. These differences were not the result of differences in number of flowers produced per plant. In addition, seedling emergence in a common garden was highest in plants from populations with intermediate degree of generalization. This outcome suggests the existence of an optimal level of generalizations even for generalized plant species.

  17. Ants contribute significantly to the pollination of a biodiesel plant, Jatropha curcas.

    PubMed

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

    2012-10-01

    Ants are the most abundant visitors to the flowers of Jatropha curcas L., but it is not clear how much they contribute to the pollination of this plant. In this study, we observed floral visitor assemblage and foraging behavior of ants, measured pollen loads carried by ants and deposited on stigmas, and determined the contribution of ants to the female reproductive success of J. curcas through exclusion experiments. Ants were the most abundant pollinators, accounting for 71.03 and 78.17% of total visits at two study sites. Among different ant species, Tapinoma melanocephalum (F.) is always the most abundant and the only common ant species at two study sites, which might suggest its important role in the pollination of J. curcas. Pollen loads carried by ants were significantly different among different species at two study sites. Pollen loads carried by ants increased with increased body length. Although the flowers exposed only to the ants produced less fruit than those exposed only to the winged visitors, ants alone resulted in almost 60% fruit set. Thus, ants could play a major role in the pollination of J. curcas if winged insects are absent.

  18. Find Best Management Practices to Protect Pollinators

    EPA Pesticide Factsheets

    Resources and ways to reduce potential pesticide exposure to honey bees and other pollinators include new pesticide labels, neonicotinoid insecticide information, reducing dust from treated seed, and state-level efforts.

  19. 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.

  20. 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.

  1. 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.

  2. Evaluating the interacting influences of pollination, seed predation, invasive species and isolation on reproductive success in a threatened alpine plant.

    PubMed

    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

  3. Petal micromorphology and its relationship to pollination.

    PubMed

    Costa, V B S; Pimentel, R M M; Chagas, M G S; Alves, G D; Castro, C C

    2017-03-01

    The characteristics of petal epidermal conical cells affect the quality of the signals perceived by various pollinators. This study aimed to identify variations in micromorphological characteristics of flower petals and their relationship to melittophily, ornithophily and chiropterophily pollination systems. The petals of 11 species were analysed using scanning electron microscopy and optical microscopy and the micromorphological traits were described, measured and compared using Tukey's test, PCA and cluster analysis. Unlike chiropterophily, all melittophilous and some ornithophilous species possessed adaxial epidermal conical cells. Cluster grouping separated chiropterophilous flowers from melittophilous and ornithophilous. PCA analysis showed that the two morphometric profile of conical cells was the attribute that most strongly influenced the grouping of species. When considering the data set of the three pollination systems, melittophilous and ornithophilous plants were more similar to each other than they were to chriopterophilous species. The distance between conical cell apices is an important parameter in interactions with pollinators. This study facilitated recognition of smoothing pollinator resource access through petal micromorphological characteristics. Further research regarding the biometry of micromorphological traits related to pollination is required.

  4. A heterogeneous landscape does not guarantee high crop pollination

    PubMed Central

    Hambäck, Peter A.; Lemessa, Debissa; Nemomissa, Sileshi; Hylander, Kristoffer

    2016-01-01

    The expansion of pollinator-dependent crops, especially in the developing world, together with reports of worldwide pollinator declines, raises concern of possible yield gaps. Farmers directly reliant on pollination services for food supply often live in regions where our knowledge of pollination services is poor. In a manipulative experiment replicated at 23 sites across an Ethiopian agricultural landscape, we found poor pollination services and severe pollen limitation in a common oil crop. With supplementary pollination, the yield increased on average by 91%. Despite the heterogeneous agricultural matrix, we found a low bee abundance, which may explain poor pollination services. The variation in pollen limitation was unrelated to surrounding forest cover, local bee richness and bee abundance. While practices that commonly increase pollinators (restricted pesticide use, flower strips) are an integral part of the landscape, these elements are apparently insufficient. Management to increase pollination services is therefore in need of urgent investigation. PMID:27629036

  5. Is there a missing link? Effects of root herbivory on plant-pollinator interactions and reproductive output in a monocarpic species.

    PubMed

    Ghyselen, C; Bonte, D; Brys, R

    2016-01-01

    Herbivores can have a major influence on plant fitness. The direct impact of herbivory on plant reproductive output has long been studied, and recently also indirect effects of herbivory on plant traits and pollinator attraction have received increasing attention. However, the link between these direct and indirect effects has seldom been studied. In this study, we investigated effects of root herbivory on plant and floral traits, pollination success and reproductive outcome in the monocarpic perennial Cynoglossum officinale. We exposed 119 C. officinale plants to a range of root herbivore damage by its specialist herbivore Mogulones cruciger. We assessed the effect of herbivory on several plant traits, pollinator foraging behaviour and reproductive output, and to elucidate the link between these last two we also quantified pollen deposition and pollen tube growth and applied a pollination experiment to test whether seed set was pollen-limited. Larval root herbivory induced significant changes in plant traits and had a negative impact on pollinator visitation. Infested plants were reduced in size, had fewer flowers and received fewer pollinator visits at plant and flower level than non-infested plants. Also, seed set was negatively affected by root herbivory, but this could not be attributed to pollen limitation since neither stigmatic pollen loads and pollen tube growth nor the results of the hand-pollination experiment differed between infested and non-infested plants. Our observations demonstrate that although herbivory may induce significant changes in flowering behaviour and resulting plant-pollinator interactions, it does not necessarily translate into higher rates of pollen limitation. The observed reductions in reproductive output following infection can mainly be attributed to higher resource limitation compared to non-infested plants.

  6. 78 FR 10167 - Pollinator Summit: Status of Ongoing Collaborative Efforts To Protect Pollinators; Notice of...

    Federal Register 2010, 2011, 2012, 2013, 2014

    2013-02-13

    ... of honey bees and pollinators to pesticides. Invited presenters will provide briefings on current... action if you are engaged in activities to reduce potential exposure of honey bees and pollinators to... are several factors affecting honey bee health, pesticides are among these variables; and,...

  7. Flowering synchrony and floral display size affect pollination success in a deceit-pollinated tropical orchid

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Parra-Tabla, Victor; Vargas, Carlos F.

    2007-07-01

    ue to frequency-dependent negative selection, a strong relationship between reproductive phenology traits and pollination success is expected in deceit-pollinated species. This paper assesses the effects of floral display size on both female (fruit production) and male (pollen removal) pollination success in a population of the deceit-pollinated tropical orchid Myrmecophila christinae during two consecutive years (1998-1999). Low pollen removal (˜9% of total flowers) and fruit production values (˜3% of total flowers) were recorded during both years. As expected, binary logistic regressions showed a significant negative effect of floral synchrony, and a positive effect of floral display size on both male and female success, although these effects varied across years. Pollination rates in the field and in hand pollinations suggest a doubling in pollinator abundance between years. Results suggest that floral display size and flowering synchrony are of adaptive value for M. christinae. However, between-year fluctuations might indicate that reproductive phenology traits in deceit-pollinated species undergo fluctuating selection regimes among years and are probably linked to short-term changes in environmental (abiotic and biotic) conditions.

  8. 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…

  9. The importance of plant diversity in maintaining the pollinator bee, Eulaema nigrita (Hymenoptera: Apidae) in sweet passion fruit fields.

    PubMed

    da Silva, Cláudia Inês; Bordon, Natali Gomes; da Rocha Filho, Léo Correia; Garófalo, Carlos Alberto

    2012-12-01

    The euglossine bee Eulaema nigrita plays an important role for the pollination of native and economically important plants, such as the sweet passion-fruit Passiflora alata. E. nigrita uniquely collects the nectar from the flowers of P. alata, nevertheless, it needs to visit other plants to collect pollen, nectar and other resources for its survival. There are two methods to identify the species of plants used by bees in their diet: by direct observation of the bees in the flowers, and through identification of pollen grains present in brood cells, feces, or in the bees' body. In order to identify the other plants that E. nigrita visits, we analyzed samples of pollen grains removed from the bee's body in the course of the flowering period of P. alata. Among our results, the flora visited by E. nigrita comprised 40 species from 32 genera and 19 families, some of them used as a pollen source or just nectar. In spite of being a polyletic species, E. nigrita exhibited preference for some plant species with poricidal anthers. P. alata which has high sugar concentration nectar was the main source of nectar for this bee in the studied area. Nonetheless, the pollinic analysis indicated that others nectariferous plant species are necessary to keep the populations of E. nigrita. Studies such as this one are important since they indicate supplementary pollen-nectar sources which must be used for the conservation of the populations of E. nigrita in crops neighbouring areas. In the absence of pollinators, growers are forced to pay for hand pollination, which increases production costs; keeping pollinators in cultivated areas is still more feasible to ensure sweet passion fruit production.

  10. Host pollination mode and mutualist pollinator presence: net effect of internally ovipositing parasite in the fig-wasp mutualism

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Zhang, Fengping; Peng, Yanqiong; Compton, Stephen G.; Zhao, Yi; Yang, Darong

    2009-04-01

    The Ficus-their specific pollinating fig wasps (Chalcidoidea, Agaonidae) interaction presents a striking example of mutualism. Figs also shelter numerous non-pollinating fig wasps (NPFW) that exploit the fig-pollinator mutualism. Only a few NPFW species can enter figs to oviposit, they do not belong to the pollinating lineage Agaonidae. The internally ovipositing non-agaonid fig wasps can efficiently pollinate the Ficus species that were passively pollinated. However, there is no study to focus on the net effect of these internally ovipositing non-agaonid wasps in actively pollinated Ficus species. By collecting the data of fig wasp community and conducting controlled experiments, our results showed that internally ovipositing Diaziella bizarrea cannot effectively pollinate Ficus glaberrima, an actively pollinated monoecious fig tree. Furthermore, D. bizarrea failed to reproduce if they were introduced into figs without Eupristina sp., the regular pollinator, as all the figs aborted. Furthermore, although D. bizarrea had no effect on seed production in shared figs, it significantly reduced the number of Eupristina sp. progeny emerging from them. Thus, our experimental evidence shows that reproduction in Diaziella depends on the presence of agaonid pollinators, and whether internally ovipositing parasites can act as pollinators depends on the host fig’s pollination mode (active or passive). Overall, this study and others suggest a relatively limited mutualistic role for internally ovipositing fig wasps from non-pollinator (non-Agaonidae) lineages.

  11. Host pollination mode and mutualist pollinator presence: net effect of internally ovipositing parasite in the fig-wasp mutualism.

    PubMed

    Zhang, Fengping; Peng, Yanqiong; Compton, Stephen G; Zhao, Yi; Yang, Darong

    2009-04-01

    The Ficus-their specific pollinating fig wasps (Chalcidoidea, Agaonidae) interaction presents a striking example of mutualism. Figs also shelter numerous non-pollinating fig wasps (NPFW) that exploit the fig-pollinator mutualism. Only a few NPFW species can enter figs to oviposit, they do not belong to the pollinating lineage Agaonidae. The internally ovipositing non-agaonid fig wasps can efficiently pollinate the Ficus species that were passively pollinated. However, there is no study to focus on the net effect of these internally ovipositing non-agaonid wasps in actively pollinated Ficus species. By collecting the data of fig wasp community and conducting controlled experiments, our results showed that internally ovipositing Diaziella bizarrea cannot effectively pollinate Ficus glaberrima, an actively pollinated monoecious fig tree. Furthermore, D. bizarrea failed to reproduce if they were introduced into figs without Eupristina sp., the regular pollinator, as all the figs aborted. Furthermore, although D. bizarrea had no effect on seed production in shared figs, it significantly reduced the number of Eupristina sp. progeny emerging from them. Thus, our experimental evidence shows that reproduction in Diaziella depends on the presence of agaonid pollinators, and whether internally ovipositing parasites can act as pollinators depends on the host fig's pollination mode (active or passive). Overall, this study and others suggest a relatively limited mutualistic role for internally ovipositing fig wasps from non-pollinator (non-Agaonidae) lineages.

  12. 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.

  13. Revisiting High School Visits

    ERIC Educational Resources Information Center

    Flagel, Andrew

    2012-01-01

    NACAC's anniversary is a great time to follow up on an article on high school visits, a topic of ongoing discussion in every admission and guidance office. The article highlights a variety of potential good outcomes that can be derived from collaborative interactions. Sadly, however, admission representatives are apt to be described by the…

  14. 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.

  15. Your First Gynecologic Visit

    MedlinePlus

    ... future visits and get information about how to stay healthy. You also may have certain exams. Your doctor may ... ups and downs What can I do to stay healthy? Making good lifestyle choices can help you to be strong and healthy for years to ...

  16. Selenium accumulation in flowers and its effects on pollination.

    PubMed

    Quinn, Colin F; Prins, Christine N; Freeman, John L; Gross, Amanda M; Hantzis, Laura J; Reynolds, Ray J B; Yang, Soo in; Covey, Paul A; Bañuelos, Gary S; Pickering, Ingrid J; Fakra, Sirine C; Marcus, Matthew A; Arathi, H S; Pilon-Smits, Elizabeth A H

    2011-11-01

    • Selenium (Se) hyperaccumulation has a profound effect on plant-arthropod interactions. Here, we investigated floral Se distribution and speciation in flowers and the effects of floral Se on pollen quality and plant-pollinator interactions. • Floral Se distribution and speciation were compared in Stanleya pinnata, an Se hyperaccumulator, and Brassica juncea, a comparable nonhyperaccumulator. Pollen germination was measured from plants grown with varying concentrations of Se and floral visitation was compared between plants with high and low Se. • Stanleya pinnata preferentially allocated Se to flowers, as nontoxic methyl-selenocysteine (MeSeCys). Brassica juncea had higher Se concentrations in leaves than flowers, and a lower fraction of MeSeCys. For B. juncea, high floral Se concentration impaired pollen germination; in S. pinnata Se had no effect on pollen germination. Floral visitors collected from Se-rich S. pinnata contained up to 270 μg g(-1), concentrations toxic to many herbivores. Indeed, floral visitors showed no visitation preference between high- and low-Se plants. Honey from seleniferous areas contained 0.4-1 μg Se g(-1), concentrations that could provide human health benefits. • This study is the first to shed light on the possible evolutionary cost, through decreased pollen germination in B. juncea, of Se accumulation and has implications for the management of seleniferous areas.

  17. Deep roots delay flowering and relax the impact of floral traits and associated pollinators in steppe plants

    PubMed Central

    Berrached, Rachda; Kadik, Leila; Ait Mouheb, Hocine; Prinzing, Andreas

    2017-01-01

    Strong seasonality in abiotic harshness and pollinator availability shape the reproductive success of plants. Plant species can avoid or can tolerate harsh abiotic conditions and can attract different pollinators, but it remains unknown (i) which of these capacities is most important for flowering phenology, (ii) whether tolerance/avoidance of abiotic harshness reinforces or relaxes the phenological differentiation of species attracting different pollinators. We assembled possibly the first functional trait database for a North African steppe covering 104 species. We inferred avoidance of harshness (drought) from dormancy, i.e. annual life-span and seed size. We inferred tolerance or resistance to harshness from small specific leaf area, small stature, deep roots and high dry matter content. We inferred the type of pollinators attracted from floral colour, shape and depth. We found that avoidance traits did not affect flowering phenology, and among tolerance traits only deep roots had an effect by delaying flowering. Flower colour (red or purple), and occasionally flower depth, delayed flowering. Dish, gullet and flag shape accelerated flowering. Interactive effects however were at least as important, inversing the mentioned relationship between floral characters and flowering phenology. Specifically, among drought-tolerant deep-rooted species, flowering phenologies converged among floral types attracting different pollinators, without becoming less variable overall. Direct and interactive effects of root depth and floral traits explained at least 45% of the variance in flowering phenology. Also, conclusions on interactive effects were highly consistent with and without including information on family identity or outliers. Overall, roots and floral syndromes strongly control flowering phenology, while many other traits do not. Surprisingly, floral syndromes and the related pollinators appear to constrain phenology mainly in shallow-rooted, abiotically little

  18. Deep roots delay flowering and relax the impact of floral traits and associated pollinators in steppe plants.

    PubMed

    Berrached, Rachda; Kadik, Leila; Ait Mouheb, Hocine; Prinzing, Andreas

    2017-01-01

    Strong seasonality in abiotic harshness and pollinator availability shape the reproductive success of plants. Plant species can avoid or can tolerate harsh abiotic conditions and can attract different pollinators, but it remains unknown (i) which of these capacities is most important for flowering phenology, (ii) whether tolerance/avoidance of abiotic harshness reinforces or relaxes the phenological differentiation of species attracting different pollinators. We assembled possibly the first functional trait database for a North African steppe covering 104 species. We inferred avoidance of harshness (drought) from dormancy, i.e. annual life-span and seed size. We inferred tolerance or resistance to harshness from small specific leaf area, small stature, deep roots and high dry matter content. We inferred the type of pollinators attracted from floral colour, shape and depth. We found that avoidance traits did not affect flowering phenology, and among tolerance traits only deep roots had an effect by delaying flowering. Flower colour (red or purple), and occasionally flower depth, delayed flowering. Dish, gullet and flag shape accelerated flowering. Interactive effects however were at least as important, inversing the mentioned relationship between floral characters and flowering phenology. Specifically, among drought-tolerant deep-rooted species, flowering phenologies converged among floral types attracting different pollinators, without becoming less variable overall. Direct and interactive effects of root depth and floral traits explained at least 45% of the variance in flowering phenology. Also, conclusions on interactive effects were highly consistent with and without including information on family identity or outliers. Overall, roots and floral syndromes strongly control flowering phenology, while many other traits do not. Surprisingly, floral syndromes and the related pollinators appear to constrain phenology mainly in shallow-rooted, abiotically little

  19. Consequences of the Argentine ant, Linepithema humile (Mayr), invasion on pollination of Euphorbia characias (L.) (Euphorbiaceae)

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Blancafort, Xavier; Gómez, Crisanto

    2005-07-01

    We have studied the influence of the Argentine ant, Linepithema humile, on the pollination of Euphorbia characias, a deciduous insect-pollinated shrub. The observations were made in two adjacent areas (invaded and non-invaded by L. humile) in a Mediterranean cork-oak forest. In the invaded area, L. humile has replaced most of the native ants that climb up this plant's inflorescences. Five native ant species were detected in the non-invaded areas and only one in the invaded area. The number of visitors to infested inflorescences (1.54 ± 1.86 visitors/10 min observation) was lower than in non-infested inflorescences in the invaded area (3.74 ± 4.19 visitors/10'), and in the non-invaded areas (4.16 ± 5.00 visits/10'). For several species of flower-visiting insects, no differences were detected between the time spent in the flowers and the number of flowers visited in the two areas, except for Eristalis tenax, a dipteran which visited more flowers (15.2 ± 11.1 flowers visited/10') and spent more time (9.4 ± 5.8 sec) in the non-invaded area than in the invaded area (7.8 ± 8.2 flowers visited/10' and 5.3 ± 2.1 sec, respectively). The relative representation of insect orders in the two areas was not different. A significant reduction in fruit-set and seed-set was detected in the invaded area. These results suggest that the Argentine ant may greatly affect the reproductive success of components of the Mediterranean flora.

  20. The natural history of pollination and mating in bird-pollinated Babiana (Iridaceae)

    PubMed Central

    de Waal, Caroli; Anderson, Bruce; Barrett, Spencer C. H.

    2012-01-01

    Background and Aims Floral variation, pollination biology and mating patterns were investigated in sunbird-pollinated Babiana (Iridaceae) species endemic to the Western Cape of South Africa. The group includes several taxa with specialized bird perches and it has been proposed that these function to promote cross-pollination. Methods Pollinator observations were conducted in 12 populations of five taxa (B. ringens subspp. ringens, australis, B. hirsuta, B. avicularis, B. carminea) and geographic variation in morphological traits investigated in the widespread B. ringens. Experimental pollinations were used to determine the compatibility status, facility for autonomous self-pollination and intensity of pollen limitation in six populations of four taxa. Allozyme markers were employed to investigate mating patterns in four populations of three species. Key Results Sunbirds were the primary pollinators of the five Babiana taxa investigated. Correlated geographical variation in perch size, flower size and stigma–anther separation was evident among B. ringens populations. Experimental pollinations demonstrated that B. ringens and B. avicularis were self-compatible with variation in levels of autonomous self-pollination and weak or no pollen limitation of seed set. In contrast, B. hirsuta was self-incompatible and chronically pollen limited. Estimates of outcrossing rate indicated mixed mating with substantial self-fertilization in all species investigated. Conclusions Despite the possession of specialized bird perches in B. ringens and B. avicularis, these structures do not prevent considerable selfing from occurring, probably as a result of autonomous self-pollination. In eastern populations of B. ringens, smaller flowers and reduced herkogamy appear to be associated with a shift to predominant selfing. Relaxed selection on perch function due to increased selfing may explain the increased incidence of apical flowers in some populations. PMID:21831856

  1. The role of native flower visitors in pollinating Opuntia ficus-indica (L.) Mill., naturalized in Sicily

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Lo Verde, Gabriella; La Mantia, Tommaso

    2011-09-01

    The role of insects in pollination and consequently in fruit set and quality was assessed in two commercial orchards of the cactus pear, Opuntia ficus-indica (L.) Mill., in Agrigento Province, Sicily. In 1997, insects visiting flowers were sampled during May-June (the first bloom) and July (the second bloom, induced by the "scozzolatura" practise). More than 50 insect species belonging to 10 orders were collected in May-June, while only five species of Hymenoptera Apoidea were collected in July. The quality of fruits arising from the second bloom showed that Hymenoptera alone were able to guarantee effective pollination. To verify the role of insects in pollination in 1996 (during only the second bloom), and in 1997 and 2009 (during both blooms), 60 single flowers were marked during each bloom; 30 of them covered with paper sleeves (which prevented natural pollination), while the others were not covered. After withering, fruits produced by marked flowers were analyzed in laboratory: in all years and blooms, the total number of seeds, the number of developed seeds, and the weight and the percentage of pulp were significantly lower for covered flowers than for non-covered flowers. The results are consistent with the hypothesis that native insects effectively carry out the pollination of cactus pear flowers.

  2. Pollination of Cypripedium plectrochilum (Orchidaceae) by Lasioglossum spp. (Halictidae): the roles of generalist attractants versus restrictive floral architecture.

    PubMed

    Li, P; Luo, Y; Bernhardt, P; Kou, Y; Perner, H

    2008-03-01

    The pollination of Cypripedium plectrochilum Franch. was studied in the Huanglong Nature Reserve, Sichuan, China. Although large bees (Bombus, Apis), small bees (Ceratina, Lasioglossum), ants (Formica sp.), true flies (Diptera) and a butterfly were all found to visit the flowers, only small bees, including three Lasioglossum spp. (L. viridiclaucum, L. sichuanense and L. sp.; Halictidae) and one Ceratina sp., carried the flower's pollen and contacted the receptive stigma. Measurements of floral architecture showed that interior floral dimensions best fit the exterior dimensions of Lasioglossum spp., leading to the consistent deposition and stigmatic reception of dorsally-placed, pollen smears. The floral fragrance was dominated by one ketone, 3-methyl-Decen-2-one. The conversion rate of flowers into capsules in open (insect) pollinated flowers at the site was more than 38%. We conclude that, while pigmentation patterns and floral fragrance attracted a wide variety of insect foragers, canalization of interior floral dimensions ultimately determined the spectrum of potential pollinators in this generalist, food-mimic flower. A review of the literature showed that the specialised mode of pollination-by-deceit in C. plectrochilum, limiting pollinators to a narrow and closely related guild of 'dupes' is typical for other members of this genus.

  3. Floral polymorphism and the fitness implications of attracting pollinating and florivorous insects

    PubMed Central

    de Jager, Marinus L.; Ellis, Allan G.

    2014-01-01

    Background and Aims Floral polymorphism is frequently attributed to pollinator-mediated selection. Multiple studies, however, have revealed the importance of non-pollinating visitors in floral evolution. Using the polymorphic annual daisy Ursinia calenduliflora, this study investigated the importance of different insect visitors, and their effects on fitness, in the maintenance of floral polymorphism. Methods The spatial structure of a discrete floral polymorphism was characterized based on the presence/absence of anthocyanin floret spots in U. calenduliflora. A 3-year observational study was then conducted in polymorphic populations to investigate differences in visitation rates of dominant visitors to floral morphs. Experiments were performed to explore the floral preference of male and female Megapalpus capensis (the dominant insect visitor) and their effectiveness as pollinators. Next, floral damage by antagonistic florivores and the reproductive success of the two floral morphs were surveyed in multiple populations and years. Key Results Floral polymorphism in U. calenduliflora was structured spatially, as were insect visitation patterns. Megapalpus capensis males were the dominant visitors and exhibited strong preference for the spotted morph in natural and experimental observations. While this may indicate potential fitness benefits for the spotted morph, female fitness did not differ between floral morphs. However, as M. capensis males are very efficient at exporting U. calenduliflora pollen, their preference may likely increase the reproductive fitness of the spotted morph through male fitness components. The spotted morph, however, also suffered significantly greater costs due to ovule predation by florivores than the spotless morph. Conclusions The results suggest that pollinators and florivores may potentially exert antagonistic selection that could contribute to the maintenance of floral polymorphism across the range of U. calenduliflora. The relative

  4. Valuing insect pollination services with cost of replacement.

    PubMed

    Allsopp, Mike H; de Lange, Willem J; Veldtman, Ruan

    2008-09-10

    Value estimates of ecosystem goods and services are useful to justify the allocation of resources towards conservation, but inconclusive estimates risk unsustainable resource allocations. Here we present replacement costs as a more accurate value estimate of insect pollination as an ecosystem service, although this method could also be applied to other services. The importance of insect pollination to agriculture is unequivocal. However, whether this service is largely provided by wild pollinators (genuine ecosystem service) or managed pollinators (commercial service), and which of these requires immediate action amidst reports of pollinator decline, remains contested. If crop pollination is used to argue for biodiversity conservation, clear distinction should be made between values of managed- and wild pollination services. Current methods either under-estimate or over-estimate the pollination service value, and make use of criticised general insect and managed pollinator dependence factors. We apply the theoretical concept of ascribing a value to a service by calculating the cost to replace it, as a novel way of valuing wild and managed pollination services. Adjusted insect and managed pollinator dependence factors were used to estimate the cost of replacing insect- and managed pollination services for the Western Cape deciduous fruit industry of South Africa. Using pollen dusting and hand pollination as suitable replacements, we value pollination services significantly higher than current market prices for commercial pollination, although lower than traditional proportional estimates. The complexity associated with inclusive value estimation of pollination services required several defendable assumptions, but made estimates more inclusive than previous attempts. Consequently this study provides the basis for continued improvement in context specific pollination service value estimates.

  5. Valuing Insect Pollination Services with Cost of Replacement

    PubMed Central

    Allsopp, Mike H.; de Lange, Willem J.; Veldtman, Ruan

    2008-01-01

    Value estimates of ecosystem goods and services are useful to justify the allocation of resources towards conservation, but inconclusive estimates risk unsustainable resource allocations. Here we present replacement costs as a more accurate value estimate of insect pollination as an ecosystem service, although this method could also be applied to other services. The importance of insect pollination to agriculture is unequivocal. However, whether this service is largely provided by wild pollinators (genuine ecosystem service) or managed pollinators (commercial service), and which of these requires immediate action amidst reports of pollinator decline, remains contested. If crop pollination is used to argue for biodiversity conservation, clear distinction should be made between values of managed- and wild pollination services. Current methods either under-estimate or over-estimate the pollination service value, and make use of criticised general insect and managed pollinator dependence factors. We apply the theoretical concept of ascribing a value to a service by calculating the cost to replace it, as a novel way of valuing wild and managed pollination services. Adjusted insect and managed pollinator dependence factors were used to estimate the cost of replacing insect- and managed pollination services for the Western Cape deciduous fruit industry of South Africa. Using pollen dusting and hand pollination as suitable replacements, we value pollination services significantly higher than current market prices for commercial pollination, although lower than traditional proportional estimates. The complexity associated with inclusive value estimation of pollination services required several defendable assumptions, but made estimates more inclusive than previous attempts. Consequently this study provides the basis for continued improvement in context specific pollination service value estimates. PMID:18781196

  6. Apomixis does not affect visitation to flowers of Melastomataceae, but pollen sterility does.

    PubMed

    Maia, F R; Varassin, I G; Goldenberg, R

    2016-01-01

    Apomixis is an asexual seed reproduction mechanism thorough which embryos are originated from material tissues inside the ovules, without precedent fertilisation. It allows plants to colonise new habitats, even in places where flower visitors are scarce or where plants are isolate. Apomixis seems to be related to pollen sterility and, in species with flowers that offer pollen as a reward for pollinators, the amount or quality of the pollen offered by these species may influence the amount of the visits and specific composition of the visitors. In order to test this hypothesis, we studied breeding systems of 16 species of Melastomataceae and their flower visitors, evaluating composition and abundance of the visits to apomictic and sexual species. Apomictic plants with no viable pollen or with pollen with low viability did not receive visits from pollinators, and consequently probably produce strictly apomictic fruits. On the other hand, apomictic and sexual plants with high pollen viability do receive visits; in this case, apomictic plants may produce fruits and seeds through both sexual and apomictic methods. The species composition of insects visiting Melastomataceae with high pollen viability was similar, regardless of whether the plants were apomictic or not. It seems that pollen viability levels are important to determine visits to the flowers irrespective of breeding system.

  7. Three floral volatiles contribute to differential pollinator attraction in monkeyflowers (Mimulus)

    PubMed Central

    Byers, Kelsey J. R. P.; Bradshaw, H. D.; Riffell, Jeffrey A.

    2014-01-01

    Flowering plants employ a wide variety of signals, including scent, to attract the attention of pollinators. In this study we investigated the role of floral scent in mediating differential attraction between two species of monkeyflowers (Mimulus) reproductively isolated by pollinator preference. The emission rate and chemical identity of floral volatiles differ between the bumblebee-pollinated Mimulus lewisii and the hummingbird-pollinated M. cardinalis. Mimulus lewisii flowers produce an array of volatiles dominated by d-limonene, β-myrcene and E-β-ocimene. Of these three monoterpenes, M. cardinalis flowers produce only d-limonene, released at just 0.9% the rate of M. lewisii flowers. Using the Bombus vosnesenskii bumblebee, an important pollinator of M. lewisii, we conducted simultaneous gas chromatography with extracellular recordings in the bumblebee antennal lobe. Results from these experiments revealed that these three monoterpenes evoke significant neural responses, and that a synthetic mixture of the three volatiles evokes the same responses as the natural scent. Furthermore, the neural population shows enhanced responses to the M. lewisii scent over the scent of M. cardinalis. This neural response is reflected in behavior; in two-choice assays, bumblebees investigate artificial flowers scented with M. lewisii more frequently than ones scented with M. cardinalis, and in synthetic mixtures the three monoterpenes are necessary and sufficient to recapitulate responses to the natural scent of M. lewisii. In this system, floral scent alone is sufficient to elicit differential visitation by bumblebees, implying a strong role of scent in the maintenance of reproductive isolation between M. lewisii and M. cardinalis. PMID:24198269

  8. Pollinator-prey conflict in carnivorous plants.

    PubMed

    Jürgens, Andreas; Sciligo, Amber; Witt, Taina; El-Sayed, Ashraf M; Suckling, D Max

    2012-08-01

    Most carnivorous plants utilize insects in two ways: the flowers attract insects as pollen vectors for sexual reproduction, and the leaves trap insects for nutrients. Feeding on insects has been explained as an adaptation to nutrient-poor soil, and carnivorous plants have been shown to benefit from insect capture through increased growth, earlier flowering and increased seed production. Most carnivorous plant species seem to benefit from insect pollination, although many species autonomously self-pollinate and some propagate vegetatively. However, assuming that outcross pollen is advantageous and is a more important determinant of reproductive success than the nutrients gained from prey, there should be a selective pressure on carnivorous plants not to feed on their potential pollen vectors. Therefore, it has been suggested that carnivorous plants are subject to a conflict, often called the pollinator-prey conflict (PPC). The conflict results from a trade-off of the benefits from feeding on potentially pollinating insects versus the need to use them as pollen vectors for sexual reproduction. In this review we analyze the conditions under which a PPC may occur, review the evidence for the existence of PPCs in carnivorous plants, and explore the mechanisms that may be in place to prevent or alleviate a PPC. With respect to the latter, we discuss how plant signals such as olfactory and visual cues may play a role in separating the functions of pollinator attraction and prey capture.

  9. Pollination biology of basal angiosperms (ANITA grade).

    PubMed

    Thien, Leonard B; Bernhardt, Peter; Devall, Margaret S; Chen, Zhi-Duan; Luo, Yi-Bo; Fan, Jian-Hua; Yuan, Liang-Chen; Williams, Joseph H

    2009-01-01

    The first three branches of the angiosperm phylogenetic tree consist of eight families with ∼201 species of plants (the ANITA grade). The oldest flower fossil for the group is dated to the Early Cretaceous (115-125 Mya) and identified to the Nymphaeales. The flowers of extant plants in the ANITA grade are small, and pollen is the edible reward (rarely nectar or starch bodies). Unlike many gymnosperms that secrete "pollination drops," ANITA-grade members examined thus far have a dry-type stigma. Copious secretions of stigmatic fluid are restricted to the Nymphaeales, but this is not nectar. Floral odors, floral thermogenesis (a resource), and colored tepals attract insects in deceit-based pollination syndromes throughout the first three branches of the phylogenetic tree. Self-incompatibility and an extragynoecial compitum occur in some species in the Austrobaileyales. Flies are primary pollinators in six families (10 genera). Beetles are pollinators in five families varying in importance as primary (exclusive) to secondary vectors of pollen. Bees are major pollinators only in the Nymphaeaceae. It is hypothesized that large flowers in Nymphaeaceae are the result of the interaction of heat, floral odors, and colored tepals to trap insects to increase fitness.

  10. Annual Variation in Flowering Phenology, Pollination, Mating System, and Pollen Yield in Two Natural Populations of Schima wallichii (DC.) Korth

    PubMed Central

    Khanduri, Vinod Prasad; Sharma, C. M.; Kumar, K. S.; Ghildiyal, S. K.

    2013-01-01

    Background. Schima wallichii is a highly valuable tree of tropical forest in north-east Himalaya region that grows naturally in a wide range of altitudes between 750 and 2400 m asl with varying environments. Flowering phenology of tropical tree species at population level is generally ignored and therefore a detailed knowledge of flowering and fruiting patterns of important multipurpose tree species is critical to the successful management of forest genetic resources. Materials and Methods. The study was conducted at two different altitudes (i.e., 750 m and 900 m asl) in the tropical semideciduous forest of north-east Himalaya. The floral phenology including flowering synchrony in the populations, anthesis, anther dehiscence, stigma receptivity, pollinators visitation frequency, and mating system including index of self-incompatibility were worked out in Schima wallichii according to the ear-marked standard methods given by various scientists for each parameter. Results. The flowering period in Schima wallichii varied from 33 to 42 days with mean synchrony of 0.54 to 0.68 between the populations. The stigma was receptive up to 2.5 days only and showed slightly protandrous type of dichogamy. Average pollen production ranged between 6.90 × 107 pollen per tree in 2007 and 15.49 × 108 pollen per tree in 2011. A three-year masting cycle was noticed in this species. The frequency of visitation of honey bees was fairly high (5.2 ± 1.12 visits/flower/hour) as compared to other pollinators. The hand