Материал из Антэкология /// Anthecology
Experimental Studies of Pollen Carryover: Hummingbirds and Ipomopsis aggregata
We present results of experiments designed to identify floral characteristics that influence patterns of pollen carryover by hummingbirds visiting lpomopsis aggregata flowers. We used fluorescent dye powders as pollen analogues. For all four experimental treatments considered, amounts of dye deposited on recipient stigmas declined linearly as a function of flower position in a visitation sequence. The decline was significantly steeper when recipient flowers had pollen-carrying anthers than when they did not; whereas degree of stigma clogging and presence or absence of empty anthers did not influence carryover. From this we conclude that presence of pollen on recipient flowers significantly reduces the average number of subsequent flowers reached by donor pollen. We discuss mechanisms for this effect and its significance for the evolution of floral structure.