Pollination mechanisms and pollinators are reported for a total of 137 species (75% of the non-abiotically pollinated flora) as they occur at three altitudinal levels (subandean scrub: 2,200-2,600 m; cushion-plant zone: 2,700-3,100 m; subnival feldfield: 3,200-3,600 m) in the Andean (alpine) zone on the Cordon del Cepo (33⚬17′S) in central Chile as part of community oriented research in reproductive biology in the high temperate Andes of South America. Only around 4% of the species studied faile
d to be visited by potential pollinators. Hymenopterans (principally bees) are important pollinators of 50% of the biotically pollinated flora, butterflies of 24% and flies of 46%. Other vectors include beetles, moths, and hummingbirds. An estimated 17% of the flora is anemophilous. Bee species-richness, specialist feeding, and melittophily reach maxima in the subandean scrub; thereafter, bees diminish rapidly in number, with bees pollinating only 13% of the subnival flora as contrasted with 68% of the subandean flora. Although fly and butterfly species-richness also decline with increasing altitude, the proportions of species pollinated by these vectors actually increases. High-altitude populations of melittophilous species with broad altitudinal ranges are invariably serviced by fewer bee species as compared with lower populations. The rich bee fauna at the lower end of the Andean zone in central Chile appears to have resulted from upward colonization from that of the subtending lowland Mediterranean sclerophyllous woodland vegetation. Altitudinal variation in pollination spectra is discussed in relation to contrasting life history characteristics and different modes of thermoregulation in the insect groups involved.
Altitudinal changes in breeding and pollination systems of tropical montane plants were studied in 13 species of Espeletia growing in the Venezuelan Andes from 2,000 to 4,300 m. Hand pollination tests showed that all species were strongly self-incompatible. The four species found only above 4,000 m had up to 10% median seed set in self-pollinated heads, which was significantly higher than the lower elevation species. Nine species were insect-pollinated, with large bees the major pollinator g
roup. An endemic p?ramo hummingbird, Oxypogon guerinii, was an important visitor of E. schultzii in three populations examined. Experimental bagging experiments showed that the four high elevation species were wind-pollinated, further evidenced by the lack of pollinator visits and markedly different capitulum morphologies. Open-pollinated seed set in two wind-pollinated species, E. spicata and E. timotensis, was strongly dependent on the population's flowering density, which varied significantly from year to year. The shift from insect to wind pollination in Espeletia can be related to the low pollinator availability at high elevations in the Andes, protection of the capitula from snow and daily frosts, and the extremely long flowering periods of individual heads.
This study explores the effects of emergence time and reproductive phenology on seed number, seed size, and seedling survival in a population of the alpine buttercup, Ranunculus adoneus. Phenology in this snow bowl population is structured by snow depth. Plants in late melting interior portions of the bowl emerged and flowered 3 to 4 wk after those in early melting zones at the bowl perimeter during the summers of 1988 and 1989. Flowering time differences of buttercups across the bowl were consi
stent from one year to the next. In 1988, late flowering plants tended to set fewer seeds than early flowering ones; in 1989 no decrease in seed number accompanied flowering date. Path analysis showed that equal fecundity in early and late emerging portions of the bowl population during 1989 resulted from balancing spatial and temporal constraints on seed production. Spatial aspects of habitat quality improved toward the interior of the bowl, but temporal regimes deteriorated in these late melting sites. In both 1988 and 1989 seed size declined with delays in flowering. Path analysis of 1989 data showed that because of reduced time for seed growth, plants in late melting portions of the bowl set smaller seeds than those in earlier melting zones. Differences in seed size due to parental phenology are likely to influence fitness in snow buttercups. Under natural conditions, seedlings from large seeds (≥0.65 mg) have sixfold higher survival than do those from smaller seeds (<0.65 mg). We conclude that seedling recruitment may be infrequent in late-melting portions of the snow bowl due to delayed parental phenology.
Flowering phenology, fruit set, and pollinator frequency of the ericaceous alpine dwarf shrub, Rhododendron aureum, were compared among three quadrats arranged along a snowmelt gradient on a slope. Bagging and self-pollination experiments showed that R. aureum was physiologically self-compatible, but pollinator visitation highly enhanced fruit set. Depending on the lateness of snowmelt, flowering time varied from mid-June to late July among quadrats. Pollinator visitation increased as the flower
ing season progressed, and fruit set was significantly higher in the quadrat with latest snowmelt. Emasculation experiments suggested that later flowering might promote cross-pollination. Thus, later flowering was advantageous for effective pollination. On the other hand, later-flowering plants often failed to set fruits because of the onset of autumn frost and snow before fruit maturation.
Surface features, anatomy, and ultrastructure of the floral nectary of Eccremocarpus scaber (Bignoniaceae), pollinated predominantly by the largest-known hummingbird (Patagona gigas gigas), were studied together with nectar sugar content and secretion rate. The annular disk nectary comprises epidermis, secretory and ground parenchyma with intercellular spaces, and branched vascular bundles terminating in the secretory parenchyma where only phloem is found. Amyloplasts and vacuoles increase in si
ze throughout development, the latter becoming sites of organelle degradation. Transferlike cells in nectary phloem and P-proteinlike fibrillar material in phloem parenchyma were observed. Flowers produced around 32 μl of nectar (mostly after anthesis) with 11 mg of sugar composed of fructose, glucose, sucrose, and maltose in a ratio of 0.34:0.32:0.17:0.17. Morphological studies as well as the presence of maltose and glucose in nectar suggest storage of the originally phloem-derived sugars as starch with its subsequent hydrolysis. The low sucrose/hexose ratio (0.25) and high nectary secretion force (nectar per flower biomass) observed places E. scaber close to large-bodied bat-pollinated plants. A hypothesis based on nectar origin and nectar secretion is advanced to explain pollinator-correlated variation in sucrose/hexose ratio.
Pollination by deceit in Myristica insipida, a beetle‐pollinated nutmeg, was hypothesized to operate on intersexual differences in flower production and longevity, producing a daily fluctuation between floral display maxima and minima. Sticky traps were used to continuously monitor beetle activity. Flower production and naturally occurring intersexual differences in display were recorded. Male and female trees flowered in synchrony producing daily display maxima at 1800–0600 and display minima a
t 1400–1800. Rewarding male trees produced three times the number of flowers of female trees, but the greater longevity of female flowers reduced the intersexual difference in display maxima to a factor of two. There was no intersexual difference in display minima. Beetles were demonstrated to be sensitive to differences in both maximum and minimum displays on rewarding male trees, a necessary prerequisite for directional selection on display size. Beetle captures were significantly higher at male trees during floral display maxima, and no intersexual differences in capture rate occurred during floral display minima. However, capture rates at male trees did not decline as predicted, and the pattern of captures was consistent with crepuscular activity. Beetle captures at male and female trees were lower from 1800 to 0600 and 1000 to 1400, and higher from 0600 to 1000 and 1400 to 1800, but the differences were only significant at female trees. These data suggests that foraging errors are numerous, frequent, and the result of overall foraging activity.
An understanding of the process of submarine pollination should provide insight into the evolutionary and reproductive ecology of the marine angiosperms (seagrasses). The flow around the reproductive organs of the seagrass Zostera marina L. (Potamogetonales) was, therefore, examined in a flow chamber. The phenological emergence of flowers during (1) pollen capture and (2) pollen release, and by fruit during (3) seed release, led to a reduction in flow rate toward the inflorescence. This change i
n flow due to floral emergence was associated with a 50% increase in the fluid shear stress [tau = (2.2 _ 0.3) x 10-3 Pa for an immature flower vs. tau = (3.1 _ 0.5) x 10-3 Pa for a receptive flower]. The Reynolds number (Re) and fluid shear stress around inflorescences and infructescences were comparable, indicating a dynamic similarity in the processes of pollen capture and fruit dehiscence [Re = 47 _ 5, tau = (1.6 _ 0.3) x 10-3 Pa for inflorescences; Re = 38 _ 5, tau = (1.3 _ 0.1) x 10-3 Pa for infructescences]. These results indicate that the emergence of reproductive organs leads to changes in fluid shear stress, which will affect the release, transport, and capture of particles including pollen. Theoretical considerations of these observations using aerosol-filtration theory suggest that pollen capture in Z. marina occurs through direct interception of pollen by stigmas.
In most experimental hybridizations between oilseed rape (Brassica napus) and weedy B. campestris, either intra- or interspecific pollen has been applied to individual flowers. Under field conditions, however, stigmas will often receive a mixture of the two types of pollen, thereby allowing for competition between male gametophytes and/or seeds within pods. To test whether competition influences the success of hybridization, pollen from the two species was mixed in different proportions and appl
ied to stigmas of both species. The resulting seeds were scored for paternity by isozyme and randomly amplified polymorphic DNA analysis. Using data on the proportion of fully developed seeds and the proportion of these seeds that were hybrids, a statistical model was constructed to estimate the fitness of conspecific and heterospecific pollen and the survival of conspecific and heterospecific zygotes to seeds. B. campestris pollen in B. napus styles had a significantly lower fitness than the conspecific pollen, whereas no difference between pollen types was found in B. campestris styles. Hybrid zygotes survived to significantly lower proportions than conspecific zygotes in both species, with the lowest survival of hybrid zygotes in B. napus pods. This is in contrast to the higher survival of hybrid seeds in B. napus than in B. campestris pods when pollinations are made with pure pollen. Altogether, the likelihood of a foreign pollen grain producing a seed was much lower on B. napus than on B. campestris. In addition, pods on B. napus developed to a lower extent the more heterospecific pollen was in the mix, whereas this had no effect on B. campestris.
Flow chamber observations of the filamentous pollen of Zostera marina L. (Potamogetonales) revealed that pollen rotated and moved toward inflorescences where they were captured by stigmas. The mechanics of this abiotic pollination process were examined and found to be related to the flow environment around emergent flowers. The translational movement of pollen was imparted by the advection of the fluid (e. g., pollen kinetic energy, K, ranged from 0.8 × 10−−14 to 2.4 × 10−−14 J, and the average
K of the fluid was ≈ 0.7 × 10−−14 J), while the rotational motion was imparted by the fluid shear stress (τ) within the velocity gradient (e. g., pollen shear stress, σt = ωµ where ω is the rotational velocity and µ is the dynamic viscosity, ranged from 3.4 × 10−−14 to 26 × 10−−14 Pa, and the average fluid shear stress was τ ≈ 10 × 10−−4 Pa; Ackerman, 1997, American Journal of Botany 84: 1099–1109). These results indicate that there is a greater potential for pollination by filamentous pollen relative to spherical pollen. Functionally, while spherical pollen needs to be directly upstream from stigmas to be captured, filamentous pollen need only be in the vicinity of inflorescences and flowers to be captured by stigmas. Thus, in addition to direct interception on stigmas, filamentous pollen can be captured while they rotate past flowers or when they are redirected through the velocity gradient towards flowers. Filamentous pollen is an adaptation to submarine pollination in seagrasses.
We document the pollination biology and mating systems of Neobuxbaumiamezcalaensis and Neobuxbaumia macrocephala, two Mexican giant columnarcacti. These two species form mixed forests in the western Tehuacan Valley,Mexico. The flowers of both N. mezcalaensis and N. macrocephala exhibitnocturnal anthesis, are self-incompatible, and are pollinated primarily bythree species of nectar-feeding bats (Choeronycteris mexicana,Leptonycteris curasoae, and Leptonycteris nivalis). Neobuxbaumiamezcalaensis i
s androdioecious, a breeding system that appears to beuncommon among Cactaceae. Neobuxbaumia macrocephala is hermaphroditic. Wehypothesize that columnar cacti show a geographical dichotomy in floralbiology specialization that probably can be related to predictability inpollinator abundance.
We investigated the functional significance of raised black spots on the ray florets of Gorteria diffusa (Asteraceae) in South Africa. Field observations showed that G. diffusa is pollinated by a small bee-fly, Megapalpus nitidus (Bombyliidae), which is strikingly similar to the raised spots that occur on some of the ray florets. Removal of the spots resulted in a significant decrease in the rate of fly visits to capitula, but did not significantly affect seed set. Replacement of the spots with
simple ink spots also significantly reduced the rate of pollinator visits, suggesting that flies respond to details in the structure of the spots. Investigations using scanning electron microscopy showed that the spots of G. diffusa consist of a complex of different cell types. Differences in epidermal sculpturing may partly explain the UV reflectance pattern of these spots, which is similar to that of the flies. Male flies are strongly attracted to the spots, as well as to other flies sitting in the capitula, although female flies also visit the capitula. We conclude that the spots of G. diffusa mimic resting flies, thereby eliciting mate-seeking and aggregation responses in fly pollinators. Similar dark spots have evolved in unrelated South African Gazania, Dimorphotheca, and Pelargonium species pollinated by bee-flies.
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, wa
s 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 • flower21 • night21. 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.
Pollination in the genus Pedilanthus is commonly effected by hummingbirds. Pollination by vespid wasps in Pedilanthus is documented for the first time based on observations of Pachodynerus nasidens and Eumenes americanus pollinating Pedilanthus diazlunanus. An hypothesis concerning the mechanism by which hummingbird pollination was replaced by insect pollination in Pedilanthus is advanced based on observations of insects on P. bracteatus.
The ability to produce seeds when pollinators or potential mates are scarce is thought to be one of the main advantages of self-fertilization in flowering plants. However, whether autonomous selfing increases seed set in natural populations has seldom been tested, and even fewer studies have evaluated the advantage of selfing across a gradient of pollen availability. This study examines the fertility consequences of autonomous selfing in Aquilegia canadensis (Ranunculaceae), a shortlived, spring
-flowering perennial typically found in small, patchy populations on rock outcrops. We used a pollinator exclusion experiment to confirm reports that A. canadensis has a well-developed capacity for autonomous selfing resulting from incomplete protogyny and close proximity of stigmas and anthers during dehiscence. Flowers excluded from pollinators set 87% as many seeds per carpel (X¯ 6 1 SE 5 7.1 6 1.4 seeds) as hand-pollinated flowers (8.1 6 1.3 seeds), and seed production in unpollinated flowers correlated negatively with the distance between stigmas and anthers (r 5 20.46). Autonomous selfing could be potentially valuable in providing reproductive assurance because only 2.7 6 0.5 pollen grains were deposited on each stigma before anther dehiscence, compared to 134.1 6 17.9 pollen grains by the end of anther dehiscence. However, prevention of autonomous selfing by anther removal before dehiscence did not decrease seed set, even for plants at low plant densities where outcross pollen may have been in short supply. Emasculated flowers set as many seeds per carpel (9.3 6 0.9) as intact flowers (8.4 6 1.1), indicating that sufficient cross pollen is deposited for full seed set. These results do not support the hypothesis that autonomous selfing by A. canadensis has been selected because it provides reproductive assurance.
Plant mating systems are known to vary within species and some immediate ecological factors have been found to be associated with the geographic distribution of selfing. The environmental condition of the maternal plant may influence the production of selfed seed relative to outcrossed seed. This study investigated the effect of late pollination on the mating system of Kalmia latifolia, a long-lived perennial shrub. A 2 × 2 experimental design was used to determine whether reproductive success d
eclines over the course of the flowering season and whether there was an interaction between pollination time (early vs. late in the season) and pollen type (self-fertilized vs. outcrossed). An interaction of this sort would indicate context-dependent fitness of selfed seeds compared to outcrossed seeds and, thus, show an ecological influence over a plant's mating system. Relative fitness was assessed in terms of female reproductive success. Timing of pollination did not affect abortion of outcrossed seeds; however, delay in pollination increased abortion of selfed seeds by 34.7%. Thus, it appears that plants selectively aborted selfed seeds rather than outcrossed seeds and this selection was more intense at the end of the season. An ecological factor such as time of pollination may affect the mating system of K. latifolia.
The Turonian flora from Sayreville New Jersey includes one of the world's most diverse assemblages of Cretaceous angiosperm flowers. This flora is made even more interesting by its association with a large insect fauna that is preserved by charcoalification as well as in amber. Floral diversity includes numerous representatives of Magnoliidae, Hamamelididae, Rosidae, Dilleniidae, and Asteridae (Ericales sensu lato). Included are hypogynous, five‐merous flowers with uniseriate hairs on the pedice
ls and stamens in bundles most frequently borne opposite the petals. There is considerable variation in filament length, and some filaments are branched. On some anthers, strands of residue, suggesting the former presence of a liquid of unknown nature, partially occlude the apparent zone of dehiscence. In other cases, open anthers are fully occluded by an amorphous substance. pollen is rarely found associated with anthers, but is common on stigmatic surfaces. pollen is prolate and tricolporate with reticulate micromorphology. The superior syncarpous ovary is five‐carpellate with axile/intruded parietal placentation and numerous anatropous ovules/carpel. Ovary partitions have closely spaced, parallel ascending channels (secretory canals?), and there are apparent secretory canals/cavities in receptacles, sepals, and petals. Individual stigmas are cuneiform with a central groove and eccentrically peltate. Styles are short and fused. In aggregate, the stigmas form a secondarily peltate stigma. Seeds have a reticulate sculpture pattern, a pronounced raphe, and funicular arils with sculpture similar to the seeds. phylogenetic analyses of several data matrices of extant taxa place this fossil in a monophyletic group with the modern genera Garcinia and Clusia within the Clusiaceae. As such, these fossils represent the earliest fossil evidence of the family Clusiaceae. Some modern Clusiaceae are notable, in particular, for their close relationship with meliponine and other highly derived bee pollinators; the fossil flowers share several characters that suggest a similar mode of pollination. This possibility is consistent with other floral and insect data from the same locality.
Abstract 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. Flow
ering 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.
Wind pollination was experimentally demonstrated in Linanthus parviflorus (Polemoniaceae), a predominantly beeflypollinated, self-incompatible annual. Seed set in plants enclosed in mesh tents that excluded pollinators but allowed airborne pollen flow provided evidence for wind pollination, and the extent of seed set due to wind pollination was compared to that in open-pollinated controls and pollen-supplemented treatments. Additional controls were included to test for possible confounding effec
ts of the mesh tent. Mean seed number in open-pollinated plants was 72.8–81.1% of that in pollensupplemented plants, while wind pollination alone produced 49.5–52.2%, a smaller but substantial proportion of seed set with pollen supplementation. Further evidence for wind pollination was found in a comparison of sites differing in the extent of wind exposure in two populations of L. parviflorus. Airborne pollen counts were higher in exposed sites than in protected sites, and the difference was marginally significant. Seed set was significantly pollen limited in protected sites, but not in exposed sites. Taken together, the data suggest that wind pollination provides some reproductive assurance in this obligately outcrossing species. Wind pollination is hypothesized to represent an alternative to selfing as an evolutionary solution to the problem of temporal or spatial variation in pollination visitation.
Pollination-related and time-dependent floral morphological changes occur in a diverse set of angiosperm taxa and appear to be particularly common in species occupying resource-limited environments. In deer weed (Lotus scoparius), such floral modifications include a color change from yellow to orange and a folding of the banner petal down over the keel. These changes are rapidly induced by pollination, but will also occur much more slowly without pollination. Orange flowers typically lack nectar
and pollen. We examined the reproductive success of these plants to test the hypothesis that retention of orange flowers increases pollinator visitation rate and fruit set while reducing costs to the pollinators. All of the common species of bee pollinators that visited deer weed easily distinguished between yellow and orange flowers at close range and preferentially probed yellow flowers. Retention of orange flowers by these plants resulted in a higher frequency of pollinator visits and a higher fruit set per flower than plants that lacked orange flowers. The number of flowers visited by each pollinator was lower on plants with a mixture of yellow and orange flowers, suggesting that the presence of orange flowers may reduce selfing. The possible selective pressures involved in the evolution of these mechanisms and their relation to stressful environments are also discussed.
Differences in pollen tube growth rates (certation) between heterospecific (foreign) and conspecific pollen may strongly influence whether hybrid offspring are produced after mixed pollen loads are delivered to a stigma. For both members of a sympatric species pair, Hibiscus moscheutos and H. laevis, pollination by pure loads of foreign pollen resulted in fruit set that was not significantly different from conspecific pollination, indicating that pure loads of foreign pollen could readily result
in hybrid offspring. However, the number of seeds per fruit from pure foreign pollinations was significantly less than that of pure conspecific pollination. Simultaneous mixed pollination resulted in a proportion of hybrid seeds (detected by an electrophoretic marker enzyme) that was significantly lower than expected based upon the capacity of foreign pollen to effect fertilization when applied in pure pollinations. After these 50/50% pollen mixtures were applied to stigmas, 8.0 and 7.4% hybrids were produced when H. moscheutos and H. laevis were the ovule parents, respectively. For these Hibiscus species, pollen competition appears to function as a barrier to hybridization that is of moderate intensity compared with similar barriers occurring between other recently studied sympatric species pairs.
Next Section Abstract Pollination biology, breeding system, and floral phenology of the columnar cactus Stenocereus stellatus were studied in wild, wild managed in situ and cultivated populations of central Mexico, in order to examine whether these aspects have been modified under domestication and whether they determine reproductive barriers between wild and manipulated individuals. Individuals of both wild and manipulated populations are self-incompatible, indicating that artificial selection
has not modified the breeding system. Their pollination biology is also similar. Anthesis is mainly nocturnal, with a peak of nectar production between 0200 and 0400 when the stigma presents maximum turgidity. Nocturnal visitors are the effective pollinators. Nearly 75% of flowers exposed for nocturnal pollination set fruit, while none of the flowers exposed for diurnal pollination produced fruits. The bats Leptonycteris curasoae, L. nivalis, and Choeronycteris mexicana (Glossophaginae) are the most likely pollinators, and their time of foraging is synchronized with the time of nectar production and stigma receptivity in S. stellatus. Bats potentially move pollen over a considerable distance, so there is apparently no spatial isolation to prevent pollen exchange between wild and cultivated populations. Phenological studies showed that there are also no apparent temporal barriers. However, manual cross pollination failed between some domesticated and wild phenotypes, suggesting that gene flow between wild and cultivated populations might be limited by pollen incompatibility.
Plant populations vary in density both naturally and as a consequence of anthropogenic impacts. Density in turn can influence pollination by animals. For example, plants in dense populations might enjoy more frequent visitation if pollinators forage most efficiently in such populations. We explored effects of plant density on pollination and seed set in the larkspur Delphinium nuttallianum and monkshood Aconitum columbianum. At our site in the Colorado Rocky Mountains, flowers of D. nuttallianum
are pollinated primarily by queen bumble bees, solitary bees, and hummingbirds, whereas those of A. columbianum are pollinated primarily by queen and worker bumble bees. We found that the quantity of pollination service to both species (pollinator visitation rate and pollen deposition) was at best weakly related to density. In contrast, seed set declined by approximately one-third in sparse populations relative to nearby dense populations. This decline may stem from the receipt of low-quality pollen, for example, inbred pollen. Alternatively, sparsity may indicate poor environmental conditions that lower seed set for reasons unrelated to pollination. Our results demonstrate the value of simultaneously exploring pollinator behavior, pollen receipt, and seed set in attempting to understand how the population context influences plant reproductive success.
Pollination ecology of an emergent tree species, Shorea (section Mutica) parvifolia (Dipterocarpaceae), was studied using the canopy observation system in a lowland dipterocarp forest in Sarawak, Malaysia, during a general flowering period in 1996. Although the species has been reported to be pollinated by thrips in Peninsular Malaysia, our observations of flower visitors and pollination experiments indicated that beetles (Chrysomelidae and Curculionidae, Coleoptera) contributed to pollination o
f S. parvifolia in Sarawak. Beetles accounted for 74% of the flower visitors collected by net-sweeping, and 30% of the beetles carried pollen, while thrips accounted for 16% of the visitors, and 12% of the thrips carried pollen. The apical parts of the petals and pollen served as a reward for the beetles. Thrips stayed inside the flower almost continuously after arrival, and movements among flowers were rare. Fruit set was significantly increased by introduction of beetles to bagged flowers, but not by introduction of thrips. Hand-pollination experiments and comparison of fruit set in untreated, bagged, and open flowers suggested that S. parvifolia was mainly outbreeding.
Lactoris fernandeziana, monotypic in its family, is endemic to the cloud forests of Robinson Crusoe Island. Although there has been considerable study of the relationships of Lactoris, as a rare species and as a putative primitive paleoherb, little is known of its reproductive biology. Knowledge of the latter is essential for effective conservation programs. The species is gynomonoecious. The overall proportion of flowers is ∼1 female:1 hermaphrodite. The inconspicuous semipe
ndulous green flowers, usually in mixed-gender inflorescences, do not produce rewards. Hermaphrodite flowers are herkogamous and protogynous. Pollen grains are shed from the extrorse anthers in permanent dry tetrads. There is a mean of 12879 tetrads per hermaphrodite flower. Both flower types bear an average of ∼18 ovules. The P/O (pollen/ovule) ratios imply facultative or obligate xenogamy, but hand pollinations show that Lactoris is self-compatible. No floral visitors were ever observed, but stigmata of open-pollinated flowers bore tetrads, and 64% of such styles had pollen tubes. Flowers enclosed in large mesh (1 mm) bags bore similar numbers of tetrads and pollen tubes. Thus, we conclude that Lactoris is anemophilous, a syndrome perhaps reflected by the P/O ratio. Low genetic diversity (isozymes and DNA) supports selfing and implies limited distance wind pollen dispersal. The small size of the island, the ± 1000 extant Lactoris plants, coupled with anemophily, self-compatibility, and pendant flower position, have yielded a geitonogamous system with high seed set and low genetic diversity. If inbreeding depression is expressed, it is in seed germination and seedling vigor, for Lactoris is very difficult to cultivate. For this species, effective conservation practices need to focus on habitat preservation and promotion of outcrossing.
The bilobed stigma of many species in the order Scrophulariales closes in response to touch by an animal pollinator. In hummingbird-pollinated bush monkey flower, Mimulus aurantiacus (Scrophulariaceae), closure is rapid, occurring within seconds of tactile stimulus. We investigated the proximate causes of stigma closure and subsequent reopening in M. aurantiacus, as well as potential costs and benefits of stigma closure for female fitness. Stigma closure is elicited by both touch and pollen, but
closure in response to pollen is much slower, requiring 0.5–1.5 h. Stigmata reopen within 2.5–4.5 h if touch, but no pollen, is applied. Upon receipt of pollen, most stigmata remain closed for the remaining lifetime of the flower, even if less pollen is received than is needed for full seed set. Those stigmata that do reopen after pollination generally require between 20 and 28 h to do so, much longer than for unpollinated stigmata. Reopening after pollination appears to be a response to low seed set rather than to low pollen load. Natural pollination of stigmata manipulated to prevent closure shows that closure does not increase capture of pollen or seed set. In fact, closure reduces the average pollen load received by flowers. Despite this, there is no evidence that stigma closure has any negative effect on female fitness in terms of seed set or germinability. Hypotheses for the adaptive significance of stigma closure are discussed. Understanding proximate causes of stigma closure and reopening is essential in the evaluation of these hypotheses.
We examined the function of floral traits associated with buzz pollination through studies of Rhexia virginica (Melastomataceae) in the Muskoka region of Ontario, Canada. Controlled pollinations demonstrated that the species is self-compatible, but dependent on insects for pollen transfer. Bumble bees made 82 and 90% of observed insect visits to R. virginica in 1996 and 1997, respectively, and effectively buzzed flowers. Buzz pollination did not appear to be highly “specialized”
since various species of bumble bee were capable of pollination, and pollen transfer efficiency appeared to be relatively low. Experimental manipulations provided little support for the hypothesis that the yellow color of melastome anthers mimics abundant pollen, thereby deceiving pollinators to visit regardless of whether most pollen has been removed. Fruit set averaged 52.6% among populations, owing largely to infrequent pollinator visits and pollen limitation. Flowers of R. virginica were infertile after a single day of anthesis, but petals were subsequently maintained for 1–2 d and stamens underwent a color change from bright yellow to red. Second-day flowers may function to increase floral display size and hence fertility, without a concomitant increase in pollen discounting. Studies of bumble bee foraging behavior and correlates of seed set provided indirect support for this hypothesis.
We investigated patterns of fruit and seed production on inflorescences of a population of Pancratium maritimum in northwest Spain over a 2-yr period. Initial findings showed that the earliest opening flowers on an inflorescence are more likely to set fruit and produce more seeds than later opening flowers and that this pattern is maintained throughout the flowering season. Supplementary pollination and flower-removal experiments were performed to investigate whether the observed pattern is attr
ibutable (a) to variation in pollen receipt, (b) to sequestration of resources by the earliest flowers on an inflorescence, and/or (c) to "architectural" limitations on the fruit/seed production of later flowers. Supplementary pollination did not improve fruit or seed production by late flowers in either