In the tropical dry forest of the central Pacific coast of Mexico the pollination and reproductive success of the bombacaceous tree Ceiba grandiflora was negatively affected by habitat disruption. Two of the three bat species that function as effective pollinators for this species (Glossophaga soricina and Musonycteris harrisoni) visited flowers found in trees in disturbed habitats significantly less than trees found in undisturbed habitats. A similar pattern was observed for the effective bat p
ollinator, Leptonycteris curasoae; however the difference was not significant. The three nectarivorous bats that functioned as effective pollinators of C. grandiflora also visited flowers to exclusively feed on pollen by biting or pulling off an anther (see Fig. S1 of Electronic Supplementary Material). The number of pollen grains deposited on stigmas from flowers in undisturbed areas was significantly greater than from flowers in disturbed habitats. The greater visitation rate and the greater number of pollen grains deposited on flowers from trees in undisturbed forest resulted in a significantly greater fruit set for trees in these areas. Our study demonstrates the negative effect that habitat disruption has on bat pollinators in tropical dry forest ecosystems and documents the negative consequences for the plants they pollinate.
The identity and behavior of pollinators are among the main factors that determine the reproductive success and mating system of plants; however, few studies have directly evaluated the relationship between pollinators and the breeding system of the plants they pollinate. It is important to document this relationship because the global decline in pollinators may significantly affect the breeding systems of many animal-pollinated plants, particularly specialized systems. Ceiba pentandra is a trop
ical tree that has chiropterophilic flowers and a variable breeding system throughout its distribution, ranging from fully self-incompatible, to a mixed system with different degrees of selfing. To determine if regional differences in pollinators may result in regional differences in the outcrossing rate of this species, we used systematic observations of pollinator behavior in two tropical life zones and high-resolution genetic analysis of the breeding system of populations from these two regions using microsatellites. We found a predominantly self-incompatible system in regions with high pollinator visitation, while in environments with low pollinator visitation rates, C. pentandra changed to a mixed mating system with high levels of self-pollination.
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 grou
p. 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.
In a recent literature review, we demonstrated that the evolution of floral traits is driven by adaptation to the most effective pollinators. In a critique of this study, Ollerton et al. 2015 claimed there were apparent flaws with data collection, analyses and interpretation of results. We disagree since many of OLT´s observations and recommendations are subjective and overlook basic aspects of meta-analysis. Here, we address the main criticisms of Ollerton et al 2015.