Nectar production, reproductive success and the evolution of generalised pollination within a specialised pollen-rewarding plant family: a case study using Miconia theizans

Vinícius L G de Brito, André R Rech, Jeff Ollerton, Marlies Sazima

Research output: Contribution to JournalArticle

Abstract

Generalist plant-pollinator interactions are prevalent in nature. Here, we untangle the role of nectar production in the visitation and pollen release/deposition in Miconia theizans, a nectar rewarding plant within the specialised pollen rewarding plant family Melastomataceae. We described the visitation rate, nectar dynamics and pollen release from the poricidal anthers and deposition onto stigmas during flower anthesis. Afterwards, we used a linear mixed model selection approach to understand the relationship between pollen and nectar availability and insect visitation rate, and the relationship between visitation rate and reproductive success. Miconia theizans was visited by 86 insect species, including buzzing and non-buzzing bees, wasps, flies, hoverflies, ants, beetles, hemipterans, cockroaches, and butterflies. The nectar produced explained the visitation rate, and the pollen release from the anthers was best explained by the visitation rate of pollinivorous species. However, the visitation rates could not predict pollen deposition onto stigmas. Nectar production may explain the high insect diversity and led to an increase in reproductive success, even with unpredictable pollen deposition, indicating the adaptive value of a generalised pollination system.
Original languageEnglish
JournalPlant Systematics and Evolution
Volume303
Issue number6
Early online date30 Mar 2017
DOIs
Publication statusPublished - 1 Jun 2017

Keywords

  • Generalisation
  • Melastomataceae
  • Miconia theizans Cogn.
  • nectar dynamics
  • pollination syndromes
  • reproductive success

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