Pollination ecology of the invasive tree tobacco Nicotiana glauca: comparisons across native and non-native ranges

Jeff Ollerton, Stella Watts, Shawn Connerty, Julia Lock, Leah Parker, Ian Wilson, Sheila Schueller, Julieta Nattero, Andrea A Cocucci, Ido Izhaki, Sjirk Geerts, Anton Pauw, Jane C Stout

Research output: Contribution to JournalArticle

Abstract

Interactions with pollinators are thought to play a significant role in determining whether plant species become invasive, and ecologically generalised species are predicted to be more likely to invade than more specialised species. Using published and unpublished data we assessed the floral biology and pollination ecology of the South American native Nicotiana glauca (Solanaceae) which has become a significant invasive of semi-arid parts of the world. In regions where specialised bird pollinators are available, for example hummingbirds in California and sunbirds in South Africa and Israel, N. glauca interacts with these local pollinators and sets seed by both out-crossing and selfing. In areas where there are no such birds, such as the Canary Islands and Greece, abundant viable seed is set by selfing, facilitated by the shorter stigma-anther distance compared to plants in native populations. Surprisingly, in these areas without pollinating birds, the considerable nectar resources are only rarely exploited by other flower visitors such as bees or butterflies, either legitimately or by nectar robbing. We conclude that Nicotiana glauca is a successful invasive species outside of its native range, despite its functionally specialised hummingbird pollination system, because it has evolved to become more frequently self pollinating in areas where it is introduced. Its invasion success is not predictable from what is known of its interactions with pollinators in its home range.
Original languageEnglish
JournalJournal of Pollination Ecology
Volume9
Publication statusPublished - 1 Jan 2012

Fingerprint

Nicotiana glauca
pollinating insects
pollination
ecology
hummingbirds
selfing
invasive species
birds
nectar robbing
colonizing ability
Canary Islands
Solanaceae
outcrossing
seed set
stigma
nectar
butterflies
anthers
Israel
Greece

Keywords

  • Argentina
  • California
  • Canary Islands
  • Greece
  • Israel
  • Peru
  • Solanaceae
  • South Africa
  • hummingbird
  • invasive species
  • mutualism
  • pollination
  • sunbird

Cite this

Ollerton, Jeff ; Watts, Stella ; Connerty, Shawn ; Lock, Julia ; Parker, Leah ; Wilson, Ian ; Schueller, Sheila ; Nattero, Julieta ; Cocucci, Andrea A ; Izhaki, Ido ; Geerts, Sjirk ; Pauw, Anton ; Stout, Jane C. / Pollination ecology of the invasive tree tobacco Nicotiana glauca: comparisons across native and non-native ranges. In: Journal of Pollination Ecology. 2012 ; Vol. 9.
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Ollerton, J, Watts, S, Connerty, S, Lock, J, Parker, L, Wilson, I, Schueller, S, Nattero, J, Cocucci, AA, Izhaki, I, Geerts, S, Pauw, A & Stout, JC 2012, 'Pollination ecology of the invasive tree tobacco Nicotiana glauca: comparisons across native and non-native ranges', Journal of Pollination Ecology, vol. 9.

Pollination ecology of the invasive tree tobacco Nicotiana glauca: comparisons across native and non-native ranges. / Ollerton, Jeff; Watts, Stella; Connerty, Shawn; Lock, Julia; Parker, Leah; Wilson, Ian; Schueller, Sheila; Nattero, Julieta; Cocucci, Andrea A; Izhaki, Ido; Geerts, Sjirk; Pauw, Anton; Stout, Jane C.

In: Journal of Pollination Ecology, Vol. 9, 01.01.2012.

Research output: Contribution to JournalArticle

TY - JOUR

T1 - Pollination ecology of the invasive tree tobacco Nicotiana glauca: comparisons across native and non-native ranges

AU - Ollerton, Jeff

AU - Watts, Stella

AU - Connerty, Shawn

AU - Lock, Julia

AU - Parker, Leah

AU - Wilson, Ian

AU - Schueller, Sheila

AU - Nattero, Julieta

AU - Cocucci, Andrea A

AU - Izhaki, Ido

AU - Geerts, Sjirk

AU - Pauw, Anton

AU - Stout, Jane C

PY - 2012/1/1

Y1 - 2012/1/1

N2 - Interactions with pollinators are thought to play a significant role in determining whether plant species become invasive, and ecologically generalised species are predicted to be more likely to invade than more specialised species. Using published and unpublished data we assessed the floral biology and pollination ecology of the South American native Nicotiana glauca (Solanaceae) which has become a significant invasive of semi-arid parts of the world. In regions where specialised bird pollinators are available, for example hummingbirds in California and sunbirds in South Africa and Israel, N. glauca interacts with these local pollinators and sets seed by both out-crossing and selfing. In areas where there are no such birds, such as the Canary Islands and Greece, abundant viable seed is set by selfing, facilitated by the shorter stigma-anther distance compared to plants in native populations. Surprisingly, in these areas without pollinating birds, the considerable nectar resources are only rarely exploited by other flower visitors such as bees or butterflies, either legitimately or by nectar robbing. We conclude that Nicotiana glauca is a successful invasive species outside of its native range, despite its functionally specialised hummingbird pollination system, because it has evolved to become more frequently self pollinating in areas where it is introduced. Its invasion success is not predictable from what is known of its interactions with pollinators in its home range.

AB - Interactions with pollinators are thought to play a significant role in determining whether plant species become invasive, and ecologically generalised species are predicted to be more likely to invade than more specialised species. Using published and unpublished data we assessed the floral biology and pollination ecology of the South American native Nicotiana glauca (Solanaceae) which has become a significant invasive of semi-arid parts of the world. In regions where specialised bird pollinators are available, for example hummingbirds in California and sunbirds in South Africa and Israel, N. glauca interacts with these local pollinators and sets seed by both out-crossing and selfing. In areas where there are no such birds, such as the Canary Islands and Greece, abundant viable seed is set by selfing, facilitated by the shorter stigma-anther distance compared to plants in native populations. Surprisingly, in these areas without pollinating birds, the considerable nectar resources are only rarely exploited by other flower visitors such as bees or butterflies, either legitimately or by nectar robbing. We conclude that Nicotiana glauca is a successful invasive species outside of its native range, despite its functionally specialised hummingbird pollination system, because it has evolved to become more frequently self pollinating in areas where it is introduced. Its invasion success is not predictable from what is known of its interactions with pollinators in its home range.

KW - Argentina

KW - California

KW - Canary Islands

KW - Greece

KW - Israel

KW - Peru

KW - Solanaceae

KW - South Africa

KW - hummingbird

KW - invasive species

KW - mutualism

KW - pollination

KW - sunbird

M3 - Article

VL - 9

JO - Journal of Pollination Ecology

JF - Journal of Pollination Ecology

SN - 1920-7603

ER -