Exploring the 'most effective pollinator principle' with complex flowers: Bumblebees and Ipomopsis aggregata

Mayfield, M. M., Waser, N. M. and Price, M. V. (2001) Exploring the 'most effective pollinator principle' with complex flowers: Bumblebees and Ipomopsis aggregata. Annals of Botany, 88 4: 591-596. doi:10.1006/anbo.2001.1500


Author Mayfield, M. M.
Waser, N. M.
Price, M. V.
Title Exploring the 'most effective pollinator principle' with complex flowers: Bumblebees and Ipomopsis aggregata
Journal name Annals of Botany   Check publisher's open access policy
ISSN 0305-7364
Publication date 2001-01-01
Sub-type Article (original research)
DOI 10.1006/anbo.2001.1500
Volume 88
Issue 4
Start page 591
End page 596
Total pages 6
Place of publication London
Publisher Academic Press Ltd
Language eng
Subject 270400 Botany
Abstract The 'most effective pollinator principle' implies that floral characteristics often reflect adaptation to the pollinator that transfers the most pollen, through a combination of high rate of visitation to flowers and effective deposition of pollen during each visit. We looked for the expected positive correlation between quantity and quality of visits in lpomopsis aggregata, whose red, tubular flowers are considered to be adapted to hummingbirds. Hummingbirds were indeed the most common floral visitors in 5 years of observation. However, long-tongued bumblebees deposited on average three-times as much outcross pollen per visit to virgin flowers, and elicited four-times as much seed production, as did hummingbirds. Hence visitors that are relatively infrequent, and unexpected given the 'pollination syndrome' of the plant, can be surprisingly good pollinators. One interpretation of this observation is that natural selection favours a specialized floral morphology that excludes all but a single type of visitor, but that there are constraints on achieving this outcome. An alternative is that selection favours some degree of floral generalization, but that flowers can retain features that adapt them to a particular type of pollinator in spite of this generalization. (C) 2001 Annals of Botany Company.
Keyword Plant Sciences
bumblebees
floral evolution
hummingbirds
Ipomopsis aggregata
pollination syndromes
pollinator effectiveness
scarlet gilia
seed set
specialization
temporal variation
Hummingbird
Selection
Specialization
Evolution
Quality
Polemoniaceae
Mechanisms
Components
Morphology
Assemblage
Q-Index Code C1
Q-Index Status Provisional Code
Institutional Status Unknown

Document type: Journal Article
Sub-type: Article (original research)
Collections: School of Biological Sciences Publications
Ecology Centre Publications
 
Versions
Version Filter Type
Citation counts: TR Web of Science Citation Count  Cited 104 times in Thomson Reuters Web of Science Article | Citations
Scopus Citation Count Cited 106 times in Scopus Article | Citations
Google Scholar Search Google Scholar
Created: Sat, 29 Mar 2008, 01:12:05 EST