Roles of nectar robbers in reproduction of the tropical treelet Quassia amara (Simaroubaceae)
Different subsets of mainland nectarivores visited Quassia amara (Simaroubaceae), a self-compatible, predominately bird-pollinated treelet, at three islands and the mainland in Panamá. Factors correlated with reproductive success, defined as seed to ovule ratio, included the species pollinating and robbing flowers, visitor activity, pollinator response to nectar robbing, and internal regulation of fruit production. The absence of robbers and former pollinators on an island separated from the mainland during the holocene was associated with shifts in flower size, nectar production, and 3–4fold increases in population reproductive success and pollinator efficiency (=seeds produced per visit). Exclusion of robbers at three sites resulted in seed production 4–12 times greater than control flowers, at which robbers accounted for 52–98% of all visits. Although 36% of buds and over 83% of all flowers were robbed, this had no direct influence on the recorded 36–61% respective abortion rates of buds and flowers. Opportunistic avian robbers appeared where normal robbers were absent; three avian robbers extensively used floral perforations made by Trigona bees, and all ancillary pollinators also robbed. Selection pressures from nectar robbers are discussed that may relate to plant reproductive fitness.
- 1 - sciences appliquees, technologies et medecines
- 2 - sciences biologiques et medicales
- 3 - sciences biologiques fondamentales et appliquees. psychologie
- 4 - ecologie animale, vegetale et microbienne
- 1 - Life Sciences ; 2 - Agricultural and Biological Sciences ; 3 - Ecology, Evolution, Behavior and Systematics