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Daily rhythm of mutualistic pollinator activity and scent emission in Ficus septica: ecological differentiation between co-occurring pollinators and potential consequences for chemical communication and facilitation of host speciation.

Conchou L, Cabioch L, Rodriguez LJ, Kjellberg F - PLoS ONE (2014)

Bottom Line: Most Ficus species are locally associated with a single specific agaonid wasp species.Our results suggest that their coexistence is facilitated by divergent ecological traits.Whether such situations may lead to host plant speciation is an open question.

View Article: PubMed Central - PubMed

Affiliation: CEFE UMR 5175, CNRS - Université de Montpellier - Université Paul-Valéry Montpellier - EPHE, Montpellier, France.

ABSTRACT
The mutualistic interaction between Ficus and their pollinating agaonid wasps constitutes an extreme example of plant-insect co-diversification. Most Ficus species are locally associated with a single specific agaonid wasp species. Specificity is ensured by each fig species emitting a distinctive attractive scent. However, cases of widespread coexistence of two agaonid wasp species on the same Ficus species are documented. Here we document the coexistence of two agaonid wasp species in Ficus septica: one yellow-colored and one black-colored. Our results suggest that their coexistence is facilitated by divergent ecological traits. The black species is longer-lived (a few more hours) and is hence active until later in the afternoon. Some traits of the yellow species must compensate for this advantage for their coexistence to be stable. In addition, we show that the composition of the scent emitted by receptive figs changes between sunrise and noon. The two species may therefore be exposed to somewhat different ranges of receptive fig scent composition and may consequently diverge in the way they perceive and/or respond to scents. Whether such situations may lead to host plant speciation is an open question.

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Colonization by pollinators of Ficus septica receptive figs whose accessibility has been manipulated.Number of yellow (light grey) and black (dark grey) foundresses found inside figs that have been left accessible to pollination for the whole day or in the afternoon only. Raw data provided as Table S2.
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pone-0103581-g002: Colonization by pollinators of Ficus septica receptive figs whose accessibility has been manipulated.Number of yellow (light grey) and black (dark grey) foundresses found inside figs that have been left accessible to pollination for the whole day or in the afternoon only. Raw data provided as Table S2.

Mentions: The figs that had been left accessible to wasps all day long contained many more yellow foundresses at the end of the experimental day than those that had been left accessible only during the afternoon (Wilcoxon rank sum test: W = 815, p<0.001, Figure 2). On the contrary, the number of black foundresses that had entered the figs did not differ according to their period of accessibility (W = 357.5, p = 0.35, Figure 2). The mean proportion of black wasps was significantly higher in figs left accessible only during the afternoon (whole day: 5+/−9% black wasps; afternoon: 34+/−28% black wasps; generalized linear model with quasibinomial distribution: t = −3.43, p = 0.0011). An interpretation of these results is that decreased pollinator densities in the afternoon in natural conditions could be due to a rapid loss of fig attractiveness once pollinated. We propose that when some figs remained attractive in the afternoon, black pollinators were more efficient at colonizing them probably because of their longer lifespan. Because wasp lifespan should be counted in hours, the longer longevity of black pollinators should enable them to colonize more distant host trees.


Daily rhythm of mutualistic pollinator activity and scent emission in Ficus septica: ecological differentiation between co-occurring pollinators and potential consequences for chemical communication and facilitation of host speciation.

Conchou L, Cabioch L, Rodriguez LJ, Kjellberg F - PLoS ONE (2014)

Colonization by pollinators of Ficus septica receptive figs whose accessibility has been manipulated.Number of yellow (light grey) and black (dark grey) foundresses found inside figs that have been left accessible to pollination for the whole day or in the afternoon only. Raw data provided as Table S2.
© Copyright Policy
Related In: Results  -  Collection

License
Show All Figures
getmorefigures.php?uid=PMC4126690&req=5

pone-0103581-g002: Colonization by pollinators of Ficus septica receptive figs whose accessibility has been manipulated.Number of yellow (light grey) and black (dark grey) foundresses found inside figs that have been left accessible to pollination for the whole day or in the afternoon only. Raw data provided as Table S2.
Mentions: The figs that had been left accessible to wasps all day long contained many more yellow foundresses at the end of the experimental day than those that had been left accessible only during the afternoon (Wilcoxon rank sum test: W = 815, p<0.001, Figure 2). On the contrary, the number of black foundresses that had entered the figs did not differ according to their period of accessibility (W = 357.5, p = 0.35, Figure 2). The mean proportion of black wasps was significantly higher in figs left accessible only during the afternoon (whole day: 5+/−9% black wasps; afternoon: 34+/−28% black wasps; generalized linear model with quasibinomial distribution: t = −3.43, p = 0.0011). An interpretation of these results is that decreased pollinator densities in the afternoon in natural conditions could be due to a rapid loss of fig attractiveness once pollinated. We propose that when some figs remained attractive in the afternoon, black pollinators were more efficient at colonizing them probably because of their longer lifespan. Because wasp lifespan should be counted in hours, the longer longevity of black pollinators should enable them to colonize more distant host trees.

Bottom Line: Most Ficus species are locally associated with a single specific agaonid wasp species.Our results suggest that their coexistence is facilitated by divergent ecological traits.Whether such situations may lead to host plant speciation is an open question.

View Article: PubMed Central - PubMed

Affiliation: CEFE UMR 5175, CNRS - Université de Montpellier - Université Paul-Valéry Montpellier - EPHE, Montpellier, France.

ABSTRACT
The mutualistic interaction between Ficus and their pollinating agaonid wasps constitutes an extreme example of plant-insect co-diversification. Most Ficus species are locally associated with a single specific agaonid wasp species. Specificity is ensured by each fig species emitting a distinctive attractive scent. However, cases of widespread coexistence of two agaonid wasp species on the same Ficus species are documented. Here we document the coexistence of two agaonid wasp species in Ficus septica: one yellow-colored and one black-colored. Our results suggest that their coexistence is facilitated by divergent ecological traits. The black species is longer-lived (a few more hours) and is hence active until later in the afternoon. Some traits of the yellow species must compensate for this advantage for their coexistence to be stable. In addition, we show that the composition of the scent emitted by receptive figs changes between sunrise and noon. The two species may therefore be exposed to somewhat different ranges of receptive fig scent composition and may consequently diverge in the way they perceive and/or respond to scents. Whether such situations may lead to host plant speciation is an open question.

Show MeSH