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Florivory and pollinator visitation: a cautionary tale

View Article: PubMed Central - PubMed

ABSTRACT

Floral herbivory can make flowers less attractive to pollinators. To study the effect of floral herbivory on pollination in the hummingbird-pollinated sticky monkeyflower, we conducted field observations and experiments. We used two indicators of pollinator visitation: stigma closure and the presence of microorganisms in floral nectar. The field observations revealed that stigma closure was less frequent in damaged flowers than in intact flowers. In the experiments, however, floral damage did not decrease stigma closure or microbial detection. These results tell a cautionary tale: a negative association between florivory and pollinator visitation can be observed without florivory affecting pollinator visitation.

No MeSH data available.


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Photographs showing (A) a flower with natural damage by florivorous insects and (B) an example of paired flowers, with one intact and one experimentally damaged. Photo credit: P. Garvey and M. Dhami.
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plw036-F2: Photographs showing (A) a flower with natural damage by florivorous insects and (B) an example of paired flowers, with one intact and one experimentally damaged. Photo credit: P. Garvey and M. Dhami.

Mentions: We recorded stigma closure (open or closed), flower damage (observed primarily on petals, and not the rest of the floral organs, including the stigma) and the age of flowers (young, middle-aged or old) from a total of 500 haphazardly selected flowers on 60 individuals at 8 sites in northern California (Fig. 1 and Table 1), between 30 June and 16 July 2015. We recorded the extent of floral damage for each flower we observed (i.e. intact, partially damaged, half damaged, heavily damaged), but we did not find any significant effect of the floral damage extent on pollination, so we focused on the presence or the absence of damage (i.e. intact or damaged) in the analyses presented in this paper. For data collection at each site, we haphazardly chose plants along roads and selected 6–15 flowers from each of the plants. We did not directly confirm that all of the damage on each flower we sampled for this study was actually caused by florivores. However, our extensive observations at one site (Jasper Ridge Biological Preserve of Stanford University) indicated that many, if not all, instances of floral damage, which left holes and bits of variable sizes (Fig. 2A), were caused by insect florivores, such as katydids, grasshoppers and lepidopteran larvae.Figure 1.


Florivory and pollinator visitation: a cautionary tale
Photographs showing (A) a flower with natural damage by florivorous insects and (B) an example of paired flowers, with one intact and one experimentally damaged. Photo credit: P. Garvey and M. Dhami.
© Copyright Policy - creative-commons
Related In: Results  -  Collection

License
Show All Figures
getmorefigures.php?uid=PMC4940504&req=5

plw036-F2: Photographs showing (A) a flower with natural damage by florivorous insects and (B) an example of paired flowers, with one intact and one experimentally damaged. Photo credit: P. Garvey and M. Dhami.
Mentions: We recorded stigma closure (open or closed), flower damage (observed primarily on petals, and not the rest of the floral organs, including the stigma) and the age of flowers (young, middle-aged or old) from a total of 500 haphazardly selected flowers on 60 individuals at 8 sites in northern California (Fig. 1 and Table 1), between 30 June and 16 July 2015. We recorded the extent of floral damage for each flower we observed (i.e. intact, partially damaged, half damaged, heavily damaged), but we did not find any significant effect of the floral damage extent on pollination, so we focused on the presence or the absence of damage (i.e. intact or damaged) in the analyses presented in this paper. For data collection at each site, we haphazardly chose plants along roads and selected 6–15 flowers from each of the plants. We did not directly confirm that all of the damage on each flower we sampled for this study was actually caused by florivores. However, our extensive observations at one site (Jasper Ridge Biological Preserve of Stanford University) indicated that many, if not all, instances of floral damage, which left holes and bits of variable sizes (Fig. 2A), were caused by insect florivores, such as katydids, grasshoppers and lepidopteran larvae.Figure 1.

View Article: PubMed Central - PubMed

ABSTRACT

Floral herbivory can make flowers less attractive to pollinators. To study the effect of floral herbivory on pollination in the hummingbird-pollinated sticky monkeyflower, we conducted field observations and experiments. We used two indicators of pollinator visitation: stigma closure and the presence of microorganisms in floral nectar. The field observations revealed that stigma closure was less frequent in damaged flowers than in intact flowers. In the experiments, however, floral damage did not decrease stigma closure or microbial detection. These results tell a cautionary tale: a negative association between florivory and pollinator visitation can be observed without florivory affecting pollinator visitation.

No MeSH data available.


Related in: MedlinePlus