Pollination ecology and circadian patterns of inflorescence opening of the Madagascan climber Dalechampia aff. bernieri (Euphorbiaceae)

Marco Plebani, Olive Imanizabayo, Dennis M. Hansen, W. Scott Armbruster

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Abstract

Floral morphology often directly influences interactions with pollinators, but less is known about the role of extrafloral structures. We studied the relationship between bract motility, floral structural specialization and pollination in Dalechampia aff. bernieri, an endemic Madagascan species with floral structures indicating specialized buzz-pollination. We measured circadian bract angles in 47 inflorescences from 11 plants of D. aff. bernieri; in addition, we recorded any flower-visiting insects observed. The inflorescences had motile bracts with mean angles varying from ~50° at 00h00 to ~90° at 10h45. They were visited by buzz-pollinating Nomia viridilimbata bees (Halictidae), but also by non-buzz-pollinating Liotrigona bees (Apidae). The temporal pattern of bract motility observed in D. aff. bernieri may represent an extra-floral specialization to reduce visitation by non-pollinating visitors while maximizing visitation by diurnal buzz-pollinating bees.
Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)99-101
JournalJournal of Tropical Ecology
Volume31
Issue number1
Early online date8 Dec 2014
DOIs
Publication statusPublished - 1 Jan 2015

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