Zhang, Yanwen .
Nectar thieves influence reproductive fitness by altering behavior of nectar robbers and legitimate pollinators in Corydalis ambigua (Fumaricaceae).
Premise of the study: Interactions between nectar robbers, legitimate pollinators and nectar thieves competing for the same nectar resources may potentially affect the pollination pattern and reproductive success of the host plants. To better understand the net effect of such interactions on fitness which may shape the evolution of plant and floral design, floral visitor behavior was studied in a self-incompatible ephemeral perennial herb, Corydalis ambigua, in Northeast China.Methods: Nectar robbing and nectar thieving rates in natural populations were investigated in 9 populations in Northeast of China in three consecutive study years. We also investigated the visiting behavior of nectar robbers, legitimate pollinators, and nectar thieves to the host plants. Pollen load patterns and reproductive success of the host species were examined in two years.Key results: Since nectar robbers avoided visiting nectar thieved flowers, there was a negative relationship between the frequencies of nectar thieved and nectar robbed flowers in the 9 natural populations investigated. Moreover, honeybees reduced the frequency of visits to nectar thieved flowers and only visited robbed flowers as secondary robbers. Consequently, host plants exhibited reduced seed production due to limited pollen. The flower visit models from different visitors influenced stigmatic pollen load patterns and further affected reproductive output of the species.Conclusions: Our study provides evidence that plant-animal interactions in most systems are complex and may include several kinds of interactions occurring simultaneously. Larcenists can influence floral evolution in concert or in opposition to selection by pollinators. The phenomenon of floral larceny may not only have an impact on plant population growth and community level interactions, but it may also influence the stability of the web of plant pollinator interactions.
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1 - Eastern Liaoning University, Biology, 325 Wenhua Road, Yuanbao District, Dandong 118003，Liaoning, P.R.China, Dandong,liaoning, N/A, 180003, China
Presentation Type: Poster:Posters for Topics
Location: Battelle South/Convention Center
Date: Monday, July 9th, 2012
Time: 5:30 PM