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Comparative Study on Flower Trait, Pollinator Visitation Rate and Seed Production of Two Pedicularis Species(PDF)

Chinese Journal of Applied & Environmental Biology[ISSN:1006-687X/CN:51-1482/Q]

2011 04
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Comparative Study on Flower Trait, Pollinator Visitation Rate and Seed Production of Two Pedicularis Species
YUAN Yibin MU Junpeng PENG Youhong SUN Shucun
(ECORES Lab, Chengdu Institute of Biology, Chinese Academy of Sciences, Chengdu 610041, China)
Pedicularis flower trait reproductive success mimicry alpine meadow Zoige Plateau

Pedicularis species display high variation in their flower sizes and shapes on alpine meadows. In order to explore whether the flower morphologies are associated with their reproductive strategies among the species, and to test whether the mimicry functioned to avoid birds and/or herbivore visit and attract insect pollinators, flower trait, nectar volume, pollinator visitation rate, and seed output were investigated for a short-tubed, toothed species (Pedicularis polyodonta) and a long-tube, beaked species (P. armata) on Zoige Plateau, Sichuan, China. In particular, flowers of the former species have bird head-like corollas, making the plants look like a flock of birds foraging on ground, and appearing to be a type of mimicry. It was found that P. polyodonta had fewer and smaller flowers with a larger volume of nectar, and its flowers were more frequently visited by bees and with more fruit set. P. polyodonta had more and smaller seeds than did P. armata. However, the two Pedicularis species did not differ in seed output per flower, suggesting that the reproductive successes of P. polyodonta and P. armata are primarily dependent upon flower quality (as indicated by nectar volume) and quantity (as indicated by flower number per individual), respectively. In addition, there was no significant difference in locusts’ feeding preference between P. polyodonta populations with or without the bird head-like corollars, suggesting that the mimicry did not prevent insect herbivores. Bird visitation rate was higher, but bee visitation rate was lower in P. armata than P. polyodonta stands, suggesting that the mimicry might be helpful to attracting bees but preventing birds visit. Fig 2, Tab 1, Ref 37


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Last Update: 2011-08-16