Plant Animal Interactions


, Volume 107, Issue 4, pp 504-512

First online:

Components of pollination effectiveness in Psychotria suerrensis, a tropical distylous shrub

  • Judy L. StoneAffiliated withDepartment of Ecology and Evolution, State University of New York at Stony Brook

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In this paper I report components of effectiveness for pollinators of a tropical distylous shrub, Psychotria suerrensis (Rubiaceae), which is visited by a variety of bees, wasps, and butterflies, and by two species of hummingbirds. In the field, I measured the following components of effectiveness: frequency of visits, evenness of visits across plants, and diurnal pattern of visits. I also used flight-cage experiments to compare pollentransfer abilities of euglossine bees and heliconiid butterflies. Euglossine bees visited more frequently, visited earlier in the day, and visited a higher proportion of plants in the population than did other taxa. In flight cage experiments, bees and butterflies transferred similar amounts of pollen overall, but bees transferred significantly more inter-morph (compatible) pollen. For each component measured, euglossine bees appeared to be the most effective pollinators.

Key words

Distyly Euglossine bee Heliconiid butterfly Pollinator effectiveness Psychotria