Effects of inflorescence size on visits from pollinators and seed set of Corydalis ambigua (Papaveraceae)
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- Ohara, M. & Higashi, S. Oecologia (1994) 98: 25. doi:10.1007/BF00326086
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Female reproductive success (seed set) of a spring ephemeral plant, Corydalis ambigua Cham. et schlecht (Papaveraceae) was investigated in relation to inflorescence size and foraging behavior (frequency and duration of visitations) by pollinators (namely, overwintered queens of Bombus hypocrita sapporensis) by detailed daily observations of a natural population. Pollination experiments indicated that C. ambigua is self-incompatible and that seed set was significantly affected by the behavior of the pollinating queens. Plants with larger inflorescences were visited more often than those with fewer flowers. Fecundity also increased with increasing size of inflorescences. Visitation time (duration of foraging) rather than the frequency of visitations (number of visits) was critical for higher fecundity. Seed production was strongly enhanced by a few long visits (of more than 60 s), and seemed to be independent of large numbers of short visits (of less than 60 s). Hence, plants with larger inflorescences, which provide a conspicuous signal to pollinators and offer greater rewards in terms of nectar, received longer visits by B. hypocrita sapporensis queens and those plants exhibited higher fecundity.