Oecologia

, Volume 104, Issue 2, pp 234–245

The effect of wild radish floral morphology on pollination efficiency by four taxa of pollinators

  • Jeffrey K. Conner
  • Rachel Davis
  • Scott Rush
Original Paper

DOI: 10.1007/BF00328588

Cite this article as:
Conner, J.K., Davis, R. & Rush, S. Oecologia (1995) 104: 234. doi:10.1007/BF00328588

Abstract

The effects of floral morphology on rates of pollen removal and deposition by different pollinators in generalist plant species are not well known. We studied pollination dynamics in wild radish, Raphanus raphanistrum, a plant visited by four groups of pollinators: honey bees, small native bees, butterflies, and syrphyd flies. The effects of anther position and other factors on pollen removal during single visits by all four pollinator taxa were measured. Flowers with high anther exsertion (i.e., anthers placed higher above the opening of the corolla tube) tended to have the highest numbers of pollen grains removed, but this effect was strongest for honey bees and butterflies. For all pollinator taxa, pollen removal increased with the number of pollen grains available on a flower and whowed a positive, decelerating relationship with the duration of the visit. The effects of stigma position and other factors on pollen deposition during single visits by honey bees and butterflies were also studied. The nectar-feeding butterflies had a higher pollination efficiency (percentage of pollen grains removed from anthers that were subsequently deposited on a stigma) than the nectar- and pollen-feeding honey bees. Flowers with intermediate stigma exsertion had the highest numbers of pollen grains deposited on their stigmas by butterflies, but stigma exsertion had no effect on deposition by honey bees. For both butterflies and honey bees, pollen deposition on the recipient flower increased with the amount of pollen removed from the donor flower, and there was a positive, decelerating relationship between deposition and time spent at the flower; these results are analogous to those for pollen removal. The effects of anther and stigma exsertion on pollen removal and denosition did not fit predictions based on patterns of floral correlations, but results for morphology, pollen availability, time spent per visit, and pollinator efficiency are in broad agreement with previous studies, suggesting the possible emergence of some general rules of pollen transfer.

Key words

Raphanus raphanistrum Pollination efficiency Floral morphology Floral correlations Anther and stigma exsertion 

Copyright information

© Springer-Verlag 1995

Authors and Affiliations

  • Jeffrey K. Conner
    • 1
  • Rachel Davis
    • 1
  • Scott Rush
    • 1
  1. 1.Department of Ecology, Ethology, and EvolutionUniversity of Illinois, Shelford VivariumChampaignUSA

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