Advertisement

Plant Ecology

, Volume 219, Issue 8, pp 927–939 | Cite as

Reproductive ecology of Agave colorata: the importance of nectar-feeding bats and the germination consequences of self-pollination

  • Dalia Berenice Borbón-Palomares
  • Flora Laborin-Sivirian
  • Clara Tinoco-Ojanguren
  • M. Cristina Peñalba
  • Ivonne Reyes-Ortega
  • Francisco Molina-Freaner
Article

Abstract

Agave colorata is a paniculate agave distributed along the migratory route of the nectar-feeding bat Leptonycteris yerbabuenae. In this paper, we evaluate the importance of nectar-feeding bats in the reproduction of A. colorata in a population in Sonora, Mexico, and describe the germination consequences of self-pollination. We estimated abundance using five plots and set pollination treatments to evaluate the importance of bats. We recorded 14.8 ± 6.8 plants/400 m2, with a bimodal size distribution. Flowers are protandrous and visited mainly (> 20 visits/plant/30 min) by L. yerbabuenae. Pollination exclusion experiments showed that flowers excluded from diurnal visitors had maximum fruit set values (0.49 ± 0.42), while the autonomous self-pollination treatment had the lowest value (0.03 ± 0.06). Similarly, the greatest number of viable seeds per fruit was recorded in the diurnal exclusion treatment, while the greatest number of empty seeds was observed in the self-pollination treatment. Fruit set values among untreated plants varied from 32 to 54%, with a mean value of 41.8%. Seeds derived from self-pollination had a narrower window of opportunity for germination compared to seeds derived from nocturnal pollination. Self-pollinated seeds had lower germination, rate of germination or lag time in response to light, osmotic potential and heat shock treatments, compared to other pollination treatments, revealing an inbreeding cost. Overall, our results show that L. yerbabuenae is the likely major pollinator of the studied A. colorata population. However, under pollinator limitation A. colorata may produce seeds by autonomous self-pollination, at a cost expressed as lower germination.

Keywords

Sonoran Desert Bat pollination Agave germination Agave pollen 

Notes

Acknowledgements

We thank Jose Martinez, Anabel Diaz, Maria Esther Sanchez-Coronado and Sandra Rocha for field and laboratory assistance.

References

  1. Arizaga S, Ezcurra E, Peters E, Ramirez de Arellano F, Vega E (2000) Pollination ecology of Agave macroacantha (Agavaceae) in a Mexican tropical desert. I. Floral biology and pollination mechanisms. Am J Bot 87:1004–1010CrossRefPubMedGoogle Scholar
  2. Baskin JM, Baskin CC (2015) Inbreeding depression and the cost of inbreeding on seed germination. Seed Sci Res 25:355–385CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  3. Bauer S, Hoye BJ (2014) Migratory animals couple biodiversity and ecosystem functioning worldwide. Science 344:54–62CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  4. Brena-Bustamante P (2012) El aprovechamiento y estructura poblacional de Agave kerchovei Lem., en Tehuacan-Cuicatlán, México. Tesis de Maestría, Colegio de Postgraduados, ChapingoGoogle Scholar
  5. Castillo-Hernández H, Treviño-Carreón J (2009) Biología floral de Agave gentryi Ullrich (Agavaceae) en la localidad de la Marcela, Miquihuana, Tamaulipas. Unidad Académica Multidisciplinaria Agronomía y Ciencias, UAT 2:62–66Google Scholar
  6. Escobar-Guzman RE, Hernandez FZ, Vega KG, Simpson J (2008) Seed production and gametophyte formation in Agave tequilana and Agave americana. Botany 86:1343–1353CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  7. Fleming TH (2004) Nectar corridors: migration and the annual cycle of lesser long-nosed bats. In: Nabhan GP (ed) Conserving migratory pollinators and nectar corridors in western North America. The University of Arizona Press, Tucson, pp 23–42Google Scholar
  8. Fleming TH, Nassar J (2002) Population biology of the lesser long-nosed bat Leptonycteris curasoae in Mexico and northern South America. In: Fleming TH, Valiente-Banuet A (eds) Columnar cacti and their mutualists: ecology, evolution and conservation. The University of Arizona Press, Tucson, pp 283–305Google Scholar
  9. Fleming TH, Sahley CT, Holland JN, Nason JD, Hamrick JL (2001) Sonoran desert columnar cacti and the evolution of generalized pollination systems. Ecol Monogr 71:511–530CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  10. Freeman CE (1973) Some germination responses of lechuguilla (Agave lechuguilla Torr.). Southwest Nat 18:125–134CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  11. Freeman CE (1975) Germination responses of a New Mexico population of parry agave (Agave parryi Engelm. var. parryi) to constant temperature, water stress, and pH. Southwest Nat 20:69–74CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  12. Garcia-Mendoza A (1995) Riqueza y endemismos de la familia Agavaceae en Mexico. In: Linares E, Davila PF, Chiang RB, Elias T (eds) Conservacion de plantas en peligro de extinción: diferentes enfoques. Instituto de Biologia UNAM, Mexico, pp 51–75Google Scholar
  13. Garcia-Mendoza A (2002) Distribution of Agave (Agavaceae) in Mexico. Cactus Succul J 74:177–186Google Scholar
  14. Gentry HS (1942) Rio Mayo plants: a study of the Flora and Vegetation of the valley of the Rio Mayo, Sonora. Carnegie Institution of Washington 527, Washington, DCGoogle Scholar
  15. Gentry HS (1982) Agaves of continental North America. University of Arizona Press, TucsonGoogle Scholar
  16. Godínez-Alvarez H, Jiménez M, Mendoza M, Pérez F, Roldán P, Ríos-Casanova L, Lira R (2008) Densidad, estructura poblacional, reproducción y supervivencia de cuatro especies de plantas útiles en el Valle de Tehuacán, México. Rev Mex Biodivers 79:393–403Google Scholar
  17. González-González A (2005) Biología Reproductiva y Genética de Poblaciones de Agave garciae-mendozae. Tesis de Licenciatura. Universidad Nacional Autonoma de MéxicoGoogle Scholar
  18. Hadley AS, Betts MG (2012) The effect of landscape fragmentation on pollination dynamics: absence of evidence not evidence of absence. Biol Rev 87:526–544CrossRefPubMedGoogle Scholar
  19. Kearns CA, Inouye DW, Waser NW (1998) Endangered mutualisms: the conservation of plant–pollinator interactions. Annu Rev Ecol Syst 29:83–112CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  20. Lindsay DL, Bailey P, Lance RF, Clifford MJ, Delph R, Cobb NS (2011) Effect of a nonnative, invasive lovegrass on Agave palmeri distribution, abundance, and insect pollinator communities. Biodivers Conserv 20:3251–3266CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  21. Medellin RA, Arita HT, Sanchez O (1997) Identificación de los murciélagos de México. Asociación Mexicana de Mastozoología, Publicación especial No. 2, México, DF, MéxicoGoogle Scholar
  22. Medel-Narvaez A, de la Luz JL, Freaner-Martinez L, Molina-Freaner F (2006) Patterns of abundance and population structure of Pachycereus pringlei (Cactaceae), a columnar cactus of the Sonoran Desert. Plant Ecol 187:1–14CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  23. Michel BE, Radcliff ED (1995) A computer program relating solute potential to solution composition for five solutes. Agron J 87:126–130CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  24. Molina-Freaner F, Eguiarte LE (2003) The pollination biology of two paniculate agaves (Agavaceae) from northwestern Mexico: contrasting roles of bats as pollinators. Am J Bot 90:1016–1024CrossRefPubMedGoogle Scholar
  25. Nabhan GP (2004) Stresses on pollinators during migration. Is nectar availability at stopovers the weak link in plant–pollinator conservation? In: Nabhan GP (ed) Conserving migratory pollinators and nectar corridors in western North America. The University of Arizona Press, Tucson, pp 3–22Google Scholar
  26. Peñalba MC, Molina-Freaner F, Larios-Rodriguez L (2006) Resource availability, population dynamics and diet of the nectar-feeding bat Leptonycteris curasoae in Guaymas, Sonora, Mexico. Biodivers Conserv 15:3017–3034CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  27. Perez-Sanchez RM, Jurado E, Chapa-Vargas L, Flores J (2011) Seed germination of southern Chihuahuan desert plants in response to elevated temperatures. J Arid Environ 75:978–980CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  28. Peterson RT, Chalif EL (1989) Aves de México: guía de campo. Editorial Diana, MexicoGoogle Scholar
  29. Ramirez-Tobias HM, Peña-Valdivia CB, Aguirre R, Reyes-Agüero JA, Sanchez-Urdaneta Valle S (2012) Seed germination temperatures of eight Mexican Agave species with economic importance. Plant Species Biol 27:124–137CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  30. Rocha M, Valera A, Eguiarte LE (2005) Reproductive ecology of five sympatric Agave Littaea (Agavaceae) species in central Mexico. Am J Bot 92:1330–1341CrossRefPubMedGoogle Scholar
  31. Rocha M, Good-Avila SV, Molina-Freaner F, Arita HT, Castillo A, Garcia-Mendoza A, Silva-Montellano A, Gaut BS, Souza V, Eguiarte LE (2006) Pollination biology and adaptive radiation of Agavaceae, with special emphasis on the genus Agave. Aliso 22:327–342CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  32. Rojas-Martinez A, Valiente-Banuet A, Arizmendi MC, Alcantara-Eguren A, Arita HT (1999) Seasonal distribution of the long-nosed bat (Leptonycteris curasoae) in North America: does a generalized migration pattern really exist? J Biogeogr 26:1065–1077CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  33. SAS Institute (2013) JMP statistical software package, version 11. SAS Institute, Cary, NC, USAGoogle Scholar
  34. Shreve F, Wiggins IL (1964) Vegetation and flora of the Sonoran Desert, 2 vols. Stanford University Press, Stanford, pp 1–186Google Scholar
  35. Slauson LA (2000) Pollination biology of two chiropterophilous agaves in Arizona. Am J Bot 87:825–836CrossRefPubMedGoogle Scholar
  36. Trame AM, Coddington AJ, Paige KN (1995) Field and genetic studies testing optimal outcrossing in Agave schottii, a long-lived clonal plant. Oecologia 104:93–100CrossRefPubMedGoogle Scholar
  37. Trejo-Salazar RE, Eguiarte LE, Suro-Piñera D, Medellin RA (2016) Save our bats, save our tequila: industry and science join forces to help bats and Agaves. Nat Areas J 36:523–530CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  38. Turner RM, Bowers JE, Burgess TL (1995) Sonoran desert plants: an ecological atlas. University of Arizona Press, TucsonGoogle Scholar
  39. Valiente-Banuet A, Arizmendi MC, Rojas-Martínez A, Domínguez-Canseco L (1996) Ecological relationships between columnar cacti and nectar-feeding bats in Mexico. J Trop Ecol 12:103–119CrossRefGoogle Scholar

Copyright information

© Springer Nature B.V. 2018

Authors and Affiliations

  1. 1.Licenciatura en BiologíaUniversidad de SonoraHermosilloMexico
  2. 2.Licenciatura en BiologíaUniversidad de la SierraMoctezumaMexico
  3. 3.Departamento de Ecología de la Biodiversidad, Instituto de EcologíaUniversidad Nacional Autónoma de MéxicoHermosilloMexico
  4. 4.Departamento de Investigaciones Científicas y Tecnológicas de la Universidad de SonoraHermosilloMexico
  5. 5.Departamento de Ecología Funcional, Instituto de EcologíaUniversidad Nacional Autónoma de MéxicoCiudad de MéxicoMexico
  6. 6.Instituto de GeologíaUniversidad Nacional Autónoma de MéxicoHermosilloMexico

Personalised recommendations