Ecological Research

, Volume 23, Issue 1, pp 141–150

Impact of volcanic activity on a plant-pollinator module in an island ecosystem: the example of the association of Camellia japonica and Zosterops japonica

Original Article


Volcanic activity provides an indispensable opportunity to study the ecological responses of organisms to environmental devastation. We examined the reproductive success of Camellia trees to identify how volcanic activity affects the processes of leaf survival, flowering activity, fruit and seed production, pollinator abundance, pollinator visitation frequency, pollination rate, and fruit and seed maturation at different damage sites on Miyake-jima, which experienced an eruption in the summer of 2000. Volcanic gases negatively affect leaf survival and reduce flowering activity in heavily damaged areas. Pollen transfer was sufficient to ensure that higher pollination rates (83%) occurred in heavily damaged areas than in less damaged areas (26–45%), but pollinator densities were lower in response to reduced flower resources. Fruit abortion rates were greater in heavily damaged sites (78%) than in less-damaged sites (53–63%). Consequently, fruit-set rates (16–29%) did not differ significantly among sites. Seed set rates tended to increase with increasing volcanic damage. The negative correlation between seed-set rates and seed mass suggests that the decreased seed mass in severely damaged sites was attributable to the better pollination rates observed there. These results indicate that compensation mechanisms ensure better reproductive success at sites that are more strongly affected by volcanic activity.


Plant–animal interaction Maternal reproductive success Pollinator behavior Forest recovery system Volcanic island 


  1. Ågren J (1996) Population size, pollinator limitation, and seed set in the self-incompatible herb Lythrum salicaria. Ecology 77:1779–1790CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  2. Abe H, Matsuki R, Ueno S, Nashimoto M, Hasegawa M (2006) Dispersal of Camellia japonica seeds by Apodemus speciosus revealed by maternity analysis of plants and behavioral observation of animal vectors. Ecol Res 21:732–740CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  3. Bawa KS, Webb CJ (1984) Flower, fruit, and seed abortion in tropical forest trees: imprecations for the evolution of paternal and maternal reproductive patterns. Am J Bot 71(5):736–751CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  4. Bronstein JL, Hossaert-McKey M (1995) Hurricane Andrew and a Florida fig pollination mutualism: resilience of an obligate interaction. Biotropica 27(3):373–381CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  5. Casper BB (1988) Evidence for selective embryo abortion in Crypantha flava. Am Nat 132:318–326CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  6. Chung MG, Kang SS (1994) Genetic variation and population structure in Korean populations of Eurya japonica (Theaceae). Am J Bot 81:1077–1082CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  7. Dick CW, Etchelecu G, Austerlitz F (2003) Pollen dispersal of tropical trees (Dinizia excelsa: Fabaceae) by native insects and African honeybees in pristine and fragmented Amazonian rainforest. Mol Ecol 12:753–764PubMedCrossRefGoogle Scholar
  8. Earthquake Research Institute, Tokyo University (2001) Volcanic ash deposited from July to August in 2000 (in Japanese). Accessed January 24, 2007.
  9. Forestry and Forest Products Research Institute (2006) Miyake-jima sinrin fukkyuu taisaku chousa houkokusyo Heisei 15–17 nendo (in Japanese). FFPRI, IbarakiGoogle Scholar
  10. Hanya G (2005) Comparisons of dispersal success between the species fruiting prior to and those at the peak of migrant frugivore abundance. Plant Ecol 181:167–177CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  11. Hoshizaki K, Miguchi H (2005) Influence of forest composition on tree seed predation and rodent responses: a comparison of monodominant and mixed temperate forests in Japan. In: Forget PM, Lambert JE, Hulme PE, Vander Wall SB (eds) Seed fate: predation, dispersal and seedling establishment. CAB Int., Wallingford, UK, pp 253–267Google Scholar
  12. Jansen PA, Bongers F, Hemerik L (2004) Seed mass and mast seeding enhance dispersal by scatter-hoarding rodents in a Neotropical rainforest tree. Ecol Monogr 74:569–589CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  13. Kamijo T, Hashiba K (2003) Island ecosystem and vegetation dynamics before and after the 2000-year eruption on Miyake-jima Island, Japan, with implications for conservation of the Island’s ecosystem. Glob Environ Res 7(1):69–78Google Scholar
  14. Kamijo T, Kitayama K, Sugawara A, Urushimichi S, Sakai K (2002) Primary succession of the warm-temperate broad-leaved forest on a volcanic island, Miyake-jima Island, Japan. Folia Geobot 37:71–91CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  15. Kato K, Higuchi H (2006) Miyake-jima 2000 nen funnka. Tyourui heno eikyou to kaifuku (in Japanese). Sinrinnkagaku 46:16–19Google Scholar
  16. Kitayama K, Mueller-Dombois D, Vitousek PM (1995) Primary succession of Hawaiian montane rain forest on a chronosequence of eight lava flows. J Veg Sci 6:211–222CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  17. Konuma A, Tsumura Y, Lee CT, Lee SL, Okuda T (2000) Estimation of gene flow in the tropical-rainforest tree Neobalanocarpus heimii (Dipterocarpaceae), inferred from paternity analysis. Mol Ecol 9:1843–1852PubMedCrossRefGoogle Scholar
  18. Kunitake Y, Hasegawa M, Miyashita T, Higuchi (2004) Role of a seasonally specialist bird Zosterops japonica on pollen transfer and reproductive success of Camellia japonica in a temperate area. Plant Species Biol 19:197–201CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  19. Leimu R, Syrjänen K (2002) Effects of population size, seed predation and plant size on male and female reproductive success in Vincetoxicum hirundinaria (Asclepiadaceae). Oikos 98:229–238CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  20. Mizui N, Kikuzawa K (1991) Proximate limitations to fruit and seed set in Phellodendron amaurense var. sachalinense. Plant Species Biol 6:39–46CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  21. Mustajärvi K, Siikamäki P, Rytkönen S, Lammi A (2001) Consequences of plant population size and density for plant-pollinator interactions and plant performance. J Ecol 89:80–87CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  22. Nakada S, Nagai M, Yasuda A, Shimano T, Geshi N, Ohno M, Akimasa T, Kaneko T, Fuji T (2001) Chronology of the Miyakejima 2000 eruption: characteristics of summit collapsed crater and eruption products (in Japanese with English abstract). J Geogr 110:168–180Google Scholar
  23. Obayashi K, Tsumura Y, Ihara T, Niiyama K, Tanouchi H, Suyama Y, Washitani I, Lee CT, Lee SL, Muhammad N (2002) Genetic diversity and outcrossing rate between undisturbed and selectively logged forests of Shorea curtisii (Dipterocarpaceae) using microsatellite DNA analysis. Int J Plant Sci 163:151–158CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  24. Rathcke B (2000) Hurricane causes resource and pollination limitation of fruit set in a bird-pollinated shrub. Ecology 81:1951–1958CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  25. Shanahan M, Harrison RD, Yamuna R, Boen W, Thornton IWB (2001) Colonization of an island volcano, Long Island, Papua New Guinea, and an emergent island, Motmot, in its caldera lake. V. Colonization by figs (Ficus spp.), their dispersers and pollinators. J Biogeogr 28:1365–1377CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  26. Shibata M, Ieyumi S (1991) Self-incompatibility in a wild population of Camellia (in Japanese). In: NIVTS (eds) Kurume Branch annual report. National Institute of Vegetable and Tea Science (NIVTS), Kurume, 4:182–183Google Scholar
  27. Sih A, Baltus MS (1987) Patch size, pollinator behavior, and pollinator limitation in catnip. Ecology 68:1679–1690CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  28. Silverstown J (1987) Introduction to plant population ecology, 2nd edn. Longman Scientific and Technical, Harlow, UKGoogle Scholar
  29. Sone K, Hiroi S, Nagahama D, Ohkubo C, Nakano E, Murao S, Hata K (2002) Hoarding of acorns by granivorous mice and its role in the population process of Pasania edulis (Makino) Makino. Ecol Res 17:553–564CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  30. Sperens U (1996) Is fruit and seed production in Sorbus aucuparia L. (Rosaceae) pollen-limited? Ecoscience 3:325–329Google Scholar
  31. Stacy EA, Hamrick JL, Nason JD, Hubbell SP, Foster RB, Condit R (1996) Pollen dispersal in low-density populations of three neotropical tree species. Am Nat 148:275–298CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  32. Stephenson AG (1981) Flower and fruit abortion: proximate causes and ultimate functions. Ann Rev Ecol Syst 12:253–279CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  33. Stephenson AG, Winsor JA (1986) Lotus corniculatus regulates offspring quality through selective fruit abortion. Evolution 40:453–458CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  34. Thornton IWB, Compton SG, Wilson CN (1996) The role of animals in the colonization of the Krakatau Islands by fig trees (Ficus species). J Biogeogr 23:577–592CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  35. Tokyo City (2005) SO2 noudo ni terashita kaku kansokuten no jyoukyou (in Japanese). Accessed January 24, 2007.
  36. Tsuyuzaki S del Moral R (1995) Species attributes in early primary succession on volcanoes. J Veg Sci 6:517–522CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  37. Yamanishi A, Kamijo T, Tsunekawa A, Higuchi H (2003) Monitoring vegetation damage caused by the year 2000 Miyake Island’s volcanic eruption using satellite data (in Japanese with English abstract). LRJ 66:473–476Google Scholar
  38. Yamanishi A, Tsunekawa A, Kiyohara Y, Kamijo T, Higuchi H (2005) Monitoring of vegetation damage caused by the 2000 Miyake Island volcanic eruption using satellite remote sensing and field surveys. J Agric Meteorol 60:1183–1188Google Scholar
  39. Yumoto T (1988) Pollination systems in the cool temperate mixed coniferous and broad-leaved forest zone of Yakushima Island. Ecol Res 3:117–129CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  40. Zimmerman M, Pyke GH (1988) Experimental manipulations of Polemonium foliosissimum: effects on subsequent nectar production, seed production and growth. J Ecol 76:777–789CrossRefGoogle Scholar

Copyright information

© The Ecological Society of Japan 2007

Authors and Affiliations

  1. 1.Laboratory of Geographical EcologyToho UniversityChibaJapan

Personalised recommendations