Florivory and nectar-robbing perforations in flowers of pointleaf manzanita Arctostaphylos pungens (Ericaceae) and their effects on plant reproductive success
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Damage to petals may have varying effects on the reproductive success of the plant. The variation may depend on the kind of damage to the corolla. Whether the damage is limited to the corolla, as is usually the case with nectar-robbing perforations, or extending to the reproductive parts of the flower, as in the case of florivory holes, might determine the extent of the effect on the plant’s reproduction. We examined the various perforations in the flowers of Arctostaphylos pungens and correlated their presence with fruiting success. We found that though florivory holes were highly associated with damage to reproductive parts, fruiting success did not differ significantly between flowers with the two kinds of damage. Although nectar-robbing perforations were not associated with reduced number of fruit produced, they were significantly correlated with reduced number of fruit that contained seemingly viable seeds. The implications of our findings are discussed in the context of pollination and antagonism.
KeywordsFlorivory Nectar robbing Reproductive success Floral damage Pollination Antagonism
We would like to extend a special thank you to Nicole Rafferty and Emily McCall for their help with field work and data collection. We also appreciate valuable comments from Judith Bronstein and Carolyn McSherry on earlier versions of this manuscript. We thank Michele Lanan for providing the photograph for Figure 1a. Members and associates of the Bronstein laboratory provided helpful comments throughout the research. Funding was provided by Denison University to ACM and by the Center for Insect Science, at the University of Arizona, through NIH Training Grant #1 K12 GM000708 to DE.
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