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Three wild Lithuanian strawberry species and their pollinators

Abstract

The European wild strawberry species Fragaria vesca L., Fragaria viridis Weston, and Fragaria moschata Weston are sympatric and bloom concurrently, introducing the possibilities of cooperation and competition for pollinators. We studied the pollination biology of strawberries that were grown in rectangular plots at a field site near Vilnius city in Lithuania. The number of open flowers, the number of insects visiting flowers, and the plot area covered by strawberry plants were recorded. Wild strawberries were visited by solitary bees (38.5%), flies (31.4%), and other hymenopterans (21%; ants accounted for approximately 98% of this group). Coleopterans, lepidopterans and honey bees together represented less than 10% of the insects recorded on strawberries. Fragaria viridis and F. moschata flowers were more attractive to pollinators than those of F. vesca. The main visitors of F. viridis were small solitary bees; those of F. moschata were ants, while F. vesca flowers were visited by solitary bees, ants and flies in comparable numbers. We discuss competition for pollinators and the possible impact of climate fluctuation on strawberry-pollinator interactions.

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Acknowledgments

We thank Ms Laima Monkienė and Edanz Group Limited for correcting the English. We are grateful to two anonymous referees for valuable suggestions that improved earlier version of the manuscript.

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Correspondence to Laima Blažytė-Čereškienė.

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Blažytė-Čereškienė, L., Būda, V. & Bagdonaitė, E. Three wild Lithuanian strawberry species and their pollinators. Plant Syst Evol 298, 819–826 (2012). https://doi.org/10.1007/s00606-012-0593-9

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Keywords

  • Ants
  • Fragaria
  • Hymenoptera
  • Pollination
  • Solitary bees