Plant Systematics and Evolution

, Volume 303, Issue 6, pp 709–718

Nectar production, reproductive success and the evolution of generalised pollination within a specialised pollen-rewarding plant family: a case study using Miconia theizans

  • Vinícius L. G. de Brito
  • André R. Rech
  • Jeff Ollerton
  • Marlies Sazima
Original Article


Generalist plant–pollinator interactions are prevalent in nature. Here, we untangle the role of nectar production in the visitation and pollen release/deposition in Miconia theizans, a nectar-rewarding plant within the specialised pollen-rewarding plant family Melastomataceae. We described the visitation rate, nectar dynamics and pollen release from the poricidal anthers and deposition onto stigmas during flower anthesis. Afterwards, we used a linear mixed model selection approach to understand the relationship between pollen and nectar availability and insect visitation rate and the relationship between visitation rate and reproductive success. Miconia theizans was visited by 86 insect species, including buzzing and non-buzzing bees, wasps, flies, hoverflies, ants, beetles, hemipterans, cockroaches and butterflies. The nectar produced explained the visitation rate, and the pollen release from the anthers was best explained by the visitation rate of pollinivorous species. However, the visitation rates could not predict pollen deposition onto stigmas. Nectar production may explain the high insect diversity and led to an increase in reproductive success, even with unpredictable pollen deposition, indicating the adaptive value of a generalised pollination system.


Generalisation Melastomataceae Miconia theizans Cogn. Nectar dynamics Pollination syndromes Reproductive success 

Supplementary material

606_2017_1405_MOESM1_ESM.pdf (101 kb)
Supplementary material 1 (PDF 101 kb)
606_2017_1405_MOESM2_ESM.pdf (100 kb)
Supplementary material 2 (PDF 100 kb)
606_2017_1405_MOESM3_ESM.pdf (105 kb)
Supplementary material 3 (PDF 106 kb)
606_2017_1405_MOESM4_ESM.pdf (191 kb)
Supplementary material 4 (PDF 192 kb)
606_2017_1405_MOESM5_ESM.pdf (193 kb)
Supplementary material 5 (PDF 193 kb)

Copyright information

© Springer-Verlag Wien 2017

Authors and Affiliations

  • Vinícius L. G. de Brito
    • 1
    • 2
  • André R. Rech
    • 3
  • Jeff Ollerton
    • 4
  • Marlies Sazima
    • 5
  1. 1.Programa de Pós-Graduação em Biologia Vegetal, Instituto de BiologiaUniversidade Estadual de CampinasCampinasBrazil
  2. 2.Instituto de BiologiaUniversidade Federal de UberlândiaUberlândiaBrazil
  3. 3.Curso de Licenciatura em Educação do Campo, Faculdade Interdisciplinar de HumanidadesUniversidade Federal dos Vales do Jequitinhonha e MucuriDiamantinaBrazil
  4. 4.Landscape and Biodiversity Research Group, School of Science and TechnologyThe University of NorthamptonNorthamptonUK
  5. 5.Departamento de Biologia Vegetal, Instituto de BiologiaUniversidade Estadual de CampinasCampinasBrazil

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