Evolutionary Ecology

, Volume 26, Issue 6, pp 1433–1450 | Cite as

Spatial–temporal patterns of flowering asynchrony and pollinator fidelity in hybridizing species of Narcissus

  • Isabel Marques
  • Javier Fuertes Aguilar
  • Maria Amélia Martins-Loução
  • Gonzalo Nieto Feliner
Original Paper


Speciation requires the evolution of reproductive barriers to achieve isolation between species. In this paper, we examine the role of two major pre-zygotic barriers in reducing the chance of F1 hybrid formation between two pairs of Narcissus species. Field experiments were performed over 5 years in eight natural populations to determine whether flowering phenology and pollinator fidelity could act as reproductive isolation barriers in Narcissus. Our results show that reproductive isolation due to flowering phenology is highly variable and asymmetric. In some populations, pollinator fidelity was so strong that the quantification of reproductive isolation was complete and a strong negative correlation was found between the strength of this barrier and the abundance of hybrids. Nevertheless, the degree of pollinator fidelity was quite variable among populations indicating that reproductive isolation varies geographically but very consistent across years indicating that plant-pollinator interactions are well established. In fact, the finding that hybrid formation between these species occurs only in sites where pollinator fidelity is incomplete suggests that hybrid formation also varies geographically and that divergent evolutionary outcomes may occur in different sympatric populations of Narcissus.


Flowering asynchrony Pollinator fidelity Pre-zygotic barriers Spatial–temporal patterns Natural hybridization 



The authors thank D. Draper, E. Salvado, S. Albano, H. Silva, J. Soler, E. Laguna, P. Pérez, J. Pérez, M.J. Albert for field support, R.G. Albaladejo, M. Alarcón, J. Aldasoro, A. González, J. M. Iriondo, two anonymous referees and M. Vallejo-Marín, Evol. Ecol. Associate Editor, for their useful comments on a previous version of the manuscript, D. Gilson for linguistic assistance. This work has been supported by a PhD-fellowship to I.M. from FCT, Ministério da Ciência e do Ensino Superior, Portugal (SFRH/BD/19053/2004) and a FPVI European-funded Integrated Infrastructure Initiative “SYNTHESYS“(ES-TAF 023-2004).

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Copyright information

© Springer Science+Business Media B.V. 2012

Authors and Affiliations

  • Isabel Marques
    • 1
    • 2
    • 3
  • Javier Fuertes Aguilar
    • 2
  • Maria Amélia Martins-Loução
    • 1
  • Gonzalo Nieto Feliner
    • 2
  1. 1.Museu Nacional de História Natural, Jardim BotânicoUniversidade de LisboaLisbonPortugal
  2. 2.Real Jardín BotánicoCSICMadridSpain
  3. 3.Universidad Técnica Particular de LojaLojaEcuador

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