Advertisement

International Journal of Tropical Insect Science

, Volume 29, Issue 3, pp 114–123 | Cite as

Distance and quality of natural habitat influence hawkmoth pollination of cultivated papaya

  • Dino J. MartinsEmail author
  • Steven D. Johnson
Research Paper

Abstract

Crop pollination by wild pollinators is an ecosystem service of immense value to modern agriculture. Pollination by wild insects is under-researched in the tropics, where many crops may require or benefit from wild pollinators. Papaya is a dioecious tree crop widely cultivated throughout the tropics. In East Africa, papaya is an important component of rural smallholder farming systems. Traditional agricultural systems are currently under stress due to landscape degradation. These trends are of special concern with respect to pollination services provided by wild insects. Investigation of the role of hawkmoths as pollinators of papaya on subsistence farms in Kenya was conducted over a period of 3 years. Hawkmoths were the most abundant and reliable visitors to both ‘female’ pistillate and ‘male’ staminate papaya flowers. Hawkmoths accounted for >95% of legitimate visits and xenogamous pollination of papaya flowers. Hippotion celerio, Nephele comma and Agrius convolvuli were the main pollinators. Sites in two districts with similar climates and natural vegetation, but different levels of habitat degradation were chosen for comparison of pollinators and pollination services. Hawkmoth abundance and visitation rates declined sharply with increasing distance of natural habitat patches from the crop. Fruit set was also reduced at sites with high levels of disturbance/poor agricultural practices. Natural habitat containing larval food plants and other nectar resources for hawkmoths therefore supports adjacent cultivated papaya with pollination services. Understanding the links between wild biodiversity, in this case pollinating hawkmoths, and agricultural productivity can help bridge the gap between agricultural development and biodiversity conservation.

Key words

Carica papaya Sphingidae pollinator conservation overlooked ecosystem services Agrius Nephele Hippotion 

Preview

Unable to display preview. Download preview PDF.

Unable to display preview. Download preview PDF.

References

  1. Allan P. (1963) Pollination of pawpaws. Farming in South Africa 38, 13–15.Google Scholar
  2. Allen-Wardell G., Bernhardt T., Bitner R., Burquez A., Cane J., Cox P. A., Dalton V., Feinsinger P., Ingram M., Inouye D., Jones C. E., Kennedy K., Kevan P., Koopowitz H., Medellin R., Medellin-Morales S., Nabhan G. P., Pavlik B., Tepedino V., Torchio P. and Walker S. (1998) The potential consequences of pollinator declines on the conservation of biodiversity and stability of crop yields. Conservation Biology 12, 8–17.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  3. Ashworth L., Aguilar R., Galetto L. and Aizen M. A. (2004) Why do pollination generalist and specialist plant species show similar reproductive susceptibility to habitat fragmentation? Journal of Ecology 92, 717–719.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  4. Beattie A. J. (1971) A technique for the study of insect-borne pollen. Pan-Pacific Entomologist 47, 82.Google Scholar
  5. Bennun L. and Njoroge P. (1999) Important Bird Areas in Kenya. The East Africa Natural History Society, Nairobi.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  6. Buchmann S. L. and Nabhan G. P. (1996) The Forgotten Pollinators. Island Press, Washington, District of Columbia.Google Scholar
  7. Cane J. H., Minckley R., Kervin L. and Roulston T. (2005) Temporally persistent patterns of incidence and abundance in a pollinator guild at annual and decadal scales: the bees of Larrea tridentata. Biological Journal of the Linnaean Society 85, 319–329.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  8. Canto-Aguilar A. and Parra-Tabla V. (2000) Importance of conserving alternative pollinators: assessing the pollination efficiency of the squash bee Peponapis limitaris in Cucurbita moschata (Cucurbitaceae). Journal of Insect Conservation 4, 203–210.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  9. Carcasson R. H. (1976) Revised Catalogue of The African Sphingidae (Lepidoptera) with Descriptions of The East African Species, 2nd edn. E.W. Classey Ltd, Faringdon, Oxon, UK.Google Scholar
  10. Decraene Ronse L. P. and Smets E. E (1999) The floral development and anatomy of Carica papaya L. (Caricaceae). Canadian Journal of Botany 77, 582–598.Google Scholar
  11. Figueroa C. M. A. and De L. C. L. J. (1984) Dynamics and incidence of Forcipomyia spp. (Diptera, Ceratopogoni-dae) in the pollination of cacao (Theobroma cacao) in Palmira, Valle (Colombia). Acta Agronomica 34, 42–52.Google Scholar
  12. Free J. B. (1993) Insect Pollination of Crops. Academic Press, London.Google Scholar
  13. Garrett A. (1995) The pollination biology of pawpaw (Carica papaya L.) in Central Queensland. PhD Thesis, Central Queensland University, Rockhampton.Google Scholar
  14. Grant V. (1985) Additional observations on temperate North American hawkmoth flowers. Botanical Gazette 146, 517–520.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  15. Johnson S. D. and Nilsson L. A. (1999) Pollen carryover, geitonogamy, and the evolution of deceptive pollination systems in orchids. Ecology 80, 2607–2619.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  16. Johnson S. D., Neal P. R., Peter C. I. and Edwards T. (2004) Fruiting failure and limited recruitment in remnant populations of the hawkmoth-pollinated tree Oxyanthus pyriformis subsp. pyriformis (Rubiaceae). Biological Conservation 120, 31–39.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  17. Kevan P. G., Clark E. A. and Thomas V. G. (1990) Insect pollinators and sustainable agriculture. American Journal of Alternative Agriculture 5, 12–22.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  18. Kevan P. G., Hussein N. Y., Hussey N. and Wahid M. B. (1986) Modelling the use of Elaeidobius kamerunicus for pollination of oil palm. Planter (Malaysia) 62, 89–99.Google Scholar
  19. Klein A. M., Steffan-Dewenter I. & Tscharntke T. (2003) Fruit set of highland coffee increases with the diversity of pollinating bees. Proceedings of the Royal Society B 270, 955–961.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  20. Klein A. M., Vaissiére B. E., Cane J. H., Steffan-Dewenter I., Cunningham S. A., Kremen C. and Tscharntke T. (2007) Importance of pollinators in changing landscapes for world crops. Proceedings of the Royal Society B 274, 303–313.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  21. Kremen C., Williams N. M., Bugg R. L., Fay J. P. and Thorp R. W. (2004) The area requirements on an ecosystem service: crop pollination by native bee communities in California. Ecology Letters 7, 1109–1119.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  22. Kremen C., Williams N. M. and Thorp R. W. (2002) Crop pollination from native bees at risk from agricultural intensification. Proceedings of the National Academy of Science of the USA 99, 16812–16816.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  23. MacArthur R. H. and Wilson E. O. (1967) The Theory of Island Biogeography. Princeton University Press, Prin-ceton, NJ.Google Scholar
  24. Martins D. J. (2007) Papaya in Kenya. In Crops, Browse and Pollinators in Africa: An Initial Stock-Taking, pp. 24–26. Food and Agricultural Organization of the United Nations, Rome.Google Scholar
  25. Martins D. J. (2008) Pollination observations of the African violet in the Taita Hills, Kenya. Journal of East African Natural History 97, 33–42.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  26. Martins D. J. and Johnson S. D. (2007) Hawkmoth pollination of aerangoid orchids in Kenya with special reference to nectar gradients in the floral spurs. American Journal of Botany 94, 650–659.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  27. Murren C. J. (2002) Effects of habitat fragmentation on pollination: pollinators, pollinia viability and reproductive success. Journal of Ecology 90, 100–107.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  28. National Atlas of Kenya (1970) Drawn and printed by Survey of Kenya. Kenya Government, Nairobi.Google Scholar
  29. Pauw A. (2007) Collapse of a pollination web in small conservation areas. Ecology 88, 1759–1769.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  30. Ricketts T. (2004) Tropical forest fragments enhance pollinator activity in nearby coffee crops. Conservation Biology 18, 1262–1271.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  31. Rodgers J. G., Balkwill K. and Gemmill B. (2004) African pollination studies: where are the gaps? International Journal of Tropical Insect Science 24, 5–28.Google Scholar
  32. Roubik D. W. (1989) Ecology and Natural History of Tropical Bees. Cambridge University Press, Cambridge.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  33. Roubik D. W. (1995) Pollination of Cultivated Plants in The Tropics. Food and Agriculture Organization of the United Nations, Rome.Google Scholar
  34. Roubik D. W. (2001) Ups and downs in pollinator populations: when is there a decline? Conservation Ecology 5, 2.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  35. Roubik D. W. (2002) The value of bees to the coffee harvest. Nature 417, 708.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  36. Steffan-Dewenter I., Klein A. M., Alfert T., Gaebele V. and Tscharntke T. (2006) Bee diversity and plant-pollinator interactions in fragmented landscapes. In Specialization and Generalization in Plant-Pollinator Interactions (edited by N. M. Waser and J. Ollerton), pp. 387–408. Chicago Press, Chicago, IL.Google Scholar
  37. Thorn D. J. and Martin N. L. (1983) Ecology and production in Baringo-Kerio Valley, Kenya. Geographical Review 73, 15–29.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  38. Torchio P. F. (1990) Diversification of pollination strategies for U.S. crops. Environmental Entomology 19, 1649–1656.CrossRefGoogle Scholar

Copyright information

© ICIPE 2009

Authors and Affiliations

  1. 1.School of Biological and Conservation SciencesUniversity of KwaZulu-NatalPietermaritzburgSouth Africa
  2. 2.Insect Committee of Nature Kenya — The East Africa Natural History SocietyNairobiKenya
  3. 3.Museum of Comparative ZoologyCambridgeUSA

Personalised recommendations