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Does the morphological fit between flowers and pollinators affect pollen deposition ? An experimental test in a buzz-pollinated species with anther dimorphism [Ecology and Evolution]

Keywords : Bombus terrestris, herkogamy, pollen deposition, pollinator size, Solanum rostratum

par Frédéric Magné - publié le

Some pollination systems, such as buzz-pollination, are associated with floral morphologies that require a close physical interaction between floral sexual organs and insect visitors. In these systems, a pollinator’s size relative to the flower may be an important feature determining whether the visitor touches both male and female sexual organs and thus transfers pollen between plants efficiently. To date, few studies have addressed whether in fact the “fit” between flower and pollinator influences pollen transfer, particularly among buzz-pollinated species. Here we use Solanum rostratum, a buzz-pollinated plant with dimorphic anthers and mirror-image flowers, to investigate whether the morphological fit between the pollinator’s body and floral morphology influences pollen deposition.(...)

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