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Abstract Detail

Ecological Section

Koptur, Suzanne [1], Barrios, Beyte [1], Valdes, Imena [1], Nusrat, Maha [1].

A fishing expedition to discover the pollinators of several subtropical Apocynaceae.

The Apocynaceae have complex floral structure and pollination mechanisms. The mechanisms for pollen removal and deposition in Angadenia, Pentalinon, and Echites are similar, with the anthers releasing pollen onto the sterile style head, the mid-style head bearing a sticky substance on that coats the proboscis of the visitor, and aids in the picking up of pollen by the proboscis. Subsequent visits or probes may deposit pollen on the receptive stigmatic surface on the lowest part of the style head, with fertilization resulting after pollination by compatible pollen. Angadenia and Pentalinon are visited by a variety of insects (butterflies, skippers, and bees), with skippers being the most abundant visitors to Angadenia and butterflies the most common to Pentalinon. The long-lasting flowers of Echites are likely visited only by Lepidoptera with very long tongues (likely hawkmoths), but visitors have not yet been observed despite many hours of observation. By employing fishing line of different diameters, chosen to match the diameters of the mouthparts of the different visitors, we can determine which diameters are best able to remove and deposit pollen, thereby revealing which of the visitors could be pollinators, and which may be only nectar robbers. We exposed Angadenia berteroi flowers to single visits to measure fruit set resulting from different visitors, and corroborated results obtained via the “fishing line” approach that predicted bees to be the effective pollinators. We found that proboscis width is correlated with pollen transfer efficiency in this species, and are using this technique to predict the most effective pollinators of other native Apocynaceae species.

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1 - Florida International University, Department Of Biological Sciences, 11200 SW 8th St, Miami, FL, 33199, USA


Presentation Type: Oral Paper:Papers for Sections
Session: 52
Location: Salon 6/The Shaw Conference Centre
Date: Tuesday, July 28th, 2015
Time: 2:15 PM
Number: 52003
Abstract ID:59
Candidate for Awards:None

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