20 September, 2014

Generalist versus specialist pollination systems in Oenothera (Onagraceae)

by Kyra Krakos & Scott Fabricant

Hawkmoth visiting Onagraceae. Photo by S. Fabricant.
Flowers are not just for our visual delight; their primary function is to transfer pollen from one flower to another of the same species, often carried by an insect or vertebrate visitor. Cross-species pollination is of no benefit to flowers, thus many biologists expect flowers to be pollinator-specialised, with traits attractive to or pollen accessible to only one animal visitor at a time. However, some recent studies have suggested the opposite, that flowers recruit a diverse army of visitors, and thus pollination systems are rarely specialized. How can we resolve this paradox? 

Read the whole summary in: English!
Read the scientific publication in JPE.

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