20 February, 2017

Columbine pollination success not determined by a proteinaceous reward to hummingbird pollinators

by Eric F. LoPresti

An Anna’s Hummingbird visits the flower of the sticky columbine Aquilegia eximia. Photo by author.
Lots of plants have sticky exudates which entrap small insects. This phenomenon is most famous and well-studied in carnivorous plants, but also occurs in thousands of non-carnivorous plants. While studying the sticky columbine, Aquilegia eximia, I noticed that hummingbirds were occasionally picking dead insects off the plants’ surfaces. As hummingbirds are also the primary (perhaps sole) pollinators of this species, I wondered whether this proteinaceous reward might influence pollination success of the columbine.

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

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