21 March, 2017

Honest signalling and the billboard effect:

How Heliconiid pollinators respond to the trichromatic colour changing Lantana camara L. (Verbenaceae)

by Gyanpriya Maharaj and Godfrey R. Bourne

Plants are usually stationary and have a problem getting together for sexual reproduction. Thus, many use a wide range of shapes, colours, and/or odours as signals to bribe animals to move pollen (male sex cells) to stigmas (receptive female surfaces) of similar species of plants. Furthermore, these floral attractants can be either honest or deceptive. In honest attractants, plants offer something of value, usually food rewards, to their go-betweens known as pollinators. Honest signals can involve both vegetative and reproductive parts of flowers. 
Heliconius melpomene feeding on nectar and pollen bribes

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


09 March, 2017

Honey bees ensure the pollination of Parkia biglobosa in absence of bats

by Kristin Marie Lassen et al.

Honey bees gathering pollen from Parkia biglobosa

Fruit trees are important components of the West African agroforestry parklands supplying people with fruits when food supplies are scarce. Even so, only little is known about the pollination ecology of the economically and nutritionally important fruit tree African locust bean (Parkia biglobosa).
The main objective of the present paper was thus to investigate the pollination ecology of the study species. Central objectives were to compare the pollination ecology at two sites with differences in annual precipitation, and to discuss how future pollination is likely to be affected by potential climate change and how beekeeping may influence fruit production.

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