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Faculty for Biology, Chemistry, and Earth Sciences

Department of Plant Systematics: Angiosperm Working Group - Prof. Dr. Sigrid Liede-Schumann

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Wolff, D; Meve, U; Liede-Schumann, S: Pollination ecology of Ecuadorian Asclepiadoideae (Apocynaceae):, Basic and Applied Ecology, 9, 24-34 (2008)
This paper studies phenology and pollination ecology of an ssemblage of nine small-flowered species of Asclepiadoideae–Asclepiadeae in a southern Ecuadorian mountain forest. These observations were augmented by laboratory studies of floral traits including scanning electron microscopy. Supported by multidimensional scaling analysis, three distinct pollination systems were identified: (a) pollination by small flies (Orthosia, Scyphostelma), (b) pollination by small bees and flies (Ditassa), and (c) pollination unspecialized ("Cynanchum",Jobinia, Oxypetalum). Although numerous floral visitors were observed in the field, pollinaria were carried by only seven insect species. The average pollinaria removal rate of all species was low with 0.3270.13%, and still lower for the pollinia insertion rate with 0.1370.07%. The ratio of inserted pollinia to removed pollinaria was comparatively high with an average of 42.7722.3%. If an insect achieved pollinia transfer, it did so very effectively. The complex floral morphology of the Asclepiadoideae has often been interpreted as a general trend toward specialization, but our observations indicate that the flowers are specialized functionally rather than ecologically.
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