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Pollination of Orchis Caspia--A Nectarless Plant which Deceives the Pollinators of Nectariferous Species from other Plant Families

A. Dafni
Journal of Ecology
Vol. 71, No. 2 (Jul., 1983), pp. 467-474
DOI: 10.2307/2259728
Stable URL: http://www.jstor.org/stable/2259728
Page Count: 8
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Pollination of Orchis Caspia--A Nectarless Plant which Deceives the Pollinators of Nectariferous Species from other Plant Families
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Abstract

(1) Orchis caspia, which produces no nectar and therefore provides no reward for pollination, exploits inconsistency in the behaviour of several species of bees (Anthophora sp., Eucera clypeata, E. nigrifacies and Melecta mediterranea), which are the legitimate pollinators of some nectariferous species (Asphodelus microcarpus, Bellevalia flexuosa and Salvia fruticosa). (2) The bees are deceived through their low ability to discriminate Orchis caspia from the nectariferous species. No specialist modifications of the insect are required for pollination of O. caspia. (3) Orchis caspia shares pollinators with O. israelitica and this may lead to formation of hybrids between the two species.

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