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Mobility of Impatiens capensis Flowers: Effect on Pollen Deposition and Hummingbird Foraging

Allen H. Hurlbert, S. Aki Hosoi, Ethan J. Temeles and Paul W. Ewald
Oecologia
Vol. 105, No. 2 (1996), pp. 243-246
Published by: Springer in cooperation with International Association for Ecology
Stable URL: http://www.jstor.org/stable/4221177
Page Count: 4
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Mobility of Impatiens capensis Flowers: Effect on Pollen Deposition and Hummingbird Foraging
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Abstract

Flexible pedicels are characteristic of bird-pollinated plants, yet have received little attention in studies of hummingbird-flower interactions. A major implication of flexible pedicels is that flowers may move during pollination. We examined whether such motion affected interactions between ruby-throated humming-birds (Archilochus colubris) and jewelweed (Impatiens capensis) by increasing pollen deposition and by altering the effectiveness of nectar removal. For I. capensis, flower mobility enhanced pollen deposition: birds had significantly longer contact with anthers and more pollen deposited on their bills and crowns when foraging at mobile flowers than at flowers that had been experimentally immobilized. In contrast, flower mobility imposed a cost on hummingbirds by significantly increasing their handling times and reducing their extraction rates relative to their interactions with immobile flowers. Field observations indicated that the motion observed during hummingbird visits did not occur when bees (Bombus spp., Apis mellifera) visited I. capensis flowers, which suggests that the mobility of I. capensis flowers is an adaptation for hummingbird pollination.

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