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Exploring the Boundary between Pollination Syndromes: Bats and Hummingbirds as Pollinators of Burmeistera cyclostigmata and B. tenuiflora (Campanulaceae)

Nathan Muchhala
Oecologia
Vol. 134, No. 3 (Feb., 2003), pp. 373-380
Published by: Springer in cooperation with International Association for Ecology
Stable URL: http://www.jstor.org/stable/4223516
Page Count: 8
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Exploring the Boundary between Pollination Syndromes: Bats and Hummingbirds as Pollinators of Burmeistera cyclostigmata and B. tenuiflora (Campanulaceae)
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Abstract

In this study I documented the degree of specialization in the pollination systems of Burmeistera cyclostigmata and B. tenuiflora (Campanulaceae) to explore the potential role of floral isolation in the diversification of the genus. I asked which floral characteristics are important in specializing on either bat or hummingbird pollination, and whether overlap between these floral syndromes can exist. I examined nocturnal and diurnal pollen deposition, pollinator visitation rates, and single visit effectiveness and related them to intra- and interspecific variation in Burmeistera floral characteristics at Monteverde, Costa Rica. Bats and hummingbirds visited both Burmeistera species, and bats pollinated both species. Owing to differences in floral morphology, however, hummingbirds effectively pollinated only B. tenuiflora. The generalized pollination system of B. tenuiflora demonstrates that there can be overlap in the boundary between ornithophily and chiropterophily, and that nectar production and timing of anthesis do not serve as barriers between these syndromes. The high intraspecific variation in floral color from green to red or purple did not correlate with either nocturnal or diurnal pollen deposition. Degree of flower accessibility did affect pollination; nocturnal pollen deposition significantly decreased as flowers become more obstructed. In Burmeistera, floral morphology and accessibility appear to be the most important floral characteristics for specialization at the boundary between ornithophily and chiropterophily.

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