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Pollination patterns and plant breeding systems in the Galápagos: A review

AuthorsChamorro, Susana ; Heleno, Rubén H.; Olesen, Jens M.; McMullen, Conley K.; Traveset, Anna
Keywordsflower visitation
plant-animal interactions
pollination networks
oceanic islands
plant breeding systems
mutualistic interactions
Issue DateNov-2012
PublisherOxford University Press
CitationAnnals of Botany 110(7): 1489-1501 (2012)
AbstractBackgroundDespite the importance of the Galápagos Islands for the development of central concepts in ecology and evolution, the understanding of many ecological processes in this archipelago is still very basic. One such process is pollination, which provides an important service to both plants and their pollinators. The rather modest level of knowledge on this subject has so far limited our predictive power on the consequences of the increasing threat of introduced plants and pollinators to this unique archipelago.ScopeAs a first step toward building a unified view of the state of pollination in the Galápagos, a thorough literature search was conducted on the breeding systems of the archipelago's flora and compiled all documented flower-visitor interactions. Based on 38 studies from the last 100 years, we retrieved 329 unique interactions between 123 flowering plant species (50 endemics, 39 non-endemic natives, 26 introduced and eight of unknown origin) from 41 families and 120 animal species from 13 orders. We discuss the emergent patterns and identify promising research avenues in the field.ConclusionsAlthough breeding systems are known for <20 of the flora, most species in our database were self-compatible. Moreover, the incidence of autogamy among endemics, non-endemic natives and alien species did not differ significantly, being high in all groups, which suggests that a poor pollinator fauna does not represent a constraint to the integration of new plant species into the native communities. Most interactions detected (approx. 90 ) come from a single island (most of them from Santa Cruz). Hymenopterans (mainly the endemic carpenter bee Xylocopa darwinii and ants), followed by lepidopterans, were the most important flower visitors. Dipterans were much more important flower visitors in the humid zone than in the dry zone. Bird and lizard pollination has been occasionally reported in the dry zone. Strong biases were detected in the sampling effort dedicated to different islands, time of day, focal plants and functional groups of visitors. Thus, the existing patterns need to be confronted with new and less biased data. The implementation of a community-level approach could greatly increase our understanding of pollination on the islands and our ability to predict the consequences of plant invasions for the natural ecosystems of the Galápagos. © 2012 The Author. Published by Oxford University Press on behalf of the Annals of Botany Company. All rights reserved.
Publisher version (URL)http://dx.doi.org/10.1093/aob/mcs132
Identifiersdoi: 10.1093/aob/mcs132
issn: 0305-7364
Appears in Collections:(IMEDEA) Artículos
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