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Impact of introduced honeybees on native pollination interactions of Echium wildpretii ssp. wildpretii (Boraginaceae), endemic to Tenerife, Canary Islands.

AuthorsDupont, Yoko L.; Hansen, Dennis M.; Valido, Alfredo CSIC ORCID CVN ; Olesen, Jens M.
Issue Date2004
CitationBiological conservation, 118:301-311 (2004)
AbstractThe aim of this study was to investigate effects of introduced honey bees (Apis mellifera) on native pollination interactions of Echium wildpretii ssp. wildpretii in the sub-alpine desert of Tenerife. We selected two study populations, one dominated by honey bees, while the other was visited by many native insects. During peak activity period of insects, nectar was nearly completely depleted in flowers of the first, but not the latter population. Thus, a high abundance of honey bees may have suppressed visitation by native animals due to exploitative competition. Honey bees stayed longer and visited more flowers on the same inflorescence than native bees, thus potentially promoting self-pollination of the plants. Level of seed set and viability was similar in the two study populations. However, we cannot rule out long-term changes in genetic population structure due to changes in gene-flow patterns caused by foraging behaviour of honey bees vs. native flower-visitors.
Identifiersdoi: 10.1016/j.biocon.2003.09.010
issn: 1775-4100
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