Reproductive trade-offs in a specialized plant/pollinator system involving Asplundia uncinata Harling (Cyclanthaceae) and a derelomine flower weevil (Coleoptera: Curculionidae)

Research output: Contribution to journalArticle

6 Scopus citations

Abstract

The reproductive interactions of a specialized plant/pollinator system involving Asplundia uncinata Harling (Cyclanthaceae) and a derelomine flower weevil (Coleoptera: Curculionidae: Derelomini) were studied at La Selva, Costa Rica. The inflorescences of A. uncinata exhibit a suite of cantharophilous characters including a precisely synchronized anthesis, protogyny, thermogenesis, olfactory attraction of visitors via modified staminodes, and narrow interfloral entrances. The weevil pollinators use the inflorescences for feeding, mating, and oviposition. The larvae are detritivorous and develop either in the detaching staminate flowers or, at a more favorable rate, in the rotting infructescences. The rate of infructescence abortion was high and caused by low levels of pollination. Manual pollination treatments yielded significantly higher seed counts than obtained under natural conditions, and furthermore demonstrated the inflorescences' ability to reproduce via geitonogamy. In the longer term, the reproductive benefits of maintaining low levels of pollination may shift away from the weevils and towards the plants via an increase in the size of the pollinator population.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)183-201
Number of pages19
JournalPlant Systematics and Evolution
Volume269
Issue number3-4
DOIs
StatePublished - Dec 1 2007
Externally publishedYes

Keywords

  • Aspundlia uncinata Harling
  • Cantharophily
  • Geitonogamy
  • Infructescence abortion
  • Plant/pollinator mutualism
  • Pollinator efficiency
  • Pollinator reproduction
  • Reproductive system

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Ecology, Evolution, Behavior and Systematics
  • Plant Science

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