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Botanical Sciences

On-line version ISSN 2007-4476Print version ISSN 2007-4298


SALINAS-ESQUIVEL, Luis et al. Nectar and flower production as compensatory traits to nectar robbing in Bouvardia ternifolia (Rubiaceae) field experiments. Bot. sci [online]. 2013, vol.91, n.1, pp.85-92. ISSN 2007-4476.

Nectar of hummingbird-pollinated plants is usually robbed by non-pollinator animals, for that reason it is possible that the robbed plants show different strategies to mitigate the associated costs. In this study, we evaluated the production of nectar and flowers as traits to mitigate the nectar robbing in the distylous plant Bouvardia ternifolia (Rubiaceae) in the National Park La Malinche, Tlaxcala. Plants of both morphs were subject to three different treatments: (1) treatment with nectar removal, (2) treatment without nectar removal, and (3) treatment control. During the flowering period, we weekly quantified the nectar volume (15 flowers/plant) and the number of flowers per plant. We manually pollinated the focal flowers and the produced fruits were collected and their seeds counted. Similar volumes of nectar were produce in the flowers with and without nectar removal; in opposition to the small collected volumes in the control flowers. Long-styled flowers (pin morph) produced more nectar volume and sugar than short-styled flowers (thrum morph). There was not effect of treatments on the flowers production in both morphs. Flowers with and without nectar removal produced more seeds than control flowers. Our results showed that Bouvardia can over-compensate the nectar robbed, but not flowers; without affecting the number produced seeds.

Keywords : Bouvardia ternifolia; flower and nectar production; nectar robbing; Tlaxcala.

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