Is the best way for a plant to attract bats as pollinators to hoist their flowers up high?Continue reading Does flower height matter to bats?
Competition for pollination can occur between sympatric plant species sharing pollinators, but can be minimized if each plant species places pollen on different areas of the pollinator’s body. Hitherto there has been little field evidence to support the theory of differential pollen placement. Stewart and Dudash examined a community of five night-blooming plant species in Southern Thailand that share common bat pollinators, collecting pollen samples from the fur of four body parts of the wild foraging nectar bats and documenting changes to pollen loads throughout the night. Each bat-pollinated species generally placed pollen on separate areas of the bat, according...Continue reading Field evidence of differential pollen placement by bat-pollinated plants
Plant species that share pollinators are potentially subject to non-adaptive interspecific pollen transfer, resulting in reduced reproductive success. Mechanisms that increase pollination efficiency between conspecific individuals are therefore highly beneficial.Continue reading Differential pollen placement increases pollination efficiency
Bats are responsible for pollinating several species of plants. A new paper in Annals of Botany reports for the first time bat-pollination of a species in the genus Tillandsia. Bromeliaceae is a species-rich neotropical plant family, of which Tillandsia is the most diverse genus and includes more than a third of all bromeliad species. The flowers of some species show characteristics typical for pollination by nocturnal animals, particularly bats and moths. The authors find that nectar production is restricted to the night hours, and the most frequent visitor and the only pollinator is the nectarivorous bat Anoura geoffroyi. This is...Continue reading Halloween Special: First record of bat-pollination in Tillandsia