Publication details.


Author(s):S. Hervías-Parejo, A. Traveset
Title:Pollination effectiveness of opportunistic Galápagos birds compared to that of insects: From fruit set to seedling emergence
JCR Impact Factor:2.841
Issue No.:7
Abstract:© 2018 Botanical Society of America Premise of the Study: Relying on floral traits to assess pollination systems has been shown to underestimate the ecological service that novel mutualisms can provide. Although vertebrates with opportunistic food habits are common on islands, usually feeding upon flowers of entomophilous species (ES), little is known about how effective they are as pollinators. In a previous study, we had reported that native insectivorous and frugivorous Galápagos birds commonly visit ES flowers, without assessing whether they act as pollinators. Here we investigate this by focusing on three typically ES (Cryptocarpus pyriformis, Waltheria ovata, Cordia lutea) and one mostly ornithophilous species (OS), Opuntia echios. Methods: The quantitative component (QNC: the product of floral visit frequency and number of flowers contacted) and qualitative components (QLC: fruit and seed set, fruit length, and mass and proportion of seedling emergence) of pollination effectiveness of birds was compared with that of insects. Key Results: Birds were not quantitatively important pollinators compared to insects. However, selective exclusion experiments in the four plant species revealed that all qualitative components of fitness improved when both birds and insects visited the flowers. Our study is the first to confirm pollination effectiveness of ES by native opportunistic birds. Conclusions: The Galápagos pollination systems are probably more generalized than previous data suggested and, given that ES dominate the flora of this archipelago, we argue that, contrary to expectation, birds might have an important role in maintaining the reproductive success and diversity of plant communities.

Related staff

  • Anna Traveset Vilagines
  • Sandra Hervias Parejo
  • Related departments

  • Oceanography and Global Change
  • Related research groups

  • Global Change Research