Low bee visitation rates explain pollinator shifts to vertebrates in tropical mountains

Autor(en)
Agnes S. Dellinger, Rocio Pérez-Barrales, Fabián A. Michelangeli, Darin S. Penneys, Diana M. Fernández-Fernández, Jürg Schönenberger
Abstrakt

Summary Evolutionary shifts from bee to vertebrate pollination are common in tropical mountains. Reduction in bee pollination efficiency under adverse montane weather conditions was proposed to drive these shifts. Although pollinator shifts are central for the evolution and diversification of angiosperms, we lack experimental evidence of the ecological processes underlying such shifts. Here, we combine phylogenetic and distributional data for 138 species of the Neotropical plant tribe Merianieae (Melastomataceae) with pollinator observations of eleven and field pollination experiments of six species to test whether mountain environment may indeed drive such shifts. We demonstrate that shifts from bee to vertebrate pollination coincided with occurrence at high elevations. We show that vertebrates were highly efficient pollinators even under the harsh environmental conditions of tropical mountains, whereas bee pollination efficiency was lowered significantly through reductions in flower visitation rates. Further, we show that pollinator shifts in Merianieae coincided with the final phases of the Andean uplift and were contingent on adaptive floral trait changes to alternative rewards and mechanisms facilitating pollen dispersal. Our results provide evidence that abiotic environmental conditions (i.e. mountain climate) may indeed reduce the efficiency of a plant clade’s ancestral pollinator group and correlate with shifts to more efficient new pollinators.

Organisation(en)
Department für Botanik und Biodiversitätsforschung
Externe Organisation(en)
University of Portsmouth, New York Bot Garden, University of North Carolina at Wilmington, Instituto Nacional de Biodiversidad, Quito
Journal
New Phytologist
Band
231
Seiten
864-877
Anzahl der Seiten
36
ISSN
0028-646X
DOI
https://doi.org/10.1111/nph.17390
Publikationsdatum
04-2021
Peer-reviewed
Ja
ÖFOS 2012
106008 Botanik, 106042 Systematische Botanik, 106012 Evolutionsforschung
Schlagwörter
Link zum Portal
https://ucris.univie.ac.at/portal/de/publications/low-bee-visitation-rates-explain-pollinator-shifts-to-vertebrates-in-tropical-mountains(6dae4551-e669-4af8-acdd-ffc79db5d1ea).html