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Indirect interactions between invasive and native plants via pollinators


Kaiser-Bunbury, C N; Müller, C B (2009). Indirect interactions between invasive and native plants via pollinators. Naturwissenschaften, 96(3):339-346.

Abstract

In generalised pollination systems, the presence of alien plant species may change the foraging behaviour of pollinators on native plant species, which could result in
reduced reproductive success of native plant species. We
tested this idea of indirect interactions on a small spatial
and temporal scale in a field study in Mauritius, where the
invasive strawberry guava, Psidium cattleianum, provides
additional floral resources for insect pollinators. We predicted that the presence of flowering guava would
indirectly and negatively affect the reproductive success
of the endemic plant Bertiera zaluzania, which has similar
flowers, by diverting shared pollinators. We removed P.
cattleianum flowers within a 5-m radius from around half
the B. zaluzania target plants (treatment) and left P.
cattleianum flowers intact around the other half (control).
By far, the most abundant and shared pollinator was the
introduced honey bee, Apis mellifera, but its visitation rates to treatment and control plants were similar. Likewise, fruit and seed set and fruit size and weight of B. zaluzania were not influenced by the presence of P. cattleianum flowers. Although other studies have shown small-scale effects of alien plant species on neighbouring natives, we found no evidence for such negative indirect interactions in our system. The dominance of introduced, established A. mellifera indicates their replacement of native insect flower visitors and their function as pollinators of native plant species. However, the pollination effectiveness of A. mellifera in comparison to native pollinators is unknown.

Abstract

In generalised pollination systems, the presence of alien plant species may change the foraging behaviour of pollinators on native plant species, which could result in
reduced reproductive success of native plant species. We
tested this idea of indirect interactions on a small spatial
and temporal scale in a field study in Mauritius, where the
invasive strawberry guava, Psidium cattleianum, provides
additional floral resources for insect pollinators. We predicted that the presence of flowering guava would
indirectly and negatively affect the reproductive success
of the endemic plant Bertiera zaluzania, which has similar
flowers, by diverting shared pollinators. We removed P.
cattleianum flowers within a 5-m radius from around half
the B. zaluzania target plants (treatment) and left P.
cattleianum flowers intact around the other half (control).
By far, the most abundant and shared pollinator was the
introduced honey bee, Apis mellifera, but its visitation rates to treatment and control plants were similar. Likewise, fruit and seed set and fruit size and weight of B. zaluzania were not influenced by the presence of P. cattleianum flowers. Although other studies have shown small-scale effects of alien plant species on neighbouring natives, we found no evidence for such negative indirect interactions in our system. The dominance of introduced, established A. mellifera indicates their replacement of native insect flower visitors and their function as pollinators of native plant species. However, the pollination effectiveness of A. mellifera in comparison to native pollinators is unknown.

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13 citations in Web of Science®
13 citations in Scopus®
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Additional indexing

Item Type:Journal Article, refereed, original work
Communities & Collections:07 Faculty of Science > Institute of Evolutionary Biology and Environmental Studies
Dewey Decimal Classification:570 Life sciences; biology
590 Animals (Zoology)
Uncontrolled Keywords:Apis mellifera, Bertiera zaluzania, Invasive plant, Indirect interaction, Plant reproductive success, Psidium cattleianum
Language:English
Date:2009
Deposited On:19 Mar 2009 13:10
Last Modified:06 Dec 2017 19:18
Publisher:Springer
ISSN:0028-1042
Publisher DOI:https://doi.org/10.1007/s00114-008-0481-x
PubMed ID:19050842

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