Evol Ecol Res 15: 783-792 (2013) Full PDF if your library subscribes.
Floral preference, flower constancy, and pollen transfer efficiency of the ruby-throated hummingbird (Archilochus colubris) in mixed arrays of Iris nelsonii and Iris fulva
Noland H. Martin and Sunni J. Taylor
Department of Biology, Texas State University-San Marcos, San Marcos, Texas, USA
Correspondence: N.H. Martin, Department of Biology, Texas State University-San Marcos, 601 University Drive, San Marcos, TX 78666, USA.
Background: Iris nelsonii is a homoploid hybrid species derived from three Iris species. (Homoploid hybrid species have the same number of chromosomes as their parent species.) Iris nelsonii shares a majority of its genome with one of its parents, I. fulva. The two species differ in floral colour and morphology. Pollinator isolation is a potential form of ecological divergence between a homoploid hybrid species and its parental species but the primary pollinator of both species is the ruby-throated hummingbird (Archilochus colubris).
Questions: Do hummingbirds prefer one of these two Iris species? Do hummingbirds exhibit flower constancy? Do hummingbirds transfer a pollen analogue between species?
Study system: The homoploid hybrid iris, I. nelsonii; its most closely related parental species, I. fulva; and the ruby-throated hummingbird.
Field site: Cypress Island Preserve, Breaux Bridge, Louisiana, USA.
Methods: We assayed hummingbird preference and constancy in a simple experimental array containing two flowers of each species. We assayed pollen analogue transfer efficiency in a separate experimental array containing two flowers: one dyed, the other not dyed.
Results: Hummingbirds did not show an initial preference for either flower when they entered multispecies arrays. But when a hummingbird first visited an I. nelsonii flower, it then visited another I. nelsonii flower significantly more than expected, revealing flower constancy that may result in reproductive isolation between these species of iris. Hummingbirds readily transferred pollen analogues both within and between species, so despite their morphological differences, mechanical isolation does not result in reproductive isolation of these species.
Keywords: pollinator isolation, floral isolation, mechanical isolation, ethological isolation, pollinator preference, homoploid hybrid speciation.
DOWNLOAD A FREE, FULL PDF COPY
IF you are connected using the IP of a subscribing institution (library, laboratory, etc.)
or through its VPN.
© 2013 Noland H. Martin. All EER articles are copyrighted by their authors. All authors endorse, permit and license Evolutionary Ecology Ltd. to grant its subscribing institutions/libraries the copying privileges specified below without additional consideration or payment to them or to Evolutionary Ecology, Ltd. These endorsements, in writing, are on file in the office of Evolutionary Ecology, Ltd. Consult authors for permission to use any portion of their work in derivative works, compilations or to distribute their work in any commercial manner.
Subscribing institutions/libraries may grant individuals the privilege of making a single copy of an EER article for non-commercial educational or non-commercial research purposes. Subscribing institutions/libraries may also use articles for non-commercial educational purposes by making any number of copies for course packs or course reserve collections. Subscribing institutions/libraries may also loan single copies of articles to non-commercial libraries for educational purposes.
All copies of abstracts and articles must preserve their copyright notice without modification.