Pollination: Sunbird surprise for syndromes

  title={Pollination: Sunbird surprise for syndromes},
  author={Jeff Ollerton},
Predictions can be made about how a given plant might be pollinated by looking at its morphology, colour, nectar and odour. But scientists are increasingly finding that these predictions aren't reliable. The latest example is that ofMicroloma sagittatum, a member of the milkweed family, which, against all expectations, has been found to be pollinated by the South African sunbird Nectarinia chalybea. 

Butterflies and moths-agents of pollinator-mediated selection and species separation in the two closely related carnations Dianthus carthusianorum and D . sylvestris

Darwin’s meticulous observations on the function of floral shape led to his famous prediction of a long-tongued pollinator, which he believed to be the evolutionary trigger for the long-spurred

The breeding system of Watsonia knysnana (Iridaceae): an assessment of pollinator effectiveness

Selection toward shorter flowers by butterflies whose probosces are shorter than floral tubes.

A reduction in pollinator efficiency is experimentally demonstrated with an increasing difference between proboscis length and floral tube length, indicating a relationship is a prerequisite for the evolution of floral shape in response to pollinator morphology.

Experimental evidence for bird pollination and corolla damage by ants in the short-tubed flowers of Erica halicacaba ( Ericaceae )

Unrelated plants pollinated by similar animals tend to show convergent evolution of floral traits. Floral syndromes have been used successfully to develop hypotheses about pollination systems but can

Generalization versus specialization in plant pollination systems.

  • JohnsonSteiner
  • Environmental Science
    Trends in ecology & evolution
  • 2000

Floral syndromes accurately predict pollination by a specialized oil-collecting bee (Rediviva peringueyi, Melittidae) in a guild of South African orchids (Coryciinae).

  • A. Pauw
  • Environmental Science
    American journal of botany
  • 2006
The pollination biology of a group of 15 orchids that share a recognizable syndrome of floral features that includes yellow-green coloration, oil secretion, pungent scent, shallow flowers, and a September peak in flowering is examined, suggesting that pollinators play an important role in mediating selection on floral traits.

Pollination syndromes in a specialised plant-pollinator interaction : does floral morphology predict pollinators in Calceolaria ?

Pollination syndromes are defined as suites of floral traits evolved in response to selection imposed by a particular group of pollinators (e.g., butterflies, hummingbirds, bats). Although numerous

Pollination syndromes in a specialised plant-pollinator interaction: does floral morphology predict pollinators in Calceolaria?

The results identify morphological matching between floral traits related to access to the reward and insect traits involved in oil collection, confirming the presence of pollinator syndromes in Calceolaria and indicating that the pollination syndrome concept can be also extended to the intra-pollinator group level.

Transfer of pollinaria on birds’ feet: a new pollination system in orchids

The discovery of a new mechanism of pollination in orchids: transfer of pollinaria on the feet of birds, which is remarkably efficient with about 6.1% of pollen reaching stigmas on other plants and fruit set occurring in 95% of flowers at one site.



Floral Traits and Plant Adaptation to Insect Pollinators: A Devil’s Advocate Approach

Darwin’s book on orchids evoked a major revolution in botany and gave rise to an enormous literature on pollination ecology, and marked the starting point for a tradition in the practice of pollination biology.

Pollen transfer on birds' tongues

  • A. Pauw
  • Environmental Science
  • 1998
The flowers of Microloma sagittatum, a member of the milkweed family, clip parcels of pollen precisely onto the tongues of sunbirds, the first evidence for pollen transfer on the tongue of birds, a phenomenon that might be more widespread.