New Zealand Journal of Ecology (1978) 1: 66- 73

Variability in New Zealand montane and alpine pollinator assemblages

Research Article
Richard B. Primack 1,2
  1. Department of Botany, University of Canterbury, Christchurch, New Zealand
  2. Present address: Department of Botany, Duke University, Durham, N.C. 27706, USA

Observations were made on insect visitors to flowers in montane short-tussock grasslands and scrub, and in subalpine and alpine grasslands. New Zealand does not possess native social bees or many other advanced insects, and the flowers were visited by highly variable assemblages of unspecialized insects. The flowers studied were characterized by general pollination systems, only a very few species showing specific floral adaptations to particular pollinators. The general pollination systems are viewed as an adaptation to highly variable pollinator assemblages; flowers are visited by whatever pollinators are immediately available. J. M. Gedye