Movement of honey-eaters and pollen flow in Phormlum tenax
- Department of Zoology, University of Auckland, Auckland, New Zealand
[Abstract of a paper read at the Ecological Society Conference, 1983.]
Numerous workers have shown that rewards for pollinators (e.g. nectar) typically promote patterns of movement that are beneficial for the plant in terms of pollen flow. For example, in self-compatible species, field studies have shown a significant variation in seed set and seed viability with pollen from different distances. The problem is even greater with self-incompatibility where extensive movement between perfect flowers on the same plant can provide minimal pollination but a loss of rewards that would attract subsequent pollinators. These patterns stimulated a study of pollinator movements on flax, Phormium tenax (Agavaceae); an apparently self-sterile plant with a large but simply structured inflorescence.