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Butterfly pollination and high-contrast visual signals in a low-density distylous plant

Borges, Renee M and Gowda, Vinita and Zacharias, Merry (2003) Butterfly pollination and high-contrast visual signals in a low-density distylous plant. In: Oecologia, 136 (4). pp. 571-573.

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In low-density butterfly-pollinated Mussaenda frondosa (Rubiaceae), flowers attract pollinators at short distances while conspicuous, non-rewarding accessory bracts are detectable at long distances by long-ranging pollinators such as the birdwing butterfly Troides minos that did not detect flower-bearing plants in the absence of these bracts. However, even in the absence of flowers, the white, ultraviolet-absorbing bracts attracted butterflies that visited flowerless plants. Although flower visits by short-ranging territorial butterflies declined significantly on removal of bracts, they did not cease completely. Nectar-robbing carpenter bees and birds did not change their behaviour following bract removal. Bract removal caused a significant decline in fruit set, indicating their importance as visual signals to pollinators.

Item Type: Journal Article
Publication: Oecologia
Publisher: Springer-Verlag
Additional Information: Copyright of this article belongs to Springer-Verlag
Keywords: Advertisement; Heterostyly; Reproductive strategy; Spectral reflectance
Department/Centre: Division of Biological Sciences > Centre for Ecological Sciences
Date Deposited: 10 Dec 2008 11:58
Last Modified: 03 Jan 2013 05:36
URI: http://eprints.iisc.ac.in/id/eprint/16641

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