A quantitative review of pollination syndromes: do floral traits predict effective pollinators?

Authors

  • Víctor Rosas-Guerrero,

    1. Centro de Investigaciones en Ecosistemas, Universidad Nacional Autónoma de México, Morelia, Michoacán, México
    2. Unidad Académica en Desarrollo Sustentable, Campus Costa Grande, Universidad Autónoma de Guerrero, Carretera Nacional Acapulco Zihuatanejo Km 106 + 900, Tecpan de Galeana, Guerrero, México
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  • Ramiro Aguilar,

    1. Instituto Multidisciplinario de Biología Vegetal, Universidad Nacional de Córdoba - CONICET, Córdoba, Argentina
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  • Silvana Martén-Rodríguez,

    1. Departamento de Biología Evolutiva, Instituto de Ecología A. C., Carretera Antigua a Coatepec No. 351, El Haya, Xalapa, Veracruz 91070, México
    2. Centro Regional del Bajío, Instituto de Ecología, A. C., Pátzcuaro, Michoacán 61600, México
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  • Lorena Ashworth,

    1. Instituto Multidisciplinario de Biología Vegetal, Universidad Nacional de Córdoba - CONICET, Córdoba, Argentina
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  • Martha Lopezaraiza-Mikel,

    1. Centro de Investigaciones en Ecosistemas, Universidad Nacional Autónoma de México, Morelia, Michoacán, México
    2. Unidad Académica en Desarrollo Sustentable, Campus Costa Grande, Universidad Autónoma de Guerrero, Carretera Nacional Acapulco Zihuatanejo Km 106 + 900, Tecpan de Galeana, Guerrero, México
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  • Jesús M. Bastida,

    1. Centro de Investigaciones en Ecosistemas, Universidad Nacional Autónoma de México, Morelia, Michoacán, México
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  • Mauricio Quesada

    Corresponding author
    1. Centro de Investigaciones en Ecosistemas, Universidad Nacional Autónoma de México, Morelia, Michoacán, México
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Abstract

The idea of pollination syndromes has been largely discussed but no formal quantitative evaluation has yet been conducted across angiosperms. We present the first systematic review of pollination syndromes that quantitatively tests whether the most effective pollinators for a species can be inferred from suites of floral traits for 417 plant species. Our results support the syndrome concept, indicating that convergent floral evolution is driven by adaptation to the most effective pollinator group. The predictability of pollination syndromes is greater in pollinator-dependent species and in plants from tropical regions. Many plant species also have secondary pollinators that generally correspond to the ancestral pollinators documented in evolutionary studies. We discuss the utility and limitations of pollination syndromes and the role of secondary pollinators to understand floral ecology and evolution.

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