Site variation in reproductive synchrony in three neotropical figs



Abstract. To investigate the persistence of figs and their short-lived pollinators in highly seasonal environments and in small populations, three native figs were studied near the edge of their range in Sonora, Mexico. The reproductive phenologies of Ficus insipida (Willd.) and F. petiolaris (H.B.K.) were contrasted between a drier site with small populations and a wetter site with large populations. In addition, F. pertusa (L.) phenology was censused in the wetter site and compared with findings from Central America. Trees from smaller populations in the drier site produced less synchronous crops. Individuals within populations became reproductively synchronized at the population level but rapidly attained asynchrony in the drier site because of a breakdown in within-tree crop synchrony. Sexual-phase overlap occurred in all species and sites. Intraspecific variation in reproductive phenology may explain the persistence of figs and fig wasps in highly seasonal environments and small populations.