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The Lack of Pollinator Specificity in a Dioecious Fig Tree: Sympatric Fig-pollinating Wasps of Ficus septica in Southern Taiwan
Article first published online: 27 JUL 2010
© 2010 The Author(s). Journal compilation © 2010 by The Association for Tropical Biology and Conservation
Volume 43, Issue 2, pages 200–207, March 2011
How to Cite
Lin, R.-C., Yeung, C. K.-L., Fong, J. J., Tzeng, H.-Y. and Li, S.-H. (2011), The Lack of Pollinator Specificity in a Dioecious Fig Tree: Sympatric Fig-pollinating Wasps of Ficus septica in Southern Taiwan. Biotropica, 43: 200–207. doi: 10.1111/j.1744-7429.2010.00686.x
- Issue published online: 1 MAR 2011
- Article first published online: 27 JUL 2010
- Received 4 December 2009; revision accepted 13 May 2010.
- fig wasp;
Although species specificity between fig trees and their pollinators has been considered a classic example of obligate mutualism, increasing exceptions to the one-to-one relationship suggest that multiple pollinator species per fig host species may be a pervasive phenomenon. Based on both mitochondrial DNA and microsatellite analyses, we found three putative pollinator species (Ceratosolen spp.) associated with Ficus spetica in southern Taiwan, two of which, that differ in color, routinely coexist within single figs. These three pollinators are substantially divergent from the pollinator of F. spetica in New Guinea, implying that wasp diversity may be highly underestimated when the one-to-one rule is assumed. Our findings not only provide the first case of coexistence of pollinators within single figs on a shared dioecious Ficus host, but also an ideal system to investigate interspecific competition and sex allocation, especially when coexisting pollinators are visually distinguishable by their colors.