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  • Florivory and pollinator visitation: a cautionary tale. AoB PLANTS Tsuji, K., Dhami, M. K., Cross, D. J., Rice, C. P., Romano, N. H., Fukami, T. 2016; 8


    Florivory, or damage to flowers by herbivores, can make flowers less attractive to pollinators, potentially resulting in reduced plant fitness. However, not many studies have combined observations with experiments to assess the causal link between florivory and pollination. We conducted field observations at eight sites in northern California, combined with field experiments that involved artificial floral damage, to study the effect of florivory on pollination in the hummingbird-pollinated sticky monkeyflower, Mimulus aurantiacus We used two indicators of pollinator visitation, stigma closure and the presence of microorganisms in floral nectar. The field observations revealed that stigma closure was less frequent in damaged flowers than in intact flowers. In the experiments, however, floral damage did not decrease stigma closure or microbial detection in nectar. Instead, neighbouring flowers were similar for both indicators. These results suggest that the observed negative association between florivory and pollination is not causal and that the location of flowers is more important to pollinator visitation than florivory in these populations of M. aurantiacus.

    View details for DOI 10.1093/aobpla/plw036

    View details for PubMedID 27178063

    View details for PubMedCentralID PMC4940504