Fine-scale temporal dynamics of flower visitors sheds light on insect-assemblage overlap between sexes in a dioecious Ecuadorian palm

Thomas Auffray, Rommel Montúfar, Santiago Xavier Palacios Uquillas, Alvaro Barragán, Sylvain Pincebourde, Marc Gibernau, Olivier Dangles

Producción científica: Contribución a una revistaArtículorevisión exhaustiva


Dioecious plants generally display sexual dimorphism in male and female floral traits, potentially attracting slightly different pollinator communities. The sharing of common floral visitors between male and female flowers and their timing of visits to both sexes is of critical importance to ensure plant's reproductive success. Palm inflorescences are visited by abundant and diverse insect communities, yet the temporal patterns of insect visits on both sexes remain poorly known. We characterized the composition of a community of flower-visiting arthropods associated with the dioecious ivory palm (Phytelephas aequatorialis, Spruce) in a pre-montane forest of Ecuador. We monitored the temporal variations in insect visits along the flowering of 12 inflorescences (eight female and four male) using interception traps recovered every 4 h. We report 59 morphospecies in the arthropod community, dominated by three beetle families: Staphylinidae, Nitidulidae, and Curculionidae. Male inflorescences were more abundantly visited than female, but visitors of the later were taxonomically more diverse. Among the 16 pollinator candidates identified, nine visited both inflorescence sexes synchronously at dusk /night whereas the others did so asynchronously during the day. Our study provides new insights into the pollination mechanism of P. aequatorialis. We found evidence of differential pollinator attraction between floral sexes, which may be explained by the sexual dimorphism of both flowers. Synchronicity in dusk/night visits of both inflorescence sexes suggests a sexual synchronization of the signal used to attract pollinators. Abstract in Spainsh is available with online material.

Idioma originalInglés
Páginas (desde-hasta)256-267
Número de páginas12
EstadoPublicada - 8 dic. 2022

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© 2022 The Authors. Biotropica published by Wiley Periodicals LLC on behalf of Association for Tropical Biology and Conservation.

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