Sahli, H. F. and J. K. Conner. 2007. Visitation, effectiveness, and efficiency of 15 genera of visitors to wild radish, Raphanus raphanistrum (Brassicaceae). American Journal of Botany 94:203-209.
Plant–pollinator interactions are one of the most important and variable mutualisms in nature. Multiple pollinators often visit plants and can vary in visitation rates, pollen removal and deposition, and spatial and temporal distribution, altering plant reproduction and patterns of pollinator-mediated selection. Although some visitors may not be effective pollinators, pollinator effectiveness is rarely estimated directly as seed set resulting from a single visit by each taxon visiting generalist plants. For two years, effectiveness of visitors to wild radish, Raphanus raphanistrum, was quantified by counting seeds set and pollen grains removed as a result of a single visit. We calculated a pollinator’s importance to plant reproduction as the product of visitation rate and single-visit seed set, and regressed pollinator body size on pollen-removal and on seed set effectiveness. Although pollinators differed in effectiveness and visitation rates, pollinator importance was primarily determined by visitation rates. In contrast to similar 2-yr studies, pollinator assemblage composition varied little, suggesting pollinator-mediated selection can be consistent across years for this generalist. Larger pollinators were more effective than smaller at effecting seed set, but body size was a poor predictor of pollen removal ability. Instead, pollen-removal effectiveness may be more influenced by foraging behavior than size.
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