Biodiversity Science ›› 2007, Vol. 15 ›› Issue (6): 680-686.doi: 10.1360/biodiv.070222

Special Issue: Studies on Plant–Pollinator Interaction

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Effects of floral display on pollinator behavior and pollen dispersal

Lulu Tang1*, Bing Han2   

  1. 1 Department of Biological Science and Technology, Central South University, Changsha 410013
    2 College of Life Sciences, Wuhan University, Wuhan 430072
  • Online:2007-11-20

Complete understanding of floral function requires the recognition of floral traits at two aspects: floral design and floral display. Floral display, the fundamental unit of plant mating, refers to the number, type and arrangement of the open flowers on the plant in a certain period. Interactions between the flowers on a plant could influence pollinator behaviors on the plant and consequently may govern the mating outcomes. Pollinators prefer large floral displays, which often receive more visitations than smaller displays and thus could facilitate geitonogamous pollination. However, visitations for each flower do not increase with display size directly, suggesting that the variation of display size would balance the benefit of attractiveness against the cost of self-pollination. Flower morphs, such as unisexual or perfect flowers on one plant, may have dif-ferent gender function varying with pollinator preference and when or how much reward is available. Flow-ers on one plant also vary on size, color and reward to affect pollinator’s visitation behavior and minimize the potential self-pollination. Floral display often contains a three-dimensional floral arrangement that could in-fluence pollinator attraction and forage energy at a large scale, and is dynamic in response to the complex pollination and physical environments. Here we briefly review the progress of studies on floral display. It is clear that further studies on the interactions between floral traits and various pollination environments would provide insights into ecological functions of diverse floral displays in angiosperms.

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