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Bignonia corymbosa (Bignonieae Bignoniaceae): A plant who deceives their floral visitors

Journal Article

Umana MN; Stevenson PR; Alcantara S; Lohmann LG

2011

The International Journal of Plant Reproductive Biology

3

15-22

The lack of a nectar disc in representatives of some lineages of Bignonieae (Bignoniaceae) has led to the suggestion that deceit pollination might be present in those taxa. Here we studied Bignonia corymbosa and tested whether this species presents a deceit pollination system. For that we examined: (1) nectar production (2) the reproductive biology of B. corymbosa (3) the importance of selected flower traits for the attraction of flower visitors and (4) the effect of floral display for the frequency of floral visits to B. corymbosa. As expected no evidence of nectar production was found. We further determined that B. corymbosa is self-incompatible and employs a generalized deception strategy with petals representing an important cue for the attraction of floral visitors. Xylocopinae and Apis mellifera were found to represent the main potential pollinators. We conclude that B. corymbosa presents all characteristics that are necessary to support a deceptive strategy as a pollination mechanism.

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The Liana Ecology Project is supported by Marquette University and funded in part by the National Science Foundation.