Pollination, Pollinators and Food Production
Assessing pollinator importance of each floral visitor to a plant species is a key to understandingplant–pollinator interaction. The present study examined visitation frequency, pollination efficiency,and pollinator importance of the full range of floral visitors to Geranium thunbergii naturalpopulation, by measuring seed-set. During 2 years of observations, the flowers were visited by atleast 45 insect species belonging to four orders. Among the main 22 visitor species, 11 speciesbelonging to three orders (Hymenoptera, Diptera, and Lepidoptera) acted as the efficient pollinators.In both years, Hymenoptera, especially bees, was the most important pollinator to G. thunbergii.Thus, the flowers could be considered as bee-pollinated. However, the most important species werenot constant between years. The study also documented that the efficient pollinators have largerbody sizes. The dish-shaped floral morphology, taxonomically diverse pollinators, and temporalchange in the most important pollinators indicate that G. thunbergii–pollinator interaction is a rathergeneralized system. The results suggest that casual observations of visitation, or even precisemeasurement of pollinator importance in a single season is insufficient to identify importantpollinators.
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