Are diel patterns of nectar production and anthesis associated with other floral traits in plants visited by potential bird and mammal pollinators?
Saffer, V.M. (2004) Are diel patterns of nectar production and anthesis associated with other floral traits in plants visited by potential bird and mammal pollinators? Australian Journal of Botany, 52 (1). p. 87.
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Plants pollinated predominantly by vertebrates are thought to have suites of floral traits (e.g. colour, conspicuousness, odour) that favour either birds or mammals, with brightly coloured, conspicuous flowers associated with birds and drab, concealed flowers with non-flying mammals. This study examined two other floral traits, diel patterns of nectar production and pollen presentation (anthesis). It would be expected that these would be nocturnal in putatively mammal-pollinated plants and diurnal in bird-pollinated plants. In four Banksia and two Dryandra species, all known to be visited by honeyeater birds and small marsupials at one site in south-western Australia, there was no clear correspondence between visual cues and diel patterns of resource presentation. This lack of correlation between floral traits does not support the idea of specialised pollination syndromes, but rather is consistent with generalised pollination systems.
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