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Pollination by beetles ( Cantarofilia )

By Seolncr Subscribe to RSS | January 28th 2012 | Views:

Pollination by birds ( Ornitofilia )

Ornitofílicas flowers are usually large, red, tubular shape and have abundant nectar. All these features are favored by birds. Ornitofílicas flowers are most abundant in tropical rain forests.

Many of the flowers pollinated by hummingbirds and other birds have colors in the range of red, orange or pink although they also suck nectar from flowers of other colors. Unlike many of the flowers pollinated by insects ornitófilas flowers have no nectar guides in the ultraviolet range which makes them almost invisible insects that have that kind of vision. This may reduce the theft of nectar by insects.

Flowers pollinated by birds also typically produce nectar with low sugar concentration (about 25 wt%) with predominance of sucrose on thefructose and glucose . While insect-pollinated flowers tend to have higher concentrations of sugar, especially fructose and glucose

Pollination by bats ( Quiropterofilia )

Bat-pollinated flowers are usually nocturnal flowers white or cream, large, abundant nectar. Many cacti are pollinated by bats.


Floral syndromes reflect convergent evolution that limits the types of pollinators and increase plant specialization on pollination. Are a response to selective pressures exerted by pollinators shares. For example, if two unrelated plants are pollinated by nocturnal moths will develop similar character, traits that are more attractive to such pollinators.

Advantages of specialization

? Pollination efficiency. A plant for pollination to obtain the maximum with minimum investment. Nectar is cheap, but the pollen is expensive. Some are more efficient pollinators than others.

? Constancy of pollinators. It is essential to plant the pollinator returns repeatedly to the same kind of flower, otherwise you end up wasting pollen in flowers of other species

Advantages of the generalization

Pollinator abundance fluctuates independently of the flowers. A plant needs other types of pollinators if absent than usual.

Magnolias were among the earliest flowering plants, which evolved many million years ago, long before there were any bees. Butterflies and moths were also absent in those days. The only pollinators available were probably beetles and flies, the so-called “dumb pollinators”. This term refers to the fact that the late-comers to the world of pollination, particularly bees, can perform remarkable feats of memory and skillful manipulation of flowers. When bees entered the scene, perhaps twenty or thirty million years later (give or take a handful of millions), they took to the pollinating job with gusto. They became real pros which adapted to the ever growing variety of flowers and developed skills par with the complexity of these newly evolved plants. The same can be said of many butterflies and moths and also some wasps. That is how they earned the name of "smart pollinators".

Criticism of the syndromes

Most of the flowers is not for a particular type. These are cases of mixed floral syndromes that do not fit within one kind or another. It is necessary to reevaluate the types of pollinators and is best classified by their function rather than their taxonomy. Many pollinators of different taxonomic groups can perform a similar function and therefore exert similar selective pressures on the type of flower. The different groups of pollinators visit flowers similar taxa and perform a similar function are guilds. We must also take into account the efficiency of each pollinator, it is not enough to be a frequent visitor if it is able to carry pollen.

A floral syndrome is a set of characters of flowers designed to attract a particular type of pollinator (Proctor et al. 1996). These include characters such as shape, size, color, type and amount of reward, nectar chemical composition, time and time of flowering. For example, tubular flowers, red with abundant nectar attract birds, the bad odor and color of rotting flesh to attract certain types of flies. The syndromes are the result of convergent evolution in response to similar selective pressures.

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