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Abstract Detail

Tropical Biology

Vibrans, Heike [1], Hernández-Villa, Valeria [1], Uscanga-Mortera, Ebandro [1], Aguirre-Jaimes, Armando [2].

Native weeds of highland Mexico: pollinator dependence related to floral display and plant size.

Mesoamerican weed communities of traditional maize fields are extraordinarily colorful, with the weed species directing considerable resources to pollinator attraction. They consist mainly of native species (some of which are invasive elsewhere in the tropics), and contain a number of relatively tall annuals, due to the stature of maize. We explored the influence of structural features of the species - particularly plant height and display area - on pollinator dependency. The two experimental sites were located in the Valley of Mexico, at about 2000 m, relatively close to each other. They had maize as the main crop, but were managed differently (modern and traditional). We observed floral visitors of the ten most important species of each site, all annual native herbs. Also, we evaluated the results of an inflorescence bagging experiment. The tallest herbs had the largest floral display and most visitors; also they depended on animal pollination for seed set. This is unusual for annual plants and especially weeds, which are usually at least facultative selfers. Medium-sized species, however, were facultatively pollinator-dependent, and small species were autonomous self-pollinators. Thus, species composition for this type of secondary vegetation is related to breeding system, conspicuousness and pollinator access. Also, we observed a much higher visitor species richness and frequency in the traditional maize field. The work has implications for pollinator conservation.

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1 - Colegio de Postgraduados, Posgrado en Botánica, km 36.5 carretera México-Texcoco, Texcoco, Estado de México, 56230, Mexico
2 - Instituto de Ecología, A.C., Red de Interacciones Multitróficas, Carretera Antigua a Coatepec 351, El Haya, Xalapa, Veracruz, 91070, Mexico

pollination ecology
agricultural weeds
weed evolution

Presentation Type: Oral Paper
Session: TB, Tropical Biology
Location: Virtual/Virtual
Date: Monday, July 19th, 2021
Time: 12:30 PM(EDT)
Number: TB001
Abstract ID:837
Candidate for Awards:None

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