Pollination mode in fig wasps: The predictive power of correlated traits

F. Kjellberg, E. Jousselin, J. L. Bronstein, A. Patel, J. Yokoyama, J. Y. Rasplus

Research output: Contribution to journalArticle

99 Scopus citations

Abstract

The over 700 species of Ficus are thought to have co-speciated with their obligate pollinators (family Agaonidae). Some of these wasp species pollinate figs actively, while others are passive pollinators. Based on direct observations of mode of pollination in 88 species, we show that mode of pollination can confidently be predicted from fig traits only (anther-to-ovule ratio) or from wasp traits only (presence of coxal combs). The presence of pollen pockets is not a predictor of mode of pollination. Data, direct and indirect, on 142 species, demonstrate numerous cases of the loss of active pollination and suggest one or few origins of active pollination. Hence, active pollination, an impressive example of the sophisticated traits that may result from mutualistic coevolution, depends on selective forces that can be overcome in some species, allowing reversions. Despite frequent loss, active pollination remains the predominant mode of pollination in Ficus.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)1113-1121
Number of pages9
JournalProceedings of the Royal Society B: Biological Sciences
Volume268
Issue number1472
DOIs
StatePublished - Jun 7 2001
Externally publishedYes

Keywords

  • Agaonidae
  • Coevolution
  • Ficus
  • Fig
  • Mutualism
  • Pollination

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Biochemistry, Genetics and Molecular Biology(all)
  • Immunology and Microbiology(all)
  • Environmental Science(all)
  • Agricultural and Biological Sciences(all)

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