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Exploring palm–insect interactions across geographical and environmental gradients

Journal article
Authors Z. Restrepo Correa
L. A. Núñez Avellaneda
S. González-Caro
F. J. Velásquez-Puentes
Christine D. Bacon
Published in Botanical journal of the Linnean Society
Volume 182
Issue 2
Pages 389-397
ISSN 0024-4074
Publication year 2016
Published at Department of Biological and Environmental Sciences
Pages 389-397
Language en
Keywords climate, coevolution, mutualistic network, Mystrops, phylogeny, pollination, Wettinia
Subject categories Ecology, Botany, Zoology


To understand the driving factors behind the specificity amongst plant visitors and potential pollinators, we identified Mystrops spp. from eight palm species representative of each of the major clades of Wettinia (Arecaceae). We collected 31 palm inflorescences of at least three individuals per species from three different regions of across the distribution of the palms (Colombian Andes, Amazon and Choco). Sixty thousand visiting insect individuals were collected, 53% of which correspond to 17 different Mystrops morphospecies. The average number of pollinator species was highest in W. fascicularis (five species) and lowest in W. drudei (one species). We found high specificity between the Mystrops assemblages and Wettinia spp. and, in general terms, one primary visitor per Wettinia sp. These results confirm previous reports of a strong mutualistic relationship between Arecaceae and Mystrops. Using inference of environmental niches, we found Wettinia spp. to be segregated along their distribution on climatic gradients. Finally, we found that climate has an important role in shaping pollinator species turnover, even after controlling for spatial distance, and that phylogenetic relatedness also has a positive effect on turnover of Mystrops spp. © 2016 The Linnean Society of London

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