Pollination ecology and the possible impacts of environmental change in the Southwest Australian biodiversity hotspot
MetadataShow full item record
The Southwest Australian Biodiversity Hotspot contains an exceptionally diverse flora on an ancient, low-relief but edaphically diverse landscape. Since European colonization, the primary threat to the flora has been habitat clearance, though climate change is an impending threat. Here, we review (i) the ecology of nectarivores and biotic pollination systems in the region, (ii) the evidence that trends in pollination strategies are a consequence of characteristics of the landscape, and (iii) based on these discussions, provide predictions to be tested on the impacts of environmental change on pollination systems. The flora of southwestern Australia has an exceptionally high level of vertebrate pollination, providing the advantage of highly mobile, generalist pollinators. Nectarivorous invertebrates are primarily generalist foragers, though an increasing number of colletid bees are being recognized as being specialized at the level of plant family or more rarely genus. While generalist pollination strategies dominate among insect-pollinated plants, there are some cases of extreme specialization, most notably the multiple evolutions of sexual deception in the Orchidaceae. Preliminary data suggest that bird pollination confers an advantage of greater pollen movement and may represent a mechanism for minimizing inbreeding in naturally fragmented populations. The effects of future environmental change are predicted to result from a combination of the resilience of pollination guilds and changes in their foraging and dispersal behaviour. © 2010 The Royal Society.
Showing items related by title, author, creator and subject.
van Leeuwen, Stephen J. (1997)An understanding of the role of genetic and ecological factors that influence demographic change is paramount for the conservation of plant populations. These genetic and ecological factors often act in concert to influence ...
Changes in the composition and behaviour of a pollinator guild with plant population size and the consequences for plant fecundityPhilips, R.; Steinmeyer, F.; Menz, M.; Erickson, T.; Dixon, Kingsley (2014)Small population size in plants is often associated with decreased fruit set through lower pollinator visitation and reduced offspring fitness as a result of inbreeding. Whether the potentially negative impacts of small ...
Orchid re-introductions: an evaluation of success and ecological considerations using key comparative studies from AustraliaReiter, N.; Whitfield, J.; Pollard, G.; Bedggood, W.; Argall, M.; Dixon, Kingsley; Davis, B.; Swarts, N. (2016)With global biodiversity in decline, there is now an urgent requirement to take ameliorative action for endangered species in the form of reintroductions. For the highly diverse orchid family, many species face imminent ...