Pollinator performance of the pollination generalist Rhytidophyllum bicolor (Gesneriaceae) in Haiti 15 months after the Matthew hurricane


Bat pollination
Natural disasters
Pollinator efficiency
Pollinator visitation rate

How to Cite

Faure, J., & Joly, S. (2020). Pollinator performance of the pollination generalist Rhytidophyllum bicolor (Gesneriaceae) in Haiti 15 months after the Matthew hurricane. Selbyana, 33(3). Retrieved from https://journals.flvc.org/selbyana/article/view/121922


Pollination performance consists in the visitation rate and efficiency of species pollinating a given plant species and it is central to understanding the contribution of pollinators to the evolution of species. We studied the pollination performance of different floral visitors of Rhytidophyllum bicolor, a species endemic to southwest Haiti for which no prior pollination information existed. Although pollinator visitation rates are known for several Antillean Gesneriaceae, single visit efficiency has never been estimated and pollination performance is unknown in the group. We found that bats were more frequent and more effective pollinators than bees, and thus had a greater pollination performance even if the contribution of bees is not negligible. Hummingbird performance could not be estimated because no pollination was observed in this study even if they have been observed in previous field trips. This is likely because their populations were strongly impacted by the Matthew hurricane that hit the region in October 2016, 15 months prior to this study. These results highlight the advantages of being a pollination generalist to ensure good reproductive success even in the absence of a pollinator, a strategy potentially important in the Caribbean islands that are frequently affected by natural disasters such as hurricanes.


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