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Pollination and Floral Ecology$
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Pat Willmer

Print publication date: 2011

Print ISBN-13: 9780691128610

Published to University Press Scholarship Online: October 2017

DOI: 10.23943/princeton/9780691128610.001.0001

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date: 13 December 2017

Types of Flower Visitors: Syndromes, Constancy, and Effectiveness

Types of Flower Visitors: Syndromes, Constancy, and Effectiveness

Chapter:
(p.261) Chapter 11 Types of Flower Visitors: Syndromes, Constancy, and Effectiveness
Source:
Pollination and Floral Ecology
Author(s):

Pat Willmer

Publisher:
Princeton University Press
DOI:10.23943/princeton/9780691128610.003.0011

This chapter examines pollination syndromes, floral constancy, and pollinator effectiveness. Flowers show enormous adaptive radiation, but the same kind of flower reappears by convergent evolution in many different families. Thus many families produce rather similar, simple bowl-shaped flowers like buttercups; many produce similar zygomorphic tubular lipped flowers; and many produce fluffy flower heads of massed (often white) florets. These broad flower types are the basis of the idea of pollination syndromes—the flowers have converged on certain morphologies and reward patterns because they are exploiting the abilities and preferences of particular kinds of visitor. After providing an overview of pollination syndromes, the chapter explains why pollination syndromes can be defended. It then considers flower constancy, along with the distinction between flower visitors and effective pollinators. It concludes with some observations on how flower visitors can contribute to speciation of plants through specialization and through their constancy.

Keywords:   pollination syndromes, floral constancy, pollinator effectiveness, flower, flower visitor, specialization, speciation

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