Convolvulaceae: bagging experiment and pollinator observation data (Hassa et al. 2023)

Published: 27 April 2023| Version 1 | DOI: 10.17632/wpv6jx3yc4.1
Alyssa Stewart


Mating systems, pollinators, and degree of pollinator dependence in morning glory species (Convolvulaceae) Piriya Hassa, Paweena Traiperm, and Alyssa B. Stewart Angiosperms are highly diverse, exhibit a range of mating systems, and are pollinated by diverse animal taxa. Some plant species are highly dependent on pollinators (e.g, self-incompatible, dioecious, dichogamous, and/or herkogamous species) while others are less dependent (e.g., self-compatible and hermaphroditic species). We studied the pollination ecology of 15 terrestrial morning glory species (Convolvulaceae) in northeastern Thailand, a family that is highly diverse yet understudied in the paleotropics. Specifically, we studied their mating systems and degree of pollinator dependence using pollination experiments, examined pollinator composition and visitation rates using video observation, and determined if there is an association between pollinator visitation rates and degree of pollinator dependence. Our results revealed that most species are self-compatible, but the degree of pollinator dependence varies. Six species were found to be highly dependent on pollinators (two are self-incompatible and four are self-compatible but had reduced seed set when pollinators were excluded, possibly due to herkogamy), seven species showed low dependence on pollinators (seed set remained high when pollinators were excluded), and degree of pollinator dependence was inconclusive for two species (seed set was low in all pollination treatments). We also found an association between pollinator visitation rates and degree of pollinator dependence: species exhibiting high pollinator dependence received frequent visits from pollinators, while species exhibiting low pollinator dependence either received frequent visits from pollinators (and received high amounts of xenogamous pollen) or infrequent visits from pollinators (and received significantly lower amounts of xenogamous pollen). The two species with low seed set across all treatments were visited by pollinators, but may be self-incompatible and have genetically depauperate populations. Most of our study species were primarily visited by bees (e.g., Lasioglossum, Amegilla, Apis, and Meliponini spp.), with the exception of one night-blooming species that was primarily visited by crepuscular butterflies and hawkmoths. The cumulative findings of this study help improve our understanding of pollinator dependence across related plant taxa, and are also important for assessing the conservation risks of paleotropical morning glory species.



Mahidol University Faculty of Science


Ecology, Convolvulaceae, Bee, Plant Ecology, Thailand, Pollination