The effectiveness of two bat species as pollinators of two species of columnar cacti on Curaçao
Two species of columnar cacti, Subpilocereus repandus and Stenocereus griseus, are pollinated on Curacao by two species of glossophagine bats, Leptonycteris curasoae and Glossophaga longirostris (Phyllostomidae). The pollination effectiveness of the two bat species can influence the evolution of this mutualism as well as the immediate availability of resources to frugivores and omnivores. I examined the effectiveness of single-visits by L, curasoae and G. longirostris on fruit-set, seed number, and fruit size for each cactus species. Single visits of L. curasoae produced higher fruit-set and seed number in Subpilocereus repandus than did single visits of G, longirostris, but the differences were not statistically significant, possibly as a result of the small size of the L, curasoae sample. The reverse trends were observed for Stenocereus griseus, Pollination of Subpilocereus repandus by L, curasoae resulted in significantly longer fruits than did pollination by G. longirostris, During the peak of the flowering season, flowers received many visits per night. Fruit size (length, width, total mass, pulp mass) was positively correlated with the number of seeds per fruit. These results indicate that the species of bats visiting cactus flowers, as well as the number of visits to flowers, may affect pollination success, and consequently may affect the carrying capacity of the environment in terms of fruit resources for animals that feed on cactus fruits.
The effectiveness of two bat species as pollinators of two species of columnar cacti on Curacao.
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