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Old 12-30-2011, 04:17 PM   #1
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Carol L Landry , 2010

Mutualistic Interactions | Learn Science at Scitable

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The degree of specificity is another way to characterize a mutualism. Highly specific mutualisms that form exclusively between two species are rare (e.g., fig plants, fig wasps). Adult female fig wasps pollinate the flowers of fig plants while laying their eggs inside the specialized inflorescences of the plant. The eggs hatch and the wasp larvae consume some, but not all, of the fig seeds. There are nearly 700 species of fig plants, and in most cases each species is pollinated by only one or a few wasp species (Cook & Rasplus 2003). In contrast, most mutualisms are somewhat diffuse; each plant species is pollinated by multiple animal species, and each animal species pollinates multiple plant species. However, some species have many mutualist partners, such as honey bees (Apis mellifera), which are known to visit the flowers of hundreds of plant species, including cultivated and wild plants (National Research Council 2007), and white mangrove (Laguncularia racemosa), which receives floral visitors from at least 65 different insect species (Landry et al. 2005). Diffuse interactions are common in communities, and result in pollination networks comprised of many interacting plant and animal species (Figure 2).
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Old 12-30-2011, 04:35 PM   #2
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Biodiversity and plant / pollinator persistence
Tia-Lynn Ashman | Department of Biological Science | University of Pittsburgh

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We are determining how increasing plant community diversity affects pollinator diversity and abundance, conspecific and heterospecific pollen transfer, post-pollination interactions, and thus both quantity and quality aspects of pollen limitation.
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To determine how the floral phenotype is shaped by selection through mutualists, enemies and/or the abiotic environment (Figure 2).
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Old 12-30-2011, 04:37 PM   #3
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About Pollinators - U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service

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More than 100,000 different animal species - and perhaps as many as 200,000 - play roles in pollinating the 250,000 kinds of flowering plants on this planet. Insects (bees, wasps, moths, butterflies, flies, beetles) are the most common pollinators, but as many as 1,500 species of vertebrates such as birds and mammals serve as pollinators, including hummingbirds, perching birds, flying foxes, fruit bats, possums, lemurs and even a lizard (gecko) (Ingram et al., 1996).
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Old 02-26-2012, 09:48 PM   #4
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I know you were bringing attention to plant pollinator mutualisms but… I couldn’t help thinking about this article, The Trees That Miss The Mammoths | American Forests when I read the title of this thread. Say… I finished following all your links. Have you ever seen a cuckoo bumble bee in your yard? I haven’t.
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