Variation among floral visitors in pollination ability: A precondition for mutualism specialization

Douglas W. Schemske, Carol C. Horvitz

Research output: Contribution to journalArticle

302 Scopus citations


The unusual floral biology of a neotropical herb provided an opportunity to determine that floral visitors varied significantly in their ability to effect fruit-set. Pollination efficiency and visitation frequency varied among Hymenoptera (five taxa), which were responsible for 99 percent of all fruits set. Lepidoptera (four taxa) were common visitors but poor pollinators. These results indicate that flower visitors vary in their beneficial effects on plants, fulfilling one of the primary conditions required for the specialization of plants on pollinators.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)519-521
Number of pages3
Issue number4661
StatePublished - Jan 1 1984
Externally publishedYes


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