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Bird pollination of the climbing heath Prionotes Cerinthoides (Ericaceae)


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Johnson, KA, McQuillan, PB and Kirkpatrick, JB ORCID: 0000-0003-2763-2692 2010 , 'Bird pollination of the climbing heath Prionotes Cerinthoides (Ericaceae)' , International Journal of Plant Science, vol. 171, no. 2 , pp. 147-157 , doi: 10.1086/648990.

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Tubular red and pink flowers often indicate bird pollination. Prionotes cerinthoides, a climbing shrub of the temperate rainforest in Tasmania (Australia) and one of only two members of the most primitive clade of the subfamily Styphelioideae (Ericaceae), has such flowers. We tested the hypothesis that P. cerinthoides is bird pollinated using breeding system experiments, observations of flower visitors, and invertebrate trapping. Flowering phenology, nectar availability, and flower damage were also recorded. Prionotes cerinthoides produced little viable seed in the absence of a pollinator but selfed readily when pollination was facilitated. It appears that P.cerinthoides depends largely on the pollination services of a single native bird species, the eastern spinebill(Acanthorhynchus tenuirostris). The only other flower visitor observed to contact anthers and stigma was the introduced bumblebee (Bombus terrestris). The crescent honeyeater (Phylidonyris pyrrhoptera), the introduced honeybee (Apis mellifera), and the bumblebee were nectar robbers.

Item Type: Article
Authors/Creators:Johnson, KA and McQuillan, PB and Kirkpatrick, JB
Keywords: Acanthorhynchus tenuirostris, bird pollination, Epacridaceae, Meliphagidae, nectar robber, self‐compatible
Journal or Publication Title: International Journal of Plant Science
ISSN: 1058-5893
DOI / ID Number: 10.1086/648990
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© 2010 by The University of Chicago.

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