Data from: Floral colours in a world without birds and bees: the plants of Macquarie Island
Shrestha, Mani et al. (2016), Data from: Floral colours in a world without birds and bees: the plants of Macquarie Island, Dryad, Dataset, https://doi.org/10.5061/dryad.1k09d
We studied biotically pollinated angiosperms on Macquarie Island, a remote site in the Southern Ocean with a predominately or exclusively dipteran pollinator fauna, in an effort to understand how flower colour affects community assembly. We compared a distinctive group of cream-green Macquarie Island flowers to the flora of likely source pools of immigrants and to a continental flora from a high latitude in the northern hemisphere. We used both dipteran and hymenopteran colour models and phylogenetically informed analyses to explore the chromatic component of community assembly. The species with cream-green flowers are very restricted in colour space models of both fly vision and bee vision and represent a distinct group that plays a very minor role in other communities. It is unlikely that such a community could form through random immigration from continental source pools. Our findings suggest that fly pollination has imposed a strong ecological filter on Macquarie Island, favouring floral colours that are rare in continental floras. This is one of the strongest demonstrations that plant–pollinator interactions play an important role in plant community assembly. Future work exploring colour choices by dipteran flower visitors would be valuable.
Australia and oceanic Islands