Data from: Empidine dance flies pollinate the woodland geranium as effectively as bees
Lefebvre, Vincent; Daugeron, Christophe; Villemant, Claire; Fontaine, Colin (2019), Data from: Empidine dance flies pollinate the woodland geranium as effectively as bees, Dryad, Dataset, https://doi.org/10.5061/dryad.4fq833s
Most flowering plants species rely on insects for pollination, a successful mutualism allowing them to reproduce over wide areas while flower-visitors are rewarded with food. This association is so conspicuous in the case of bees that other groups of potential pollinators, especially flies, have long been underestimated. However, visitors are not always pollinators. While the importance of flies in plant-visitor networks is now acknowledged, their pollination effectiveness has hardly been investigated. In this study, we assessed the pollination effectiveness of Geranium sylvaticum flower-visitors using single visits seed-set experiments, in a subalpine meadow where flies are predominant. We found that: (i) empidine dance flies were the most frequent visitors of G. sylvaticum; (ii) a single visit by an empidine dance fly produced the same average number of seeds as a visit by a bee; (iii) large pollinators were more efficient than small pollinators irrespectively of their identity. As a conclusion, large empidines were the main pollinators of Geranium sylvaticum. Considering the high diversity and abundance of flower-visiting fly species, such results showing their ability to be as effective pollinators as bees should encourage further studies to develop a better understanding on their role in plant-pollinator networks.
National Science Foundation, Award: SJ 3-17