Data from: Pollinator-mediated selection in a specialized hummingbird-Heliconia system in the eastern Caribbean
Temeles, Ethan J. et al. (2012), Data from: Pollinator-mediated selection in a specialized hummingbird-Heliconia system in the eastern Caribbean, Dryad, Dataset, https://doi.org/10.5061/dryad.64835
Phenotypic matches between plants and their pollinators often are interpreted as examples of reciprocal selection and adaptation. For the two co-occurring plant species, Heliconia bihai and H. caribaea in the Eastern Caribbean, we evaluated for five populations over two years the strength and direction of natural selection on corolla length and number of bracts per inflorescence. These plant traits correspond closely to the bill lengths and body masses of their primary pollinators, female or male purple-throated carib hummingbirds (Eulampis jugularis). In H. bihai, directional selection for longer corollas was always significant with the exception of one population in one year, whereas selection on bract numbers was rare and found only in one population in one year. In contrast, significant directional selection for more bracts per inflorescence occurred in all three populations of the yellow morph and in two populations of the red morph of H. caribaea, whereas significant directional selection on corolla length occurred in only one population of the red morph and one population of the yellow morph. Selection for longer corollas in H. bihai may result from better mechanical fit, and hence pollination, by the long bills of female E. jugularis, their sole pollinator. In contrast, competition between males of E. jugularis for territories may drive selection for more bracts in H. caribaea. Competitive exclusion of female E. jugularis by territorial males also implicates pollinator competition as a possible ecological mechanism for trait diversification in these plants.