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Data from: The pollination system of the widely distributed mammal-pollinated Mucuna macrocarpa (Fabaceae) in the tropics

Citation

Kobayashi, Shun et al. (2019), Data from: The pollination system of the widely distributed mammal-pollinated Mucuna macrocarpa (Fabaceae) in the tropics, Dryad, Dataset, https://doi.org/10.5061/dryad.nt71r49

Abstract

Although the pollinators of some plant species differ across regions, only a few mammal-pollinated plant species have regional pollinator differences in Asia. Mucuna macrocarpa is pollinated by squirrels, flying foxes, and macaques in subtropical and temperate islands. In this study, the pollination system of M. macrocarpa was identified in tropical Asia, where the genus originally diversified. This species requires “explosive opening” of the flower, where the wing petals must be pressed down and the banner petal pushed upward to fully expose the stamens and pistil. A bagging experiment showed that fruits did not develop in inflorescences (n = 66) with unopened flowers, whereas fruits developed in 68.7% of inflorescences (n = 131) with opened flowers. This indicated that the explosive opening is needed for the species to reproduce. Four potential pollinator mammals were identified by a video camera-trap survey, and more than 60% of monitored inflorescences (n = 138) were opened by two diurnal squirrels (Callosciurus caniceps and C. finlaysonii), even though more than 10 mammal species visited flowers. Nectar was surrounded by the calyx, and the volume and sugar concentration of nectar did not change during the day. This nectar secretion pattern is similar to those reported by previous studies in other regions. These results showed that the main pollinators of M. macrocarpa in the tropics are squirrels. However, the species’ nectar secretion pattern is not specifically adapted to this particular pollinator. Pollinators of M. macrocarpa differ throughout the distribution range based on the fauna present, but there might not have been no distinctive changes in the attractive traits that accompanied these changes in pollinators.

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