Pollination services provided by various size classes of flower visitors to Eucalyptus globulus ssp. globulus (Myrtaceae)
Hingston, AB and Potts, BM and McQuillan, PB, Pollination services provided by various size classes of flower visitors to Eucalyptus globulus ssp. globulus (Myrtaceae), Australian Journal of Botany, 52, (3) pp. 353-369. ISSN 0067-1924 (2004) [Refereed Article]
Flowers of the commercially important tree Eucalyptus globulus Labill. ssp. globulus were visited by a wide variety of insects and birds within its natural distribution. Flowers were visited so frequently that most available nectar was consumed, but seed production within 5 m of the ground was consistently far less than the maximum possible, indicating the presence of large numbers of inefficient pollinators and few efficient pollinators. Pollen limitation was more severe on fully self-incompatible trees than on partially self-compatible trees, demonstrating that pollinator inefficiency resulted from infrequent outcrossing rather than inability to deposit pollen on stigmas. The flower visitors that were responsible for almost all nectar consumption from flowers within 5 m of the ground were insects that were able to permeate cages with 5-mm apertures but not cages with 1-mm apertures, the most abundant of which was the introduced honeybee Apis mellifera L. These insects contributed less than 20% of the maximum possible seed set, indicating that they were inefficient pollinators. Birds and smaller insects made lesser contributions to seed production, but consumed little nectar within 5 m of the ground. However, anthophilous birds appeared to mostly forage higher in the trees and probably consumed more nectar from, and provided more pollination services to, flowers higher in the trees.