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      Out of Africa: evidence of the obligate mutualism between long corolla tubed plant and long‐tongued fly in the Himalayas

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          1. Mutualism between long corolla tubed plants and their potential pollinators, long‐tongued flies, is a classic example of coevolution, but to date, has only been reported from the regions of southern Africa. Many plant species from the Himalayas also show botanical characteristics that could be consistent with pollination by long‐tongued flies. Here, we seek the evidence of the “long‐tongued‐long tubed fly/flower” mutualism out of Africa, in a different continent and climatic region, the Himalayas.

          2. Floral traits of Himalayan region endemic alpine genus, Roscoea , indicate possible mutualism with long‐tongued flies for pollination success; however, effective pollinators of this genus are yet unknown. This study investigates whether long‐tongued flies and Roscoea purpurea in Nepal Himalayas show exclusive mutualism for their survival/reproduction.

          3. We made extensive observations of floral visitors of R. purpurea and food source of Philoliche longirostris across their wide ranges of populations in Nepal Himalayas for three consecutive years (2012–2014). To confirm the obligate reliance of R. purpurea upon P. longirostris for pollination success, manipulated pollination experiments were conducted at two populations for 2 years. Similarly foraging behavior, visitation frequency, and pollination efficiency of P. longirostris were assessed at two populations for 2 years, and its contribution for the reproductive success of R. purpurea was evaluated. Our results indicate that R. purpurea is self‐compatible but lacks autonomous selfing and obligatorily relies on P. longirostris for reproductive success. Across all populations, P. longirostris was observed as an exclusive and highly efficient pollinator of R. purpurea, while P. longirostris exclusively depends up on R. purpurea for food source.

          4. Out of Africa, this study provides the first evidence of long‐tongued fly pollination system and indicates the possibility of additional instances of such a rare phenomenon in the Himalayas. Finding of specialized pollinator of Roscoea only at its evolutionary center indicates that Roscoea species are originally pollinated by long‐tongued flies. Spatial mismatch with specialized pollinators may have induced the evolution of autonomous selfing in North Indochinese clades of Roscoea. This finding thus substantiates how geographic disjunction causes the shifting of pollination mechanism in closely related plant species.

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          How does climate warming affect plant-pollinator interactions?

          Climate warming affects the phenology, local abundance and large-scale distribution of plants and pollinators. Despite this, there is still limited knowledge of how elevated temperatures affect plant-pollinator mutualisms and how changed availability of mutualistic partners influences the persistence of interacting species. Here we review the evidence of climate warming effects on plants and pollinators and discuss how their interactions may be affected by increased temperatures. The onset of flowering in plants and first appearance dates of pollinators in several cases appear to advance linearly in response to recent temperature increases. Phenological responses to climate warming may therefore occur at parallel magnitudes in plants and pollinators, although considerable variation in responses across species should be expected. Despite the overall similarities in responses, a few studies have shown that climate warming may generate temporal mismatches among the mutualistic partners. Mismatches in pollination interactions are still rarely explored and their demographic consequences are largely unknown. Studies on multi-species plant-pollinator assemblages indicate that the overall structure of pollination networks probably are robust against perturbations caused by climate warming. We suggest potential ways of studying warming-caused mismatches and their consequences for plant-pollinator interactions, and highlight the strengths and limitations of such approaches.
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              Longevity of Individual Flowers

               R. B. Primack (1985)

                Author and article information

                Ecol Evol
                Ecol Evol
                Ecology and Evolution
                John Wiley and Sons Inc. (Hoboken )
                November 2015
                22 October 2015
                : 5
                : 22 ( doiID: 10.1002/ece3.2015.5.issue-22 )
                : 5240-5251
                [ 1 ] Key Laboratory of Tropical Forest Ecology Xishuangbanna Tropical Botanical Garden Chinese Academy of Sciences Menglun Town Mengla County Yunnan 666303 China
                [ 2 ] University of Chinese Academy of Sciences Beijing 100039 China
                [ 3 ] Tribhuwan University Department of Botany Prithvi Narayan Campus Pokhara Nepal
                [ 4 ] School of Media and Communication RMIT University Melbourne Victoria 3001 Australia
                [ 5 ] Faculty of Information Technology Monash University Melbourne Victoria 3800 Australia
                [ 6 ] Department of Physiology Monash University Clayton Melbourne Victoria 3800 Australia
                Author notes
                [* ] Correspondence

                Qing‐Jun Li, Key Laboratory of Tropical Forest Ecology, Xishuangbanna Tropical Botanical Garden, Chinese Academy of Sciences, Menglun Town, Mengla County, Yunnan 666303, China.

                Tel +86‐871‐68125332

                Fax +86‐871‐65160916

                E‐mail: qjli@ 123456xtbg.ac.cn

                © 2015 The Authors. Ecology and Evolution published by John Wiley & Sons Ltd.

                This is an open access article under the terms of the http://creativecommons.org/licenses/by/4.0/ License, which permits use, distribution and reproduction in any medium, provided the original work is properly cited.

                Page count
                Pages: 12
                Funded by: National Natural Science Foundation of China
                Award ID: U1202261
                Funded by: National Basic Research Programme of China
                Award ID: 973
                Award ID: 2007CB411603
                Funded by: Chinese Academy of Sciences
                Award ID: 135
                Award ID: XTBG‐T01
                Award ID: F01
                Original Research
                Original Research
                Custom metadata
                November 2015
                Converter:WILEY_ML3GV2_TO_NLMPMC version:version=5.4.4 mode:remove_FC converted:21.08.2018


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