Publication Details

Category Text Publication
Reference Category Journals
DOI 10.1093/aob/mcx177
Title (Primary) Spatio-temporal arrangement of Chamaerops humilis inflorescences and occupancy patterns by its nursery pollinator, Derelomus chamaeropsis
Author Jácome-Flores, M.E.; Delibes, M.; Wiegand, T.; Fedriani, J.M.
Source Titel Annals of Botany
Year 2018
Department OESA
Volume 121
Issue 3
Page From 471
Page To 482
Language englisch
Keywords Specialized pollination; pollinator weevil; flowering synchrony; spatial point pattern analysis; dioecious; presence–abundance pollinator; mutualism; Chamaerops humilis
UFZ wide themes RU5;

Background and Aims

Nursery pollination is a highly specialized interaction in which pollinators breed inside plant reproductive structures. Pollinator occupancy of host plants often depends on plant location, flowering synchrony and sex. The nursery pollination system between the dioecious dwarf palm Chamaerops humilis (Arecaceae) and the host-specific palm flower weevil Derelomus chamaeropsis was investigated. For the first time, sex, flowering synchrony and spatial distribution of plants was related to the occupancy probability and the abundance of D. chamaeropsis larvae, important traits influencing both pollinator and plant fitness.


During the flowering season, all inflorescences in anthesis were counted every 12 d and a flowering synchrony index was calculated taking into account all possible correlations with generalized linear mixed models. To analyse the spatial structure of plants, larva occupancy and abundance, different techniques of spatial point pattern analysis were used.

Key results

In total, 5986 larvae in 1063 C. humilis inflorescences were recorded over three consecutive seasons. Male inflorescences showed a higher presence and abundance of weevil larvae than females, but interestingly approx. 30 % of the females held larvae. Also, larvae occurred mainly in highly synchronous plants with a low number of inflorescences, perhaps because those plants did not lead to a resource dilution effect. There was no evidence of spatial patterns in larva occupancy or abundance at any spatial scale, suggesting high dispersal ability of adult weevil.


The results in a nursery-pollinated dioecious palm demonstrate that plant sex, flowering display and flowering synchrony act as additive forces influencing the presence and abundance of the specialized pollinator larvae. Contradicting previous results, clear evidence that female dwarf palms also provide rewarding oviposition sites was found, and thus the plant ‘pays’ for the pollination services. The findings highlight that plant local aggregation is not always the main determinant of pollinator attraction, whereas flower traits and phenology could be critical in specialized plant–pollinator interactions.

Persistent UFZ Identifier
Jácome-Flores, M.E., Delibes, M., Wiegand, T., Fedriani, J.M. (2018):
Spatio-temporal arrangement of Chamaerops humilis inflorescences and occupancy patterns by its nursery pollinator, Derelomus chamaeropsis
Ann. Bot. 121 (3), 471 - 482 10.1093/aob/mcx177