Are reward polymorphisms subject to frequency- and density-dependent selection? Evidence from a monoecious species pollinated by deceit

Reyna Castillo-Gamez, Carlos Cordero, César A. Domínguez

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review


Most deceit‐pollinated species involve floral dimorphisms characterized by the presence of rewarding male flowers and nonrewarding female flowers. It has been proposed that this polymorphism establishes the conditions for the action of frequency dependent selection (FDS). The tendency of foraging animals to aggregate in areas of high resource density suggests that pollination efficiency and fruit production may be positively influenced by flower density (density dependent selection, DDS). In this paper we offer a graphical model describing the effects of FDS and DDS on a monoecious species pollinated by deceit. We test the FDS and DDS assumptions and the predictions of the model using field observations and experimental populations of Begonia gracilis in which population sex ratio and flower density were controlled. We found a marked effect of both FDS and DDS on pollinator visitation, fruit‐set, and on the probability of female flowers to setting fruits. We conclude that these two types of selection have had a strong influence on the evolution of deceit‐pollinated species.
Original languageAmerican English
Pages (from-to)544-552
JournalJournal of Evolutionary Biology
Issue number4
StatePublished - 25 Jun 2002

Cite this