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Abstract Detail

Pollination Biology

Walsh, Seana [1], Pender, Richard [1].

Endemic honeycreepers (Drepanidinae) are nectar robbers of the invasive banana poka (Passiflora tarminiana Passifloraceae): a novel plant-animal interaction in Hawai’i.

The global movement of biological species by humans has led (and will likely continue to lead) to the development of novel interactions between introduced and native species. Understanding how introduced species impact plant-pollinator interactions is useful for both invasive species management and native species restoration. Banana poka (Passiflora tarminiana), a hummingbird pollinated liana native to the South American Andes, is a serious invasive species in mesic forests of Hawai’i where it commonly co-occurs with endemic passerine honeycreepers. To understand the interaction between banana poka and honeycreepers, we undertook a preliminary floral visitation study at Hakalau National Wildlife Refuge on the island of Hawai’i. Two honeycreeper species, ‘i'iwi (Vestiaria coccinea) and Hawai’i ‘amakihi (Hemignathus virens), were regular floral visitors. On average, ‘i’iwi and ‘amakihi visited 26 ± 22 S.D. and 11 ± 8 flowers per hour, respectively. In all visits the flowers were nectar robbed, ostensibly due to the length of the corolla tubes (60-80 mm long) which physically excludes both honeycreeper species from accessing flowers legitimately. Although preliminary, these observations suggest that the floral nectar of banana poka may form a significant component of the diet of these honeycreeper species. Further research is needed to understand 1) how the presence of banana poka impacts the pollination of sympatric native bird pollinated plants, 2) the proportion of banana poka nectar in the diets of ‘i’iwi and ‘amakihi, and 3) whether these honeycreeper species are capable of digesting the sucrose-rich banana poka nectar typical of hummingbird pollinated plants.

Broader Impacts:

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1 - University Of Hawai'i At Manoa, Botany, 3190 Maile Way, Room 101, Honolulu, HI, 96822, USA

Hawaiian honeycreepers
Passiflora tarminiana
invasive plant
plant-pollinator interactions
nectar robbing

Presentation Type: Poster:Posters for Topics
Session: P
Location: Grand Salon A - D/Riverside Hilton
Date: Monday, July 29th, 2013
Time: 5:30 PM
Number: PPL005
Abstract ID:425
Candidate for Awards:None

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