On the evolution of protandry and the distinction between preference and rank order in pollinator visitation

Tom J de Jong, Peter GL Klinkhamer, Avi Shmida, Frank Thuijsman

We develop a measure for quantifying rank order of visitation in complex sequences of male-phase versus female-phase flowers. The measure shows whether female flowers are visited before male flowers which enhances plant fitness. We apply the new method to bumble bee visitation in Digitalus purpurea and Echium vulgare and discuss our results in relation to the evolution of protandry in insect pollinated plant species.

July, 2011
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