Please use this identifier to cite or link to this item: https://hdl.handle.net/1959.11/21735
Title: Unsuccessful introduced biocontrol agents can act as pollinators of invasive weeds: Bitou Bush (Chrysanthemoides monilifera ssp. rotundata) as an example
Contributor(s): Gross, Caroline (supervisor)orcid ; Whitehead, Joshua D (author); Silveira de Souza, Camila (supervisor); Mackay, David (supervisor)orcid 
Publication Date: 2017-08-22
Open Access: Yes
DOI: 10.4226/95/599e452ba3c31
Handle Link: https://hdl.handle.net/1959.11/21735
Abstract: The extent of self-compatibility and reliance on pollinators for seed-set are critical determinants of reproductive success in invasive plant species. Seed herbivores are commonly used as biocontrol agents but may also act as flower visitors, potentially resulting in pollination. However, such contrasting or potentially counterproductive interaction effects are rarely considered or evaluated for biological control programs. We investigated the breeding system and pollinators of Bitou Bush (Chrysanthemoides monilifera ssp. rotundata), an invasive species in Australia that has been the subject of biocontrol programs since 1987. We found the species to be obligate outcrossing in all six populations tested. From 150 video hours we found 21 species of potential pollinators, including Mesoclanis polana, the Bitou Seedfly, native to South Africa and released in Australia as a biocontrol agent in 1996. Mesoclanis polana transferred pollen to stigmas and was the most common pollinator (52% of pollinator visits), followed by the syrphid fly Simosyrphus grandicornis (9%) and introduced honeybee, Apis mellifera (6.5%). Fruit to flower ratios ranged from 0.12-0.45 and were highest in the population with the greatest proportion of Mesoclanis polana visits. In an experimental trial, outside the naturalised range, the native bee Homalictus sphecodoides and the native syrphid Melangyna viridiceps, were the primary pollinators, and fruit to flower ratios were 0.35, indicating that Bitou Bush would have ready pollinators if its range expanded inland. Synthesis. Invasive Bitou Bush requires pollinators and this is effected by a range of generalist pollinators in eastern Australia including the Bitou Seedfly, introduced as a biocontrol agent, and the major pollinator detected in this study. Fruit to flower ratios were highest when the Bitou Seedfly was in high abundance. This study underscores the importance of evaluating the pollination biology of invasive species in their native ranges and prior to the introduction of biocontrol agents.
Publication Type: Dataset
Field of Research (FOR): 050204 Environmental Impact Assessment
050103 Invasive Species Ecology
050202 Conservation and Biodiversity
Keywords: Breeding System
Weed Pollination
Self-incompatibility
Alien Species
Alien Pollinators
Bitou Seedfly
Asteraceae
Biocontrol Agent
Nursery Pollinators
Location: North and mid-north coast of NSW
Format: 1 Excel .xlsx
Access rights: Open
Open Access Embargo: 2017-08-22
HERDC Category Description: X Dataset
CC License of All Rights Reserved: CC BY: Attribution 3.0 AU
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Downloads: 1
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