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Title: Honeybees facilitate the invasion of 'Phyla canescens' (Verbenaceae) in Australia - no bees, no seed!
Contributor(s): Gross, Caroline L (author)orcid ; Gorrell, Lily (author); MacDonald, Matthew Scott (author); Fatemi, Mohammad (author)orcid 
Publication Date: 2010
DOI: 10.1111/j.1365-3180.2010.00788.x
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Abstract: Several environmental weeds rely on the pollination services of introduced bees. The transfer of this knowledge to weed control management has not been fully explored. In part, this may be because it is difficult to quantify the economic impact of environmental weeds. This diminishes the prospects for expensive research and development required for integrated weed management. In this study, we examine the reproductive ecology of 'Phyla canescens', a species native to South America that is an aggressive agricultural and environmental weed in many parts of the world. We found that 'P. canescens' is self-compatible, but not capable of automatic self-pollination. A vector is required to effect seed set. Field studies showed that 45% of seeds produced through open pollination are viable. Using exclosure cages, we showed that non-native 'Apis mellifera' L. (honeybee) was the primary floral visitor and pollinator. Honeybee abundance was positively correlated with P. canescens abundance. Within the study site of 0.51 ha, almost 500 000 seeds ha-¹ would be produced annually, as a result of honeybee pollination. This study shows that a shared evolutionary history is not required for honeybees to be successful pollinators. Facilitation is demonstrated through the obligate need for pollinators and the successful recruitment of the species through seed. Models for the control of feral honeybees in agricultural systems require development.
Publication Type: Journal Article
Source of Publication: Weed Research, 50(4), p. 364-372
Publisher: European Weed Research Society, John Wiley & Sons
Place of Publication: United Kingdom
ISSN: 0043-1737
Field of Research (FOR): 050103 Invasive Species Ecology
060207 Population Ecology
050205 Environmental Management
Peer Reviewed: Yes
HERDC Category Description: C1 Refereed Article in a Scholarly Journal
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