Pollination of Grewia asiatica (Malvaceae) by Megachile cephalotes (Hymenoptera: Megachilidae): Male vs. Female Pollination

Asif Sajjad, Waseem Akram, Sajjad Ali, Muhammad Aslam Farooqi, Ghulam Mujtaba, Mudssar Ali, Ammad Ahmad

Abstract


Phalsa, Grewia asiatica is a multi-purpose crop while cross-pollination can significantly improve its reproductive success. Megachile bees (Megachilidae) are the most important group of pollinators of G. asiatica. In this study we observed the foraging behavior of Megachile cephalotes and its ultimate impact on reproductive success of phalsa at Bahawalpur (Punjab), Pakistan. Although visitation rate and stay time were statistically similar in both the sexes but visitation frequency (2.06±0.14 individuals/120 seconds) and pollen deposition (39.35±3.17 pollen grains /stigma/visit) of females were significantly higher than that of males (0.44±0.06 individuals/120 seconds and 12.05±1.19 pollen grains/stigma/visit, respectively). The environmental factors (i.e. ambient temperature, relative humidity, sunlight intensity and wind speed) greatly influenced -either positively or negatively- both the sexes (Pearson’s correlation). Female pollinated fruits were significantly greater in weight (0.41±0.017 g) followed by open (0.31±0.012 g) and male (0.27±0.011 g) pollinated fruits. Percent weight loss remained significantly lower in female pollinated fruits than open and male pollinated fruits until12 hours after harvest. Fruit wrinkling significantly increased with the increase in post-harvest intervals in open, female and male pollinated fruits while fruit color changed only in female pollinated fruits. The results of present study suggest female M. cephalotes as the efficient pollinators of G. asiatica in terms of it reproductive success and post-harvest parameters. Future studies should focus biology and ecology of M. cephalotes with special focus on its artificial nesting.

Keywords


Phalsa, bees, pollination, post-harvest qualities, foraging behavior.

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References


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DOI: http://dx.doi.org/10.13102/sociobiology.v66i3.4345

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