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Abstract Interspecific interactions can vary within and among populations and geographic locations. This varia-
 

Summary: Abstract Interspecific interactions can vary within and
among populations and geographic locations. This varia-
tion can subsequently influence the evolution and coevo-
lution of species interactions. We investigated population
and geographic variation in traits important to pollinat-
ing seed-consuming interactions between the senita cac-
tus (Lophocereus schottii) and its obligate pollinating
moth (Upiga virescens), both of which are geographical-
ly restricted to the Sonoran Desert. Female moths active-
ly pollinate senita flowers and oviposit onto flowers.
Their larvae consume developing seeds and fruit of flow-
ers pollinated by females. Traits important to this inter-
action include fruit set from moth pollination, fruit survi-
vorship, and costs of fruit consumption by larvae. We
studied these traits for five populations at two widely
separated geographic locations. On average, 37% of
flowers set fruit, 22% of flowers produced mature fruit,
and larvae consumed 25% of immature fruit pollinated
by female senita moths. Senita cactus and senita moth in-
teractions were strongly mutualistic in all populations

  

Source: Azevedo, Ricardo - Department of Biology and Biochemistry, University of Houston
Holland, J. Nathaniel - Department of Ecology and Evolutionary Biology, Rice University

 

Collections: Biology and Medicine; Environmental Sciences and Ecology