Restructuring of a mutualism following introduction of Australian fig trees and pollinating wasps to Europe and the USA

Restructuring of a mutualism following introduction of Australian fig trees and pollinating wasps... Figs and fig-pollinating wasps are obligate mutualists that require each other to complete sexual reproduction. However, landscapers can establish populations of fig trees outside their native ranges by propagation through exported seeds, seedlings or cuttings. Once mature, these trees could be colonized by pollinating wasps and/or various non-pollinating wasps that also develop in figs. In recent decades, the Australian endemic Ficus rubiginosa has been planted widely in the Mediterranean region and in parts of the USA. Observation of ripe fruit production suggested that a pollination mutualism has been re-established by pollinating wasps colonizing trees in the plant’s introduced range. We therefore used sampling of pollinators from mainland Spain, Tenerife and California (USA) and molecular studies to characterize the restructured mutualism and compare it with the native range. In the native range, the plant is pollinated by five wasp species that form the Pleistodontes imperialis complex. However, all wasps in the introduced ranges belonged to just one of these species (P. imperialis sp. 1). Moreover, their mtDNA diversity was close to zero and the sequences clearly link them with the native southern population of this species. None of the > 20 non-pollinating wasp species from the native range were found in the introduced ranges. In summary, the restructured mutualism has been dramatically simplified, lacking all non-pollinating wasps and all but one pollinator species from the native range. Moreover, the one pollinator species to establish successfully shows a drastic reduction in genetic diversity relative to its source population. http://www.deepdyve.com/assets/images/DeepDyve-Logo-lg.png Biological Invasions Springer Journals

Restructuring of a mutualism following introduction of Australian fig trees and pollinating wasps to Europe and the USA

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Publisher
Springer Journals
Copyright
Copyright © 2018 by Springer International Publishing AG, part of Springer Nature
Subject
Life Sciences; Ecology; Freshwater & Marine Ecology; Plant Sciences; Developmental Biology
ISSN
1387-3547
eISSN
1573-1464
D.O.I.
10.1007/s10530-018-1775-3
Publisher site
See Article on Publisher Site

Abstract

Figs and fig-pollinating wasps are obligate mutualists that require each other to complete sexual reproduction. However, landscapers can establish populations of fig trees outside their native ranges by propagation through exported seeds, seedlings or cuttings. Once mature, these trees could be colonized by pollinating wasps and/or various non-pollinating wasps that also develop in figs. In recent decades, the Australian endemic Ficus rubiginosa has been planted widely in the Mediterranean region and in parts of the USA. Observation of ripe fruit production suggested that a pollination mutualism has been re-established by pollinating wasps colonizing trees in the plant’s introduced range. We therefore used sampling of pollinators from mainland Spain, Tenerife and California (USA) and molecular studies to characterize the restructured mutualism and compare it with the native range. In the native range, the plant is pollinated by five wasp species that form the Pleistodontes imperialis complex. However, all wasps in the introduced ranges belonged to just one of these species (P. imperialis sp. 1). Moreover, their mtDNA diversity was close to zero and the sequences clearly link them with the native southern population of this species. None of the > 20 non-pollinating wasp species from the native range were found in the introduced ranges. In summary, the restructured mutualism has been dramatically simplified, lacking all non-pollinating wasps and all but one pollinator species from the native range. Moreover, the one pollinator species to establish successfully shows a drastic reduction in genetic diversity relative to its source population.

Journal

Biological InvasionsSpringer Journals

Published: May 30, 2018

References

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