Floral visitors of Ananas comosus in Ghana: A preliminary assessment
Ananas comosus var comosus (L.) Merr. is the third most important tropical fruit in the world production and the leading foreign exchange earner among fresh fruits exported from Ghana. A survey was conducted in pineapple farms in the Central region of Ghana to identify floral visitors and their activities on the flowers. Nectar concentration and energetics and effect of floral visitors on fruit production were determined. Fourteen species of butterflies and one ant species were the main insect floral visitors as well as four species of sunbirds. The mean nectar concentration was 23.3% (± 0.39, SE) and pollination limitation did not significantly affect fruit yield (weight: p = 0.285; length: p = 0.056; width: p= 0.268). The study showed that butterflies, ants and sunbirds are the main floral visitors on A. comosus. However their visits did not results in pollination and fruit production was not affected in any way by floral visitation. Still, it was found that A. comosus provides an important nectar resource for its foragers. Even if pollination is not crucial in pineapple cultivation, it is still essential in pineapple breeding programs to promote genetic diversity and conservation.
Pineapple; nectar concentration; pollination limitation; butterflies; sunbirds; ants
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