Tomato (Solanum lycopersicum) specialized pollination is isolated from neighboring plants and pollinators

Authors

  • Rijo Gabriela Faculty of Biology, University of Havana, Cuba
  • Alameda Diego Faculty of Biology, University of Havana, Cuba https://orcid.org/0000-0002-2284-7048
  • Barro Alejandro Faculty of Biology, University of Havana, Cuba

DOI:

https://doi.org/10.26786/1920-7603(2022)656

Keywords:

buzz, Cuba, Exomalopsis pulchella, pollination network

Abstract

Tomato is one of the crops that require buzz pollination, for which a pollinator vibrates the tubular anthers for pollen to be released. This process is efficiently carried out by wild bees, whose distribution varies according to the geographical location and the particular characteristics of the different agroecosystems. The pollination network associated with tomato fields located in an agricultural area of ​​ Cuba was determined by field observations. In addition, it was studied whether pollination influences tomato yield, through exclusion experiments and comparing the characteristics of the fruits obtained in the presence or absence of pollinators. The pollination network consisted of 241 interactions between 12 plants, including tomato, adjacent crops such as papaya and pumpkin, and ruderal species, and 11 floral visitors, fundamentally bees, with 5 species involved. Tomato flowers were almost exclusively visited by the bee species Exomalopsis pulchella, capable of buzz pollination. Species of the genus Exomalopsis are frequent pollinators of tomato in the Neotropic. This denotes a temporary specialization in the use of tomato´s floral resources by Exomalopsis pulchella. Apis mellifera was not detected visiting tomato flowers, despite being present in the pollination network associated with the studied agroecosystem. Pollination significantly increased the dimensions of tomato fruits. Exomalopsis pulchella also visited the ruderal plants Asteraceae sp., Commelinaceae sp. and Milleria quinqueflora. This should be taken into account in the management of the ruderal plant communities that surround the tomato fields, in order to promote and guarantee the presence of the main pollinator of this crop.

Author Biographies

Rijo Gabriela, Faculty of Biology, University of Havana, Cuba

2nd affiliation: Jardín Botánico Nacional, Universidad de La Habana

 

Alameda Diego, Faculty of Biology, University of Havana, Cuba

 

 

Barro Alejandro, Faculty of Biology, University of Havana, Cuba

 

 
Bagged tomato flower

Published

2022-05-03

How to Cite

Gabriela, R., Diego, A., & Alejandro, B. (2022). Tomato (Solanum lycopersicum) specialized pollination is isolated from neighboring plants and pollinators. Journal of Pollination Ecology, 30, 29–38. https://doi.org/10.26786/1920-7603(2022)656

Issue

Section

Early View