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United States Department of Agriculture

Agricultural Research Service

Title: Native and Introduced Pollinators Promote a Self Incompatable Invasive Woody Vine (Paederia Foetida) in Florida

item Pemberton, Robert

Submitted to: The Journal of the Torrey Botanical Society
Publication Type: Peer Reviewed Journal
Publication Acceptance Date: February 17, 2006
Publication Date: July 21, 2006
Citation: Liu, H., Pemberton, R.W., Stiling, P. 2006. Native and introduced pollinators promote a self incompatable invasive woody vine (paederia foetida) in florida. The Journal of the Torrey Botanical Society. 133:304-311.

Interpretive Summary: Considering the importance of invasive species, it is important to try to determine the factors that contribute to their invasion and spread. Little is known about the role of mutualistic relationships with local species in promoting or limiting introduced invasive plant species. We studied the breeding system of a plant called skunk vine, Paederia foetida, which is invasive in Florida, Hawaii and the American South. We found that skunk vine flowers of a given plant need to receive pollen from other plants before they can set seed. We documented that both native bees and introduce honey bees pollinate the plant. Individual plants of most weeds don’t require pollen from other individuals to reproduce, so skunk vine’s need for cross pollination is uncommon. This alien weed is highly successful in recruiting insects in the introduced range to enable it to reproduce and probably spread.

Technical Abstract: Little is known about the role of mutualistic relationships with local species in promoting or limiting introduced invasive plant species. In this study we carried out controlled pollination treatments and floral visitor watches at three sites varying in degree of human disturbance in central Florida to determine the breeding system and potential pollinators of Paederia foetida L (skunk vine). A native of eastern Asia, P. foetida is invasive in natural and human created habitats in the southern United States and Hawaii. Our data suggested that populations of P. foetida in Florida were self-incompatible and relied on both small-bodied halictid bees native to Florida and the introduced European honey bee for pollination. Visitation by native bees was more frequent in less disturbed sites, while the opposite was true for the honey bees. Pollinator limitation was evident at the relatively undisturbed and the highly disturbed sites, but not at the intermediate disturbed site. Mutualistic relationships with native pollinators as well as the introduced honeybee probably contributed to the establishment and spread of skunk vine in Florida.

Last Modified: 4/22/2015
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