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Pollination and Floral Ecology$
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Pat Willmer

Print publication date: 2011

Print ISBN-13: 9780691128610

Published to Princeton Scholarship Online: October 2017

DOI: 10.23943/princeton/9780691128610.001.0001

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Cheating by Flowers: Cheating the Visitors and Cheating Other Flowers

Cheating by Flowers: Cheating the Visitors and Cheating Other Flowers

(p.524) Chapter 23 Cheating by Flowers: Cheating the Visitors and Cheating Other Flowers
Pollination and Floral Ecology

Pat Willmer

Princeton University Press

This chapter examines how flowers cheat visitors and other flowers. Pollination is not an altruistic exercise; there is a conflict of needs that makes both plants and pollinators liable to cheat to their own benefit. Deception is very common in pollination biology. For a plant, this essentially means getting pollinated and hence fertilized without giving up any reward or resources. This can commonly be achieved by resembling a rewarding species. For a visiting animal, cheating involves extracting nectar or pollen in ways that do not carry any pollen to another flower. The chapter discusses mimicry in flowers and aids to mimicry, including pseudoflowers, pseudonectar, and pseudopollen and pseudoanthers. It also looks at empty flowers as mimics and cheats before concluding with an analysis of mimicry of objects other than flowers, such as reproductive mimicry of brood sites and potential mates (pseudocopulation).

Keywords:   flower, pollination biology, pollinator, flower deception, mimicry, cheating, pseudoflower, pseudonectar, pseudopollen, empty flower

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