The role of native flower visitors in pollinating Opuntia ficus-indica (L.) Mill., naturalized in Sicily

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Abstract

The role of insects in pollination and consequently in fruit set and quality was assessed in two commercial orchards of the cactus pear, Opuntia ficus-indica (L.) Mill., in Agrigento Province, Sicily. In 1997, insects visiting flowers were sampled during MayeJune (the first bloom) and July (the second bloom, induced by the “scozzolatura” practise). More than 50 insect species belonging to 10 orders were collected in MayeJune, while only five species of Hymenoptera Apoidea were collected in July. The quality of fruits arising from the second bloom showed that Hymenoptera alone were able to guarantee effective pollination. To verify the role of insects in pollination in 1996 (during only the second bloom), and in 1997 and 2009 (during both blooms), 60 single flowers were marked during each bloom; 30 of them covered with paper sleeves (which prevented natural pollination), while the others were not covered. After withering, fruits produced by marked flowers were analyzed in laboratory: in all years and blooms, the total number of seeds, the number of developed seeds, and the weight and the percentage of pulp were significantly lower for covered flowers than for non-covered flowers. The results are consistent with the hypothesis that native insects effectively carry out the pollination of cactus pear flowers.
Lingua originaleEnglish
pagine (da-a)413-417
Numero di pagine5
RivistaActa Oecologica
Volume37
Stato di pubblicazionePublished - 2011

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Opuntia ficus-indica
Sicily
pollination
flower
algal bloom
insect
flowers
cactus
cactus pears
insect pollination
fruit
insects
flower visiting
seed
Hymenoptera
fruit set
fruits
orchard
seeds
fruit quality

All Science Journal Classification (ASJC) codes

  • Ecology, Evolution, Behavior and Systematics
  • Nature and Landscape Conservation

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@article{8408195ec156476994b36a55cde0945e,
title = "The role of native flower visitors in pollinating Opuntia ficus-indica (L.) Mill., naturalized in Sicily",
abstract = "The role of insects in pollination and consequently in fruit set and quality was assessed in two commercial orchards of the cactus pear, Opuntia ficus-indica (L.) Mill., in Agrigento Province, Sicily. In 1997, insects visiting flowers were sampled during MayeJune (the first bloom) and July (the second bloom, induced by the “scozzolatura” practise). More than 50 insect species belonging to 10 orders were collected in MayeJune, while only five species of Hymenoptera Apoidea were collected in July. The quality of fruits arising from the second bloom showed that Hymenoptera alone were able to guarantee effective pollination. To verify the role of insects in pollination in 1996 (during only the second bloom), and in 1997 and 2009 (during both blooms), 60 single flowers were marked during each bloom; 30 of them covered with paper sleeves (which prevented natural pollination), while the others were not covered. After withering, fruits produced by marked flowers were analyzed in laboratory: in all years and blooms, the total number of seeds, the number of developed seeds, and the weight and the percentage of pulp were significantly lower for covered flowers than for non-covered flowers. The results are consistent with the hypothesis that native insects effectively carry out the pollination of cactus pear flowers.",
keywords = "Cactus pear Outcrossing, Flower insects, First and second blooms, Fruit quality, Alien plant",
author = "{Lo Verde}, Gabriella and {La Mantia}, Tommaso",
year = "2011",
language = "English",
volume = "37",
pages = "413--417",
journal = "Acta Oecologica",
issn = "1146-609X",
publisher = "Elsevier",

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TY - JOUR

T1 - The role of native flower visitors in pollinating Opuntia ficus-indica (L.) Mill., naturalized in Sicily

AU - Lo Verde, Gabriella

AU - La Mantia, Tommaso

PY - 2011

Y1 - 2011

N2 - The role of insects in pollination and consequently in fruit set and quality was assessed in two commercial orchards of the cactus pear, Opuntia ficus-indica (L.) Mill., in Agrigento Province, Sicily. In 1997, insects visiting flowers were sampled during MayeJune (the first bloom) and July (the second bloom, induced by the “scozzolatura” practise). More than 50 insect species belonging to 10 orders were collected in MayeJune, while only five species of Hymenoptera Apoidea were collected in July. The quality of fruits arising from the second bloom showed that Hymenoptera alone were able to guarantee effective pollination. To verify the role of insects in pollination in 1996 (during only the second bloom), and in 1997 and 2009 (during both blooms), 60 single flowers were marked during each bloom; 30 of them covered with paper sleeves (which prevented natural pollination), while the others were not covered. After withering, fruits produced by marked flowers were analyzed in laboratory: in all years and blooms, the total number of seeds, the number of developed seeds, and the weight and the percentage of pulp were significantly lower for covered flowers than for non-covered flowers. The results are consistent with the hypothesis that native insects effectively carry out the pollination of cactus pear flowers.

AB - The role of insects in pollination and consequently in fruit set and quality was assessed in two commercial orchards of the cactus pear, Opuntia ficus-indica (L.) Mill., in Agrigento Province, Sicily. In 1997, insects visiting flowers were sampled during MayeJune (the first bloom) and July (the second bloom, induced by the “scozzolatura” practise). More than 50 insect species belonging to 10 orders were collected in MayeJune, while only five species of Hymenoptera Apoidea were collected in July. The quality of fruits arising from the second bloom showed that Hymenoptera alone were able to guarantee effective pollination. To verify the role of insects in pollination in 1996 (during only the second bloom), and in 1997 and 2009 (during both blooms), 60 single flowers were marked during each bloom; 30 of them covered with paper sleeves (which prevented natural pollination), while the others were not covered. After withering, fruits produced by marked flowers were analyzed in laboratory: in all years and blooms, the total number of seeds, the number of developed seeds, and the weight and the percentage of pulp were significantly lower for covered flowers than for non-covered flowers. The results are consistent with the hypothesis that native insects effectively carry out the pollination of cactus pear flowers.

KW - Cactus pear Outcrossing, Flower insects, First and second blooms, Fruit quality, Alien plant

UR - http://hdl.handle.net/10447/61020

M3 - Article

VL - 37

SP - 413

EP - 417

JO - Acta Oecologica

JF - Acta Oecologica

SN - 1146-609X

ER -