Pre-pollination barriers between two sympatric Arisaema species in northern Shikoku Island, Japan

Tetsuya K. Matsumoto, Yuko Miyazaki, Masahiro Sueyoshi, Yoshihiro Senda, Kazuhiro Yamada, Muneto Hirobe

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

12 Citations (Scopus)


Premise: The genus Arisaema (Araceae) has rapidly diversified in Japan, and multiple species often coexist in the field. Although Japanese Arisaema species hybridize from artificial crossing, hybrid individuals are rare in mixed populations; suggesting the presence of effective pre-pollination barriers. We examined the following reproductive barriers between A. sikokianum and A. tosaense: habitat, phenology, and pollinator isolations. Methods: Habitat isolation was examined by interspecific comparisons of microhabitat conditions at a mixed site and of altitude at the sampling site of herbarium specimens. Phenological isolation was evaluated by comparing seasonal transition in apparent spathe condition and frequency of insect visitation. Pollinator isolation was examined by comparing floral visitor assemblages between the two Arisaema species. To avoid overestimation of pollinator isolation due to seasonal changes in insect assemblages, we also compared visitor assemblages between natural and late-flowering A. sikokianum, where the latter was experimentally introduced and blooming with a natural A. tosaense population. Results: Microhabitat conditions and sampling elevations of herbarium specimens overlapped between the two Arisaema species. At the population level, A. sikokianum and A. tosaense flowered for 39 and 52 days, respectively, with 13 days overlap. Insect visitation in A. sikokianum decreased before the seasonal overlap. Floral visitor assemblages differed between the two Arisaema species, while the difference between natural and late-flowering A. sikokianum was less distinct. Conclusions: Phenological and pollinator isolation contribute to reproductive isolation between the two Arisaema species and should enable the two species to coexist in this area.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)1612-1621
Number of pages10
JournalAmerican Journal of Botany
Issue number12
Publication statusPublished - Dec 1 2019


  • Araceae
  • altitudinal distribution
  • deceptive pollination
  • flowering phenology
  • fly pollination
  • fungivore
  • fungus gnat
  • microhabitat condition
  • rove beetle
  • species coexistence

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Ecology, Evolution, Behavior and Systematics
  • Genetics
  • Plant Science


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