Forest fragmentation and the resulting spatial isolation of tree species can modify the activity of pollinators and may have important implications for the reproductive success and mating systems of the plants they pollinate. The objectives of this study were to (1) evaluate the effect of forest fragmentation on pollinator activity in bat-pollinated bombacaceous trees and (2) determine the effects of forest fragmentation on reproductive success and mating systems of bombacaceous trees. We studied these parameters in three bombacaceous tree species in tropical seasonal forest of Chamela, Jalisco, Mexico, and Osa and Guanacaste, Costa Rica. For Ceiba aesculifolia, more visits were observed in fragments by both Glossophaga soricina and Leptonycteris curasoae. For Ceiba grandiflora, Musonycteris harrisoni visited flowers exclusively in forest and G. soricina visited more flowers in forest than in fragments; no difference was shown by L. curasoae. For Ceiba pentandra in Chamela, no differences were found in visitation by G. soricina between forest and fragments; L. curasoae visited significantly more flowers in forest. Ceiba pentandra received more visits by Phyllostomus discolor than G. soricina in Guanacaste, whereas no bat visitors were observed in Osa. Total mean flower production was greater in fragments than forest for C. aesculifolia, whereas no difference was observed for C. grandiflora. Fruit set was greater in forest than in fragments for C. grandiflora, whereas no difference was observed for C. aesculifolia. Outcrossing rates were high for C. aesculifolia and C. grandiflora in Chamela, and for C. pentandra in Guanacaste, independent of tree habitat, while C. pentandra in Osa showed a mixed-mating system. The effects of forest fragmentation on bat pollinators, plant reproductive success, and mating patterns varied depending upon the bombacaceous species. This variability was associated with the effects that forest fragmentation may have on differences in flowering patterns, bat foraging behavior, and plant self-incompatibility systems.
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Vol. 36 • No. 2