Date of this Version
OIKOS (1985) 44: 407-414.
Since the Hawaiian Islands lack native ants, it was hypothesized that extrafloral nectaries, an ant-related mutualistic trait, should be lacking on native species. Presence of extrafloral nectaries (EFNs) on plants was determined by direct observation and related to vegetation structure and floral composition. Frequency of plants with EFNs was low by all possible comparisons. However, several endemic species had functional EFNs. The hypotheses to explain these anomalies are (1) phylogenetic inertia or (2) mutualism with some other organism than ants.