Byrsonima lucida is the only member of the Malpighiaceae native to subtropical Florida, and occurs in pine rockland habitat on the Miami Rock Ridge and in the Lower Keys. Its flowers have oil glands that produce rewards for specialized pollinators, bees in the genus Centris (Anthophoridae). Centris errans is endemic to southern Florida (Dade and Monroe Counties), while C. lanosa has a wider distribution throughout Florida and the Caribbean. The plants flower from February - April, usually preceding the appearance of the bees (often a month later). Early flowers do not produce fruit, and bagging experiments have shown that pollination is necessary for fruit set. We predicted that B. lucida would be likely to show negative effects of the extensive habitat destruction and fragmentation that pine rocklands have undergone; its specialized pollinators might disappear from the small, isolated patches of intact habitat left after development. Surprisingly, the bees are present in most of the fragments studied, and the plants fruit at these sites (though somewhat less successfully than those in pristine Everglades sites). It appears that home landscape plantings that include several ornamental Malpighiaceae, as well as native plants, may have helped to support the specialized pollinators in the matrix between natural habitat fragments.

Key words: Centris bees, fruit set, habitat fragmentation, reproductive success, specialized syndrome