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Pollinator shifts and the evolution of spur length in the moth-pollinated orchid Platanthera bifolia
Uppsala University, Disciplinary Domain of Science and Technology, Biology, Department of Ecology and Genetics, Plant Ecology and Evolution.
Uppsala University, Disciplinary Domain of Science and Technology, Biology, Department of Ecology and Genetics, Plant Ecology and Evolution.
Uppsala University, Disciplinary Domain of Science and Technology, Biology, Department of Ecology and Genetics, Plant Ecology and Evolution.
Uppsala University, Disciplinary Domain of Science and Technology, Biology, Department of Ecology and Genetics, Plant Ecology and Evolution.
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2014 (English)In: Annals of Botany, ISSN 0305-7364, E-ISSN 1095-8290, Vol. 113, no 2, 267-275 p.Article in journal (Refereed) Published
Abstract [en]

Plantpollinator interactions are thought to have shaped much of floral evolution. Yet the relative importance of pollinator shifts and coevolutionary interactions for among-population variation in floral traits in animal-pollinated species is poorly known. This study examined the adaptive significance of spur length in the moth-pollinated orchid Platanthera bifolia. Geographical variation in the length of the floral spur of P. bifolia was documented in relation to variation in the pollinator fauna across Scandinavia, and a reciprocal translocation experiment was conducted in south-east Sweden between a long-spurred woodland population and a short-spurred grassland population. Spur length and pollinator fauna varied among regions and habitats, and spur length was positively correlated with the proboscis length of local pollinators. In the reciprocal translocation experiment, long-spurred woodland plants had higher pollination success than short-spurred grassland plants at the woodland site, while no significant difference was observed at the grassland site. The results are consistent with the hypothesis that optimal floral phenotype varies with the morphology of the local pollinators, and that the evolution of spur length in P. bifolia has been largely driven by pollinator shifts.

Place, publisher, year, edition, pages
2014. Vol. 113, no 2, 267-275 p.
Keyword [en]
Pollinator shifts, floral traits, spur length, proboscis length, pollination success
National Category
Biological Sciences
Identifiers
URN: urn:nbn:se:uu:diva-113080DOI: 10.1093/aob/mct217ISI: 000330193100006OAI: oai:DiVA.org:uu-113080DiVA: diva2:289608
Available from: 2010-01-25 Created: 2010-01-25 Last updated: 2017-12-12Bibliographically approved
In thesis
1. Evolution of Spur Length in a Moth-pollinated Orchid
Open this publication in new window or tab >>Evolution of Spur Length in a Moth-pollinated Orchid
2010 (English)Doctoral thesis, comprehensive summary (Other academic)
Abstract [en]

There is considerable evidence that pollinator shifts can explain many differences in flower morphology between closely related plant species, but the extent to which pollinator shifts can explain the maintenance of among-population variation in floral traits within species is poorly known. In this thesis, I combined comparative and experimental approaches to examine the evolution of floral traits in the moth-pollinated orchid Platanthera bifolia. More specifically, I investigated (1) the relationship between flower and pollinator morphology, (2) phenotypic selection on morphology and phenology in populations in contrasting environments, (3) components of prezygotic reproductive isolation among divergent populations, and (4) the adaptive and functional significance of two correlated floral traits.

A study of Scandinavian of P. bifolia populations revealed that spur length was positively correlated with proboscis length of local pollinators, which suggests that variation in spur length reflects adaptive evolution in response to geographically variable pollinator-mediated selection.

A phenotypic selection study on Öland, SE Sweden, suggested that disruptive selection on spur length contributes to the maintenance of a bimodal distribution of spur length in mixed habitats, but provided very limited evidence of divergent selection on plant morphology and flowering phenology in grassland and woodland habitats.

Field experiments revealed strong reproductive isolation between divergent populations on Öland, due to differences in spatial distribution, flowering phenology, and pollinators, and among-population incompatibility. The results suggest that prezygotic reproductive isolation contributes to the maintenance of population differentiation in floral traits in P. bifolia.

A field manipulation experiment demonstrated that spur length but not perianth size affects pollination success and seed production. This suggests that among-population differentiation in perianth size may be the result of a genetic correlation with spur length.

Taken together, the results of this thesis suggest that pollinator-mediated selection can shape the evolution of intraspecific floral variation.

Place, publisher, year, edition, pages
Uppsala: Acta Universitatis Upsaliensis, 2010. 33 p.
Series
Digital Comprehensive Summaries of Uppsala Dissertations from the Faculty of Science and Technology, ISSN 1651-6214 ; 712
Keyword
Platanthera bifolia, floral evolution, natural selection, pollination, spur length, population differentiation, divergent selection, disruptive selection, reproductive isolation
National Category
Biological Sciences
Research subject
Ecological Botany
Identifiers
urn:nbn:se:uu:diva-113086 (URN)978-91-554-7714-1 (ISBN)
Public defence
2010-03-05, Zootissalen, Villavägen 9, Uppsala, 10:00 (English)
Opponent
Supervisors
Available from: 2010-02-12 Created: 2010-01-25 Last updated: 2011-02-09Bibliographically approved

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Boberg, ElinAlexandersson, RonnyÅgren, JonNilsson, Anders L.

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