Evolution and coexistence of pollination ecotypes in an African Gladiolus (Iridaceae)
2010 (English)In: Evolution, ISSN 0014-3820, E-ISSN 1558-5646, Vol. 64, no 4, 960-972 p.Article in journal (Refereed) Published
Pollinator-mediated selection has been suggested as a key driver of speciation in plants. We examined the potential role of hawkmoth pollinators in driving allopatric divergence and maintaining sympatric coexistence of morphotypes in the African iris Gladiolus longicollis. Floral tube length in this species varies from 35 mm to 130 mm across its geographic range and reflects the prevailing tongue lengths of local hawkmoth assemblages. The distribution of floral tube lengths is bimodal with two relatively discrete categories—long (about 90 mm) or short (about 50 mm)—that match the bimodal distribution of hawkmoth tongue lengths in eastern South Africa. At a contact site between these two floral morphs, we found few individuals of intermediate length, suggesting limited gene flow between morphs despite their interfertility. A difference in flowering phenology appears to be the main isolating barrier between morphs at this site. Long- and short-tubed morphs differed markedly in the chemical composition of their floral fragrance, a trait that could be used as a cue for morph-specific foraging by hawkmoths. Positive directional selection on tube length was found to occur in both morphs.
Place, publisher, year, edition, pages
2010. Vol. 64, no 4, 960-972 p.
Research subject Biology with specialization in Ecological Botany
IdentifiersURN: urn:nbn:se:uu:diva-142048DOI: 10.1111/j.1558-5646.2009.00880.xOAI: oai:DiVA.org:uu-142048DiVA: diva2:386837