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Abstract Detail

The Hills are Alive: Ecology and Evolution of the Intermountain West Flora

Rodriguez-Peña, Rosa A. [1], Wolfe, Andi [1].

The effect of pollen parasites and pollinators on flower morphology: Evidence from two species of Penstemon (Plantaginaceae) from the Intermountain West.

The interaction between flowers and the animals that pollinate them is one of the major drivers of angiosperm diversification because it promotes reproductive isolation between closely related diverging taxa. While many studies record and report the identity and frequency of pollinators, they often fail to address the set of flower visitors that function as parasites, thieves, or robbers. Here, we investigated the importance of non-pollinator flower visitors in comparison with legitimate pollinators in two species of Penstemon from the Intermountain West, USA. We found that a large proportion of the flower visitors were small pollen-collecting bees that rarely contacted the stigma and thus, can be characterized as pollen parasites. This trend was more acute in species whose anthers dehisce widely. We also found that smaller flowers were significantly more likely to be mostly visited by small and very small pollen-collecting bees, and larger flowers were more likely to be visited by large bees. Overall, illegitimate visitation had a negative effect on flower appearance from the pollinators' perspective. Finally, we show here that closely related species have similar responses to functional flower visitors.

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1 - The Ohio State University, 318 W 12th Ave Columbus, 300 Aronoff, Columbus, Ohio, 43210, United States

pollen-collecting bees
reproductive biology
pollination ecology
floral morphology
flower size.

Presentation Type: Symposium Presentation
Session: SY5, The Hills are Alive: Ecology and Evolution of the Intermountain West Flora
Location: /
Date: Thursday, July 22nd, 2021
Time: 10:45 AM(EDT)
Number: SY5003
Abstract ID:350
Candidate for Awards:None

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