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Abstract Detail

Reproductive Processes

Nevard, Lucy [1], Russell, Avery [2], Foord, Karl [3], Vallejo-Marin, Mario [4].

How are vibrations transmitted in different buzz-pollinated flowers?

In buzz-pollinated plants, bees apply vibrations produced by their thoracic muscles to the flower, causing pollen release from anthers, often through small apical pores. During floral buzzing, bees grasp one or more anthers with their mandibles, and vibrations are transmitted to the focal anther(s), the adjacent anthers, and the whole flower. Because pollen release depends on the vibrations experienced by the anther, the transmission of vibrations through flowers with different morphologies may determine patterns of release, affecting both reward collection by bees and plant fitness. Anther morphology and arrangement varies widely among buzz-pollinated plants. Here, we compare the transmission of vibrations among focal and non-focal anthers in four species with contrasting anther morphologies: Cyclamen persicum (Primulaceae), Exacum affine (Gentianaceae), Solanum dulcamara and S. houstonii (Solanaceae). We used a mechanical transducer to apply bee-like artificial vibrations to focal anthers, and simultaneously measured the vibration frequency and displacement amplitude at the tips of focal and non-focal anthers using high-speed video analysis (6,000 frames per second). In flowers in which anthers are tightly held together (C. persicum and S. dulcamara), vibrations in focal and non-focal anthers are indistinguishable in both frequency and displacement amplitude. In contrast, flowers with loosely arranged anthers (E. affine) including those in which stamens are morphologically differentiated within the same flower (heterantherous S. houstonii), show the same frequency but higher displacement amplitude in non-focal anthers compared to focal anthers. Our results suggest that stamen arrangement affects the vibration transmission with potential consequences for pollen release and bee behaviour.

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1 - University of Stirling, Biological and Environmental Sciences, UK
2 - Missouri State University, Department of Biology, USA
3 - University of Minnesota, Minnesota Extension, USA
4 - University Of Stirling, Biological And Environmental Scinces, Cottrell Building, Stirling, STG, FK9 4LA, United Kingdom

Buzz pollination
floral morphology

Presentation Type: Oral Paper
Session: RP1, Reproductive Processes 1
Location: /
Date: Thursday, July 22nd, 2021
Time: 11:15 AM(EDT)
Number: RP1006
Abstract ID:217
Candidate for Awards:None

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