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Abstract Detail


LoPresti, Eric [1], Weber, Marjorie [2].

Evolution of pollinator cues across the sand verbenas.

Suites of morphological, color, and volatile chemical traits of flowers play a large role in attraction and repellence of clades of floral visitors; the repeated selection of similar suites of morphological traits by taxonomically-similar pollinators underlies the controversial concept of “pollination syndromes”. A strong way to test the pollination syndrome concept is to examine interactions occurring with floral visitor communities which are naïve, yet taxonomically-similar to those in native ranges. Over the past few years, we have characterized the floral morphology, color, and volatile profiles of nearly all sand verbenas (Abronia spp.: Nyctaginaceae), a small but ecologically- and morphologically-diverse clade of Western US wildflowers. I will present morphological, volatile, and color data on the plants, as well as field pollinator observations and, most importantly, a common garden experiment outside of the native range to determine the effectiveness of these traits in the evolution of pollination cues. Evolutions of autogamy correlated with a reduction in hypothesized attractive traits and correlated with a reduction in floral visitation and diversity in the common garden. Mixed-mating species had no consistent patters of reduction in attraction traits. Outcrossing species were a diverse group, and predictability of floral visitation or floral visitor communities was limited for any given trait, though a holistic look at the evolution provided somewhat more resolution. I will further discuss the benefits and drawbacks of this common garden design for macroevolutionary pollination investigations.

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Related Links:
Sand verbena research

1 - Oklahoma State University, Plant Biology, Ecology And Evolution, 302 Physical Sciences, Stillwater, OK, 74078, United States
2 - Michigan State University, Plant Biology Laboratories, 612 Wilson Road, Rm 166, East Lansing, MI, 48824, United States

floral traits.

Presentation Type: Oral Paper
Session: MACROI, Macroevolution I
Location: Virtual/Virtual
Date: Tuesday, July 20th, 2021
Time: 12:30 PM(EDT)
Number: MACROI001
Abstract ID:35
Candidate for Awards:None

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