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Abstract Detail


Ecological Section

Lacey, Elizabeth [1], Lovin, Mary Beth [1], Richter, Scott J. [2], Herington, Dean A. [3].

Floral reflectance patterns and thermoregulation in European populations of Plantago lanceolata: A test of adaptive phenotypic plasticity.

Previous research suggests that Plantago lanceolata partially thermoregulates reproduction through temperature-sensitive plasticity in floral reflectance. At cool ambient temperatures, individual plants produce poorly reflective/darkly colored flowers. At warm ambient temperatures, the same individuals produce highly reflective/lightly colored flowers. Poorly reflective flowers get warmer in the sun. Through a comparative study of floral reflectance in European populations of P. lanceolata, we tested the hypothesis that mean reflectance and temperature-sensitive plasticity in reflectance are adaptive. Offspring derived from 29 populations were cloned, grown, and induced to flower at cool and warm temperatures. Mean floral reflectance (averaged over the temperatures) and plasticity in reflectance (difference between temperatures) were measured. Data show that mean floral reflectance decreases with increasing latitude and altitude. Plasticity increases with increasing latitude and altitude. We developed a model of latitudinal and altitudinal variation in prevailing temperatures during the reproductive season in order to examine the relationships between seasonal variation in temperature and reflectance pattern. The relationships provide evidence for local adaptation in floral reflectance patterns and thermoregulatory capability.


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1 - University of North Carolina Greensboro, Department of Biology, Po Box 26170, Greensboro, North Carolina, 27402-6170, USA
2 - University of North Carolina Greensboro, Department of Mathematics and Statistics, PO Box 26170, Greensboro, North Carolina, 27402-6170, USA
3 - EMC Corporation, 62 T.W. Alexander Dr., Research Triangle Park, North Carolina, 27709, USA

Keywords:
floral evolution
thermoregulation
phenotypic plasticity
Spectral reflectance
ecophysiology
geographic variation
thermal acclimation.

Presentation Type: Oral Paper:Papers for Sections
Session: 28
Location: Council Chambers/SUB
Date: Monday, July 28th, 2008
Time: 4:30 PM
Number: 28004
Abstract ID:184


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