Anderson, Erin R. , Lacey, Elizabeth , Lovin, Mary Beth .
A comparison of floral reflectance patterns of Plantago species.
Floral reflectance is phenotypically plastic in Plantago lanceolata. At cooler ambient temperatures, individual plants produce flowers that exhibit less reflectance and darker coloration. At warmer ambient temperatures, the same plants produce flowers that exhibit greater reflectance and lighter coloration. The plasticity helps plants to adjust the internal temperature of flowers and fruits to compensate for the seasonal changes in ambient temperature throughout its long reproductive period, from April to September in North Carolina. Given our observations of P. lanceolata, we asked if other Plantago species also exhibit this same temperature-sensitive plasticity. We posed two hypotheses: 1) Species more closely related to P. lanceolata, from a phylogenetic perspective, show greater reflectance/color plasticity; 2) Species having a wider geographic distribution show greater plasticity. To test the hypotheses we compared the floral reflectance patterns of species that sample different parts of the phylogenetic tree for the genus. Species closely related to P. lanceolata showed temperature-sensitive plasticity in floral reflectance, but so did some, although not all, other species tested. On average, species that have a wide geographical range in Europe showed greater variation in temperature-sensitivity than did species restricted to the Mediterranean region. The study shows that temperature-sensitive plasticity in floral reflectance is not limited to just P. lanceolata.
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1 - University of North Carolina Greensboro, Department of Biology, PO Box 26170, Greensboro, North Carolina, 27402, USA
2 - University of North Carolina Greensboro, Department of Biology, Po Box 26170, Greensboro, North Carolina, 27402-6170, USA
Presentation Type: Poster:Posters for Sections
Location: Ball Room & Party Room/SUB
Date: Monday, July 28th, 2008
Time: 12:30 PM