Miller, Nicole .
Plant-pollinator interactions and stress adaptation in a glade system: Implications for endemic plant species.
Many mechanisms have been hypothesized to influence species distributions, including biotic and abiotic factors, and each of these mechanisms has a different implication for the conservation of these species. However, many of the factors shown to be important, specifically interspecific interactions, are not well understood. Pollinators, in particular, have been shown to be important for the reproductive success and persistence of native plant species, but little is known about the pollination biology of endemic glade species. In addition, a trade-off has been shown to exist between growth and reproduction, which could be exacerbated in predictably stressful environments. Field and herbarium measurements suggest that endemic species have traits associated with more specialized pollination systems, specifically longer floral spur length and tube depth, and with more restricted reproduction, specifically lower relative reproductive potential, again unlike their widespread congeners. Consequently, the proposed objectives of this study were to elucidate the degree of specialization, overlap in the pollination biology, and stress adaptation of these endemic species in comparison to their widespread congeners. We found that glade endemics have more specialized pollination systems and traits associated with adaptation to stressful environments. The pollination biology of endemic and widespread species do overlap, and could result in competition for pollinator services. These results suggest a trade-off between stress and reproduction that could contribute to the limited biogeographical extent of these endemic glade species. Therefore, these interactions should be incorporated in the conservation strategies and ecological niche models used to predict their responses to climate change.
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1 - Washington University, Biology, Campus Box 1, 1 Brookings Drive, St. Louis, MO, 63130, USA
Presentation Type: Oral Paper:Papers for Topics
Date: Wednesday, July 30th, 2008
Time: 2:30 PM