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Abstract Detail

Recent Topics Posters

Timerman, David [1], Greene, David F. [2], Urzay, Javier [3], Ackerman, Josef D. [4], Barrett, Spencer C.H. [5].

Turbulence-induced stamen vibration mediates shifts between pollination vectors.

Many floral traits of wind-pollinated angiosperm lineages are hypothesized to represent convergent adaptations for atmospheric pollen release. Although wind- and animal-pollinated plants are considered to have dichotomous pollination syndromes, the specific structural modifications underlying transitions to wind pollination are not well understood. The stamens of many wind pollinated taxa are slender, flexible and vibrate readily in wind gusts and theory suggests that turbulence-induced stamen resonance could be an important trait in wind pollination. We tested the role of wind-induced stamen vibrations in the evolution of wind pollination using a combination of mechanistic and comparative analyses. Using laboratory experiments and field observations, we demonstrated that the stamens of Plantago lanceolata (Plantaginaceae) are aeroelastically-optimized to shed large amounts of pollen when impacted by low-energy turbulent eddies. We then compared the vibration response of stamens of animal- and wind-pollinated Thalictrum (Ranunculaceae) species to determine if variation in vibration response is associated with evolutionary transitions between wind and animal pollination. As predicted, wind-pollinated species have a lower natural frequency of vibration and should consequently have a higher probability of pollen release. Our results suggest that selection on traits influencing the vibration response of stamens may be a key feature of transitions between pollination systems.

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1 - University of Toronto, Department of Ecology and Evolutionary Biology, 25 Willcocks Street, Toronto, Ontario, M5S 3B2, CA
2 - Humboldt State University, Department of Forestry and Wildland Resources, Arcata, California, USA
3 - Stanford University, Center for Turbulence Research, Stanford, California, USA
4 - University of Guelph, Department of Integrative Biology, Guelph, Ontario, CA
5 - University of Toronto, Department of Ecology and Evolutionary Biology, Toronto, Ontario, Canada

Wind pollination
Pollination syndrome
pollination efficiency

Presentation Type: Recent Topics Poster
Session: P
Location: Hall D/The Shaw Conference Centre
Date: Monday, July 27th, 2015
Time: 5:30 PM
Number: PRT003
Abstract ID:1779
Candidate for Awards:None

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