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Abstract Detail

Pollination Biology

Vamosi, Jana C. [1].

Ecophylogenetic approaches to study pollinator specialization.

Understanding the evolution of specialization in host plant use by pollinators is often complicated by the tangled banks of ecological systems. Flowering communities offer their pollinators varying numbers and proportions of floral resources, and the uniformity observed in these floral resources is, to some degree, due to shared ancestry. In addition, isolated populations of plants attract fewer and less diverse pollinators and this may affect pollinator competition and apparent specialization. Here, I summarize the parallels between two approaches to examine the specialization and ecosystem function of pollination within an ecophylogenetic framework. First, pollinators visit related plant species more so than expected by chance throughout plant–pollinator networks of varying sizes throughout the world, exhibiting strong “phylogenetic specificity” that increases with community size. Functional traits of pollinators influence these patterns with less versatile pollinators showing tighter phylogenetic constraints on the flowers they can visit. Second, I examine the contribution that differences in floral visitor composition make to increased selfing and seed production of plant populations by examining the major visitors of coastal species. I find that (1) connectivity is more strongly associated with visitor assemblages and seed production than components of the floral community and (2) taking phylogeny into account suggests that increased visitation by particular functional groups ensures reproductive success of focal plant species more so than pollinator diversity. Thus, while entire flowering communities may benefit from functionally diverse pollinator communities, the reproductive success of a single pollinator species is more contingent on a specialized subset of pollinators. The resulting pollinator sharing between closely related plant species with similarities in traits could result in selection for greater pollinator specialization.

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1 - University Of Calgary, 2500 University Dr. NW, Calgary, AB, T2N1Z4, Canada

ecosystem function
phylogenic specificity
seed set
phylogenetic diversity
plant functional trait.

Presentation Type: Oral Paper:Papers for Topics
Session: 8
Location: Salon 6/The Shaw Conference Centre
Date: Monday, July 27th, 2015
Time: 10:15 AM
Number: 8008
Abstract ID:868
Candidate for Awards:None

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