Abstract Detail

Symbioses: Plant, Animal, and Microbe Interactions

Tillotson, Kate [1], Lukavsky, Sarah [2], Weber, Jenn [3].

Implications of breeding system variation on pollinator community and efficacy in the genus Triodanis.

Understanding interactions between plants and pollinators is a key topic in evolutionary ecology. As ongoing pressures in the Anthropocene potentially threaten these important mutualisms, it is critical that we continue to study these systems. As sessile organisms, flowering plants rely on these important pollen vectors for outcrossing. But, many flowering plants also employ a mixed-mating strategy, consisting of both selfing and outcrossing. Some breeding systems, such as dimorphic cleistogamy, consist of flowers seemingly specialized for these functions. Dimorphic cleistogamy includes both obligately selfing flowers, often with no corolla or attractive floral features, and open flowers with the potential for outcrossing. These systems provide a framework for understanding how variation in showy floral features may influence plant-pollinator mutualisms. This study examines the genus Triodanis (Campanulaceae) to understand interactions between floral visitors and variable mixed mating strategies. Triodanis consists of seven morphologically cryptic annual species native to North- and South- America. All species exhibit dimorphic cleistogamy with both open (chasmogamous, CH) and closed (cleistogamous, CL) flowers. Capsules of CH and CL flowers within this genus differ morphologically and can be accurately assigned as belonging to CH or CL flowers on mature plants. Preliminary analyses of field specimens show variability in ratios of these floral types with percentage of CH ranging from 30% to 60% in 3 of 7 species. We will examine if variation in breeding system allocation is associated with variation in pollinator assembly and visitation rates. In the process, we also aim to provide the first thorough dataset of pollinator associations among Triodanis species. To do this, we will sample broadly across the geographic range of multiple Triodanis species, beginning in Texas and continuing northward into Missouri and Kansas. Populations of Triodanis species will be identified and surveyed by transects and pollinator species will be observed for behavior and collected. Plots will be established to take timed observations of pollinator visitation rates over several days. Insect collections will be paired to their floral hosts and vouchers of Triodanis will be taken to establish proper identification of species and evaluate floral ratio. For all species of Triodanis collected and evaluated for pollinator visitation we will also assess floral morphology as it pertains to rewards, such as: pollen quantity and quality, nectar amount, and floral guides. By employing a large scale field survey we hope to capture the full extent of variability in pollinator interactions. With additional data from citizen science platforms and vouchered materials, we will provide previously undocumented data about these important plant-insect interactions.

1 - Southern Illinois University, 1306 Snapps Mill Road, Spout Spring, VA, 24593, United States
2 - Southern Illinois U, Carbondale, 1125 Lincoln Dr, Life Sci II, Rm 425, Carbondale, IL, 62901, United States
3 - Southern Illinois U, Carbondale, Plant Biology, Rm 420 (Mail Code: 6509), Life Science II, Carbondale, IL, 62901, United States

breeding system

Presentation Type: Poster
Number: PSM004
Abstract ID:238
Candidate for Awards:None

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