Dieringer, Gregg , Cabrera R., Leticia .
Ecological Relationship Between Floral Thermogenesis and Pollination in Nelumbo lutea (Nelumbonaceae).
Floral thermogenesis is a well documented floral trait. Yet there is limited understanding of how this trait influences plant reproduction. The present study was undertaken to better understand the ecology of floral thermogenesis as it pertains to pollinator attraction and consequent plant reproduction using Nelumbo lutea. We conducted field studies on floral thermogenesis, flower sexual development, floral visitation patterns, breeding system using experimental hand-pollinations, and floral scent production using gas chromatography-mass spectrometry. The most abundant visitors to the thermoregulatory flowers included the Phoridae (Diptera) and the Chrysomelidae (Coleoptera). Chrysomelid beetles were frequent visitors to both first day female- and second day bisexual-phase flowers while phorid flies were most common in bisexual-phase flowers. 1,4-dimethoxybenzene was the most predominant component of the floral scent comprising 81% of all identified volatiles followed by pentadecane (4%) and Î±-farnesene (3%). This study is the first to document thermoregulation for Nelumbo lutea. While the flowers received a taxonomically wide assemblage of floral visitors, the study is also the first to provide strong support that chrysomelid beetles comprise the dominant portion of floral visitors that are capable of consistently affecting cross-pollination despite the general acceptance of the flower’s characteristics as adapted to beetle pollinators. We suggest that thermogenesis aids in dispersing the main floral scent component, 1,4-dimethoxybenzene, while thermoregulation causes chrysomelid beetles to actively seek out new flowers for evening residence with this search behavior likely resulting in consistent cross-pollination.
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1 - NORTHWEST MISSOURI STATE UNIVERSITY, 800 UNIVERSITY DR., MARYVILLE, MO, 64468, USA
2 - Iowa Western Community College, Clarinda Campus, 923 East Washington, Clarinda, IA, 51632, USA
Presentation Type: Poster:Posters for Topics
Location: Khorassan Ballroom/Chase Park Plaza
Date: Monday, July 11th, 2011
Time: 5:30 PM