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Appears in Collections:Biological and Environmental Sciences Journal Articles
Peer Review Status: Refereed
Title: Evolution of pollination niches and floral divergence in the generalist plant Erysimum mediohispanicum
Author(s): Gomez, Jose M
Munoz-Pajares, A Jesus
Abdelaziz Mohamed, Mohamed
Lorite, Juan
Perfectti, Francisco
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Keywords: Adaptive wandering
generalist pollination ecotype
pollination niches
floral divergence
Erysimum mediohispanicum
Issue Date: Jan-2014
Date Deposited: 4-Nov-2013
Citation: Gomez JM, Munoz-Pajares AJ, Abdelaziz Mohamed M, Lorite J & Perfectti F (2014) Evolution of pollination niches and floral divergence in the generalist plant Erysimum mediohispanicum. Annals of Botany, 113 (2), pp. 237-249.
Abstract: Background and Aims: How generalist plants diverge in response to pollinator selection without becoming specialized is still unknown. This study explores this question, focusing on the evolution of the pollination system in the pollination generalist Erysimum mediohispanicum (Brassicaceae). Methods: Pollinator assemblages were surveyed from 2001 to 2010 in 48 geo-referenced populations covering the entire geographic distribution of E. mediohispanicum. Bipartite modularity, a complex network tool,was used to find the pollination niche of each population.Evolution of the pollination niches and the correlated evolution of floral traits and pollination niches were explored using within-species comparative analyses. Key Results: Despite being generalists, the E. mediohispanicum populations studied can be classified into five pollination niches. The boundaries between niches were not sharp, the niches differing among them in the relative frequencies of the floral visitor functional groups. The absence of spatial autocorrelation and phylogenetic signal indicates that the niches were distributed in a phylogeographic mosaic. The ancestral E. mediohispanicum populations presumably belonged to the niche defined by a high number of beetle and ant visits. A correlated evolution was found between pollination niches and some floral traits, suggesting the existence of generalist pollination ecotypes. Conclusions: It is conjectured that the geographic variation in pollination niches has contributed to the observed floral divergence in E. mediohispanicum. The process mediating this floral divergence presumably has been adaptive wandering, but the adaptation to the local pollinator faunas has been not universal. The outcome is a landscape where a few populations locally adapted to their pollination environment (generalist pollination ecotypes) coexist with many populations where this local adaptation has failed and where the plant phenotype is not primarily shaped by pollinators.
DOI Link: 10.1093/aob/mct186
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