Please use this identifier to cite or link to this item:
Appears in Collections:Biological and Environmental Sciences eTheses
Title: Effects of floral morphology on plant-pollinator interactions in buzz-pollinated flowers
Author(s): Nevard, Lucy
Supervisor(s): Vallejo-Marin, Mario
Tinsley, Matt
Keywords: buzz pollination
floral morphology
plant reproduction
Issue Date: Dec-2021
Publisher: University of Stirling
Citation: Nevard, L., A. L. Russell, K. Foord, and M. Vallejo-Marín. 2021. Transmission of bee-like vibrations in buzz-pollinated plants with different stamen architectures. Scientific Reports 11: 13541.
Nunes, C. E. P., L. Nevard, F. Montealegre-Z, and M. Vallejo-Marín. 2021. Variation in the natural frequency of stamens in six morphologically diverse, buzz-pollinated, heterantherous Solanum taxa and its relationship to bee vibrations. Botanical Journal of the Linnean Society 197: 541-553.
Abstract: The remarkable diversity of floral forms across angiosperms is largely shaped by interactions between plants and pollinators. Buzz-pollinated flowers have a tight relationship with bees, their primary pollinators, as they require externally produced vibrations for pollen release. These flowers have evolved various morphologies during this relationship, many of them variations on the same theme, yet the functional significance of these forms remains understudied. In this thesis, I examine the effects of different buzz-pollinated morphologies on plant-pollinator interactions. The species I studied vary in stamen arrangement and stamen dimorphism. First, I compared vibration transmission between flowers with contrasting stamen arrangements using artificial vibrations applied to a focal anther. Second, I used cantilever theory and displacement experiments to calculate the natural frequency of two different stamen types in six Solanum taxa, which differ in size and mating system. Third, I assessed bumblebee buzz characteristics on two of these species, to find out whether they match their natural frequency to each flower type. Finally, I asked whether the role of floral orientation differs between radial and bilateral buzz-pollinated flowers, by manipulating their orientations and measuring bumblebee-mediated pollen deposition on the stigmas. I found that the transmission of vibrations varies with stamen arrangement: more uniformly arranged flowers transmit vibrations more faithfully than non-uniform flowers and some arrangements promote the amplification of vibrations. I also found that stamen natural frequency differs between plants with differing mating systems. Bees do not appear to adjust their buzzing frequencies to match these natural frequencies, although they may respond to differences in pollen release. Last, I found that the horizontal orientation of bilateral flowers may function to increase pollen transfer in outcrossing flowers. These findings shed light on key biomechanical and behavioural aspects of buzz pollination and point to potential functions of different floral morphologies.
Type: Thesis or Dissertation

Files in This Item:
File Description SizeFormat 
Nevard_Effects of floral morphology.pdfThesis3.91 MBAdobe PDFView/Open

This item is protected by original copyright

Items in the Repository are protected by copyright, with all rights reserved, unless otherwise indicated.

The metadata of the records in the Repository are available under the CC0 public domain dedication: No Rights Reserved

If you believe that any material held in STORRE infringes copyright, please contact providing details and we will remove the Work from public display in STORRE and investigate your claim.