Abstract Detail

Annals of Botany Lecture - Rachel Spigler

Spigler, Rachel [1].

Floral longevity and the pollination gamble: know when to fold 'em.

For plants that rely on pollinators, reproduction is often pollen limited. Under such circumstances we often expect selection to act either on traits that promote pollinator attraction and increase visitation rates or on traits that promote self-reliance (i.e., self-pollination).  Less often considered is a third, non-mutually exclusive and perhaps complementary strategy—to wait it out—by having longer-lived flowers that buy time for pollen export and import. Consequently, we know relatively little about the forces shaping the evolution of floral longevity—the amount of time a flower is open and functional—across and within species. Perhaps this oversight is because floral longevity is invisible and intangible, measured in units of time. Nevertheless, it is remarkably variable among species, ranging from flowers that last less than 1day to those that live a month or more, and variable even within species and populations. At the same time, floral lifespan is plastic in response to pollination in many species, which may be particularly adaptive where pollination conditions are unpredictable. In this talk, I will present some of our recent work investigating the ecological and evolutionary forces shaping intraspecific variation in floral longevity. I will examine constraints to the evolution of maximum floral longevity and reveal support for the application of resource allocation theory to floral evolution more broadly. I will also present work investigating plasticity of floral longevity and its adaptive potential.  Finally, I will highlight the interplay between the evolution of floral longevity and the mating system and how extended floral longevity might ameliorate pollinator-mediated selection on other floral traits.

1 - Temple University, Biology, 1900 N 12th Street, Philadelphia, PA, 19122, United States

Floral longevity
Flower lifespan
Resource allocation
Phenotypic plasticity
Reproductive assurance
Evolutionary constraints.

Presentation Type: Special Presentations
Number: S05001
Abstract ID:65
Candidate for Awards:None

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