New research shows how different species of plants evolve unique floral adaptations in order to transfer pollen on different regions of bats’ bodies, thus allowing multiple plant species to share bats as pollinators.
The study, titled “Character displacement among bat-pollinated flowers of the genus Burmeistera: analysis of the mechanism, process and pattern”, was published in this week’s journal Proceedings of the Royal Society B. A pattern of character displacement has only rarely been shown for plants, and this is the first study to examine the competitive mechanism and process driving this pattern.
When multiple plant species occur in the same habitat and share the same pollinator, large amounts of pollen may be transferred between different species. This form of plant-plant competition can reduce the fitness of all species by interfering with successful pollination. Dr. Nathan Muchhala, a post-doctorate researcher, and Dr. Matthew D. Potts, assistant professor in the University of Miami Department of Biology, studied such competition in remote cloud forests of the Ecuadorian Andes.
They found that co-occurring bat-pollinated species of the genus Burmeistera reduce competition by evolving differences in flower shape. This serves to place pollen in different regions of the bats bodies, and thus greatly reduces “incorrect” (between-species) pollen transfer. Experiments with bats and flowers showed that greater differences in flower shape between two species decreases “incorrect” pollen transfer and thus maximizes successful pollination.
“This research study clearly demonstrates that these plants are competing and the competition is strong enough for them to evolve unique characteristics in order to reduce competition for pollination,” says Nathan Muchhala, Ph.D., researcher in the University of Miami Department of Biology.
Along with the experimental work, the research team also analyzed Burmeistera in 18 field sites, and found that differences in flower morphology between co-occurring species were much greater than what would be expected by chance.
Annie Reisewitz | EurekAlert!
WAKE-UP provides new treatment option for stroke patients | International study led by UKE
17.05.2018 | Universitätsklinikum Hamburg-Eppendorf
First form of therapy for childhood dementia CLN2 developed
25.04.2018 | Universitätsklinikum Hamburg-Eppendorf
A research team led by physicists at the Technical University of Munich (TUM) has developed molecular nanoswitches that can be toggled between two structurally different states using an applied voltage. They can serve as the basis for a pioneering class of devices that could replace silicon-based components with organic molecules.
The development of new electronic technologies drives the incessant reduction of functional component sizes. In the context of an international collaborative...
At the LASYS 2018, from June 5th to 7th, the Laser Zentrum Hannover e.V. (LZH) will be showcasing processes for the laser material processing of tomorrow in hall 4 at stand 4E75. With blown bomb shells the LZH will present first results of a research project on civil security.
At this year's LASYS, the LZH will exhibit light-based processes such as cutting, welding, ablation and structuring as well as additive manufacturing for...
There are videos on the internet that can make one marvel at technology. For example, a smartphone is casually bent around the arm or a thin-film display is rolled in all directions and with almost every diameter. From the user's point of view, this looks fantastic. From a professional point of view, however, the question arises: Is that already possible?
At Display Week 2018, scientists from the Fraunhofer Institute for Applied Polymer Research IAP will be demonstrating today’s technological possibilities and...
So-called quantum many-body scars allow quantum systems to stay out of equilibrium much longer, explaining experiment | Study published in Nature Physics
Recently, researchers from Harvard and MIT succeeded in trapping a record 53 atoms and individually controlling their quantum state, realizing what is called a...
The historic first detection of gravitational waves from colliding black holes far outside our galaxy opened a new window to understanding the universe. A...
02.05.2018 | Event News
13.04.2018 | Event News
12.04.2018 | Event News
24.05.2018 | Physics and Astronomy
24.05.2018 | Health and Medicine
24.05.2018 | Life Sciences