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Abstract Detail


Rowe, Pamela S. [1], Kessler, Andre [2], Malmberg, Russell [1], Robert, Raguso [3], Stephens, Jessica [4].

Volatile emissions of leaves and flowers of the carnivorous pitcher plant Sarracenia leucophylla.

Carnivorous plants have evolved to attract, capture, and digest insects in order to cope with low nutrient habitats. Therefore, traits related to attracting prey are likely under strong selection. However, there should also be selection on traits that mitigate or alleviate capturing their pollinators. Here, we are interested in whether a particular trait, volatile emissions, varies between the leaves (i.e. pitchers) and flowers of Sarracenia leucophylla as a possible mechanism for these plants to avoid pollinator capture. In addition, we are examining how volatile cues released by the pitchers may attract specific prey and whether these cues change with prey decomposition. Sarracenia leucophylla is an ideal species to examine these hypotheses as an ongoing study has found it to specialize on Lepidopteran prey and flower and pitcher development overlap. To test the above hypotheses, pitchers on four individual S. leucophylla plants were prevented from capturing prey and flowers were covered with tulle to prevent pollination. Samples were collected once a week from one starved pitcher and one flower per individual for four weeks. To examine the influence of prey decomposition on volatile emissions, another pitcher on the same individual was fed 2 grams of moths and volatiles were collected for four weeks as prey decomposed. All samples were processed using a GC-MS with authentic standards to identify volatile peaks in resulting chromatograms. We predict the volatiles emitted by the starved pitchers will emit compounds attractive to Lepidoptera species and that these compounds will increase as the pitcher is starved. In pitchers with prey, we expect a shift from compounds associated with Lepidopteran species to a set of compounds typically associated with carrion attracted insects. This result would suggest a possible prey shift from Lepidopteran prey to Dipteran prey over the age of the pitcher. Finally, flowers and pitchers are expected to release significantly different volatiles, therefore mitigating prey-pollinator conflict.

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1 - University Of Georgia, Plant Biology, 2502 Miller Plant Sciences, Athens, GA, 30602
2 - Cornell University, E445 Corson Hall, Ithaca, NY, 14853, USA
3 - Cornell University, W355 Seeley G. Mudd Hall, Ithaca, NY, 14853
4 - University Of Georgia, Plant Biology, 2502 Miller Plant Sciences, Athens, GA, 30602, USA

pollinator-prey conflict
plant-pollinator interactions
insect prey
Floral Organic Volatiles.

Presentation Type: Poster
Session: P, Ecology Section Posters
Location: Exhibit Hall/Savannah International Trade and Convention Center
Date: Monday, August 1st, 2016
Time: 5:30 PM This poster will be presented at 5:30 pm. The Poster Session runs from 5:30 pm to 7:00 pm. Posters with odd poster numbers are presented at 5:30 pm, and posters with even poster numbers are presented at 6:15 pm.
Number: PEC017
Abstract ID:399
Candidate for Awards:Ecological Section Best Undergraduate Presentation Award

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