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Abstract Detail

Pollination Biology

Montgomery, Benjamin R [1].

Large petals: an adaptation for autonomous self-pollination?

Petals attract pollinators but their formation and maintenance impose costs. Consequently, selection is expected to favor larger petals in plants reliant on pollinators and smaller petals in plants with autonomous pollination. However, large petals may also increase the effectiveness of corolla dragging, a process in which abscised petals cause self pollination as they fall from the flower. Linum rigidum, stiff flax, is a self-compatible species with showy basally connate petals for which petal dragging occurs. I investigated the effect of petal size on insect- and petal- mediated pollination for flowers with petals that were slightly or substantially trimmed at their apices, resulting in large (mean length ± SD = 17 ± 2 mm) or small (12 ± 1 mm) petals. For flowers exposed to pollinators but with petals removed prior to abscission, there was no significant difference in visit rates, pollen receipt or pollen export as measured by the quantity of pollen remaining in anthers. For flowers in a pollinator-excluded screen-house, petal size did not affect time of petal abscission, but larger petals dropped earlier following abscission, and stigmas of flowers with large petals received significantly more pollen. Neither fruit nor seed set varied significantly between petal sizes for flowers exposed to pollinators or for flowers without pollinators and petals left to abscise naturally. In this study, large petals were more important for autonomous self-pollination than attracting biotic pollinators, though differences did not translate to measurable differences in fecundity or opportunities for male fitness.

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1 - University of South Carolina Upstate, Natural Sciences and Engineering, 800 University Ave., Spartanburg, SC, 29303, USA

delayed self pollination
mixed mating
reproductive assurance

Presentation Type: Poster
Session: P, Pollination Biology 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 6:15 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: PPL010
Abstract ID:765
Candidate for Awards:None

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