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Kelsey M Yule, Judith L Bronstein
Parasitic plants often attack multiple host species with unique defenses, physiology, and ecology. Reproductive phenology and vectors of parasitic plant genes (pollinators and dispersers) can contribute to or erode reproductive isolation of populations infecting different host species. We asked whether desert mistletoe, Phoradendron californicum (Santalaceae tribe Visceae syn. Viscaceae), differs ecologically across its dominant leguminous hosts in ways affecting reproductive isolation. Parasite flowering phenology on one host species (velvet mesquite, Prosopis velutina) differed significantly from that on four others, and phenology was not predicted by host species phenology or host individual...
December 8, 2017: Oecologia
Rachel E Mallinger, Hannah R Gaines-Day, Claudio Gratton
Managed bees are critical for crop pollination worldwide. As the demand for pollinator-dependent crops increases, so does the use of managed bees. Concern has arisen that managed bees may have unintended negative impacts on native wild bees, which are important pollinators in both agricultural and natural ecosystems. The goal of this study was to synthesize the literature documenting the effects of managed honey bees and bumble bees on wild bees in three areas: (1) competition for floral and nesting resources, (2) indirect effects via changes in plant communities, including the spread of exotic plants and decline of native plants, and (3) transmission of pathogens...
2017: PloS One
Vladislav Nachev, York Winter
Pyke and Waser claim that our virtual pollination ecology model makes unrealistic assumptions and fails to predict observed nectar concentrations of bat flowers and negative correlations between pollinator body size and sugar concentration. In their comment, crucial model features are misrepresented, misunderstood, or ignored. Sensitivity to the supply/demand ratio explains both the equilibrium concentrations and the selection for lower concentrations by larger pollinators.
December 8, 2017: Science
Graham H Pyke, Nickolas M Waser
Nachev et al (Reports, 6 January 2017, p. 75) present dilute nectar in bat-pollinated plants as "paradoxical" because bats prefer concentrated nectar, but paradox disappears with realistic assumptions about nectar evolution. We argue that they make unrealistic assumptions about the cognitive abilities of bat pollinators, invoke Weber's law inappropriately, and cannot predict observed nectar concentrations of bat flowers or negative correlations between pollinator body size and average concentration.
December 8, 2017: Science
Carol Goodwillie, Hetal R Patel, DeAnna M Dvorak
Self-fertilization that is delayed until after opportunities for outcrossing have ceased has been argued to provide both the reproductive assurance benefits of selfing and the genetic advantages of outcrossing. In the Campanulaceae, presentation of pollen on stylar hairs and progressive stigma curvature have been hypothesized to facilitate delayed selfing, but experimental tests are lacking. Stigma curvature is common in Campanula, a genus largely characterized by self-incompatibility, and therefore is unlikely to have initially evolved to promote self-fertilization...
December 7, 2017: Plant Biology
Siou Ting Gan, Wei Chee Wong, Choo Kien Wong, Aik Chin Soh, Andrzej Kilian, Eng-Ti Leslie Low, Festo Massawe, Sean Mayes
Oil palm (Elaeis guineensis Jacq.) is an outbreeding perennial tree crop with long breeding cycles, typically 12 years. Molecular marker technologies can greatly improve the breeding efficiency of oil palm. This study reports the first use of the DArTseq platform to genotype two closely related self-pollinated oil palm populations, namely AA0768 and AA0769 with 48 and 58 progeny respectively. Genetic maps were constructed using the DArT and SNP markers generated in combination with anchor SSR markers. Both maps consisted of 16 major independent linkage groups (2n = 2× = 32) with 1399 and 1466 mapped markers for the AA0768 and AA0769 populations, respectively, including the morphological trait "shell-thickness" (Sh)...
December 6, 2017: Journal of Applied Genetics
D J Pritchard, M C Tello Ramos, F Muth, S D Healy
Hummingbirds feed from hundreds of flowers every day. The properties of these flowers provide these birds with a wealth of information about colour, space and time to guide how they forage. To understand how hummingbirds might use this information, researchers have adapted established laboratory paradigms for use in the field. In recent years, however, experimental inspiration has come less from other birds, and more from looking at other nectar-feeders, particularly honeybees and bumblebees, which have been models for foraging behaviour and cognition for over a century...
December 2017: Biology Letters
Jeannette Whitton, Christopher J Sears, Wayne P Maddison
We used randomizations to analyse patterns of co-occurrence of sexual and apomictic (asexual) members of the North American Crepis agamic complex (Asteraceae). We expect strong asymmetry in reproductive interactions in Crepis: apomicts produce clonal seeds with no need for pollination and are not subject to reproductive interference from co-occurring relatives. However, because they still produce some viable pollen, apomicts can reduce reproductive success of nearby sexual relatives, potentially leading to eventual local exclusion of sexuals...
December 6, 2017: Proceedings. Biological Sciences
Alexander Chautá, Susan Whitehead, Marisol Amaya-Márquez, Katja Poveda
Plant responses induced by herbivore damage can provide fitness benefits, but can also have important costs due to altered interactions with mutualist pollinators. We examined the effects of plant responses to herbivory in a hummingbird-pollinated distylous shrub, Palicourea angustifolia. Through a series of field experiments we investigated whether damage from foliar herbivores leads to a reduction in fruit set, influences floral visitation, or alters floral traits that may influence pollinator preference or pollinator efficiency...
2017: PloS One
Camille Madec
Is variation in pollen-related floral traits linked to variation in the composition and abundance of pollinators present in an area? Parker et al. (2017) found that, in the wildflower Claytonia virginica, pollen release by anthers was slower and more staggered at northern sites dominated by a pollen-foraging bee than at southern sites where the main pollinator is a nectar-collecting bee fly. Their findings suggest that C. virginica populations may be adapted to their local pollinator environment. This article is protected by copyright...
December 6, 2017: Evolution; International Journal of Organic Evolution
Bharti Sharma, Elena M Kramer
The model Aquilegia coerulea x "Origami" possesses several interesting floral features, including petaloid sepals that are morphologically distinct from the true petals and a broad domain containing many whorls of stamens. We undertook the current study in an effort to understand the former trait, but additionally uncovered data that inform on the latter. The Aquilegia B gene homolog AqPI is shown to contribute to the production of anthocyanin in the first whorl sepals, although it has no major role in their morphology...
2017: EvoDevo
Cheng-Chen Pan, Hao Qu, Qi Feng, Lin-De Liu, Ha-Lin Zhao, Yu-Lin Li, Yu-Qiang Li, Tong-Hui Zhang, Xin-Ping Liu
Evaluations of restoration success usually focus on the structural aspects of ecosystems. Pollination, as an important functional aspect, is often overlooked. Here, the shifts in pollinator assemblage and pollen limitation in the desert shrub Caragana microphylla were examined along a restoration gradient in Horqin Sand Land, northern China. We identified seven species of bees; however, only four bee species were found to be effective pollinators, with Xanthosaurus remota dominating in the fixed dunes, and with no bee species or only a single species, X...
December 4, 2017: Scientific Reports
André Pornon, Christophe Andalo, Monique Burrus, Nathalie Escaravage
Animal pollination, essential for both ecological services and ecosystem functioning, is threatened by ongoing global changes. New methodologies to decipher their effects on pollinator composition to ecosystem health are urgently required. We compare the main structural parameters of pollination networks based on DNA metabarcoding data with networks based on direct observations of insect visits to plants at three resolution levels. By detecting numerous additional hidden interactions, metabarcoding data largely alters the properties of the pollination networks compared to visit surveys...
December 4, 2017: Scientific Reports
Takashi Okada, J E A Ridma M Jayasinghe, Moureen Nansamba, Mathieu Baes, Patricia Warner, Allan Kouidri, David Correia, Vy Nguyen, Ryan Whitford, Ute Baumann
Bread wheat is strongly autogamous; however, an opportunity for outcrossing occurs when self-pollination fails and florets open. The first phase of floret opening at anthesis is short and induced by lodicule turgidity. Some wheat florets re-open post-anthesis for several days, known as the 'second opening', for which the underlying mechanisms are largely unknown. We performed detailed physiological, anatomical, and histological investigations to understand the biological basis of the flower opening process...
November 30, 2017: Journal of Experimental Botany
Adriana De Palma, Michael Kuhlmann, Rob Bugter, Simon Ferrier, Andrew J Hoskins, Simon G Potts, Stuart P M Roberts, Oliver Schweiger, Andy Purvis
Aim: Agricultural intensification and urbanization are important drivers of biodiversity change in Europe. Different aspects of bee community diversity vary in their sensitivity to these pressures, as well as independently influencing ecosystem service provision (pollination). To obtain a more comprehensive understanding of human impacts on bee diversity across Europe, we assess multiple, complementary indices of diversity. Location: One Thousand four hundred and forty six sites across Europe...
December 2017: Diversity & Distributions
Diego Marín-Armijos, Noelia Quezada-Ríos, Carolina Soto-Armijos, Ximo Mengual
Syrphidae is one of the most speciose families of true flies, with more than 6,100 described species and worldwide distribution. They are important for humans acting as crucial pollinators, biological control agents, decomposers, and bioindicators. One third of its diversity is found in the Neotropical Region, but the taxonomic knowledge for this region is incomplete. Thus, taxonomic revisions and species checklists of Syrphidae in the Neotropics are the highest priority for biodiversity studies. Therefore, we present the first checklist of Syrphidae for Ecuador based on literature records, and provide as well the original reference for the first time species citations for the country...
2017: ZooKeys
Patricia Landaverde-González, José Javier G Quezada-Euán, Panagiotis Theodorou, Tomás E Murray, Martin Husemann, Ricardo Ayala, Humberto Moo-Valle, Rémy Vandame, Robert J Paxton
Traditional tropical agriculture often entails a form of slash-and-burn land management that may adversely affect ecosystem services such as pollination, which are required for successful crop yields. The Yucatán Peninsula of Mexico has a >4000 year history of traditional slash-and-burn agriculture, termed 'milpa'. Hot 'Habanero' chilli is a major pollinator-dependent crop that nowadays is often grown in monoculture within the milpa system.We studied 37 local farmers' chilli fields (sites) to evaluate the effects of landscape composition on bee communities...
December 2017: Journal of Applied Ecology
Ellen A R Welti, Anthony Joern
Significant loss of pollinator taxa and their interactions with flowering plants has resulted in growing reductions to pollination services globally. Ecological network analysis is a useful tool for evaluating factors that alter the interaction structure and resistance of systems to species loss, but is rarely applied across multiple empirical networks sampled within the same study. The non-random arrangement of species interactions within a community, or "network structure" such as nested or modular organization, is predicted to prevent extinction cascades in ecological networks...
December 2, 2017: Oecologia
Séverin Hatt, Fanny Boeraeve, Sidonie Artru, Marc Dufrêne, Frédéric Francis
Spatial diversification of crop and non-crop habitats in farming systems is promising for enhancing natural regulation of insect pests. Nevertheless, results from recent syntheses show variable effects. One explanation is that the abundance and diversity of pests and natural enemies are affected by the composition, design and management of crop and non-crop habitats. Moreover, interactions between both local and landscape elements and practices carried out at different spatial scales may affect the regulation of insect pests...
November 28, 2017: Science of the Total Environment
Linhan Sun, Teh-Hui Kao
Function of Petunia PiSSK1. Self-incompatibility (SI), an inbreeding-preventing mechanism, is regulated in Petunia inflata by the polymorphic S-locus, which houses multiple pollen-specific S-locus F-box (SLF) genes and a single pistil-specific S-RNase gene. S 2-haplotype and S 3-haplotype possess the same 17 polymorphic SLF genes (named SLF1 to SLF17), and each SLF protein produced in pollen is assembled into an SCF (Skp1-Cullin1-F-box) E3 ubiquitin ligase complex. A complete suite of SLF proteins is thought to collectively interact with all non-self S-RNases to mediate their ubiquitination and degradation by the 26S proteasome, allowing cross-compatible pollination...
November 30, 2017: Plant Reproduction
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