FLORAL SPECIALIZATION AND THE GENERALISED NATURE OF POLLINATION INTERACTIONS
ID: 613 / 76
Proposed Symposium Title: FLORAL SPECIALIZATION AND THE GENERALISED NATURE OF POLLINATION INTERACTIONS
Abstract: The vast diversity of Angiosperm floral forms, shapes, colours and fragrances has inspired botanists to describe the relationship between flowers and pollinators. With the description of pollination syndromes, Faegri and van der Pijl (1966) established the pillars of modern pollination ecology and floral biology. The study of the flowers and their pollinators has led to an understanding of floral diversity in relation to natural selection generating floral adaptations that increase specialization, and the mechanisms that shape reproductive strategies and mating systems in plants. The notion that pollination syndromes results from the selection exerted by specific groups contrasts with the generalized nature of pollination interactions. Plant species commonly share pollinators, increasing chances of heterospecific pollen deposition which, in turn, bears reproductive costs. Hence, it is expected that natural selection will operate to maintain a certain level of specialization to ensure conspecific pollination and guarantee ovule fertilization, or other mechanisms that allow tolerance to heterospecific pollination. In this symposium, we will bring together pollination ecologists to bridge the gap between pollination syndromes and the generalised nature of pollination interactions. In recent years, the use of techniques such as 3D floral scans, detailed scent analyses, and quantum dots, combined with conventional methodologies and large data sets of pollen networks, and the integration of information at different levels of organization (from individuals to communities) has advanced our knowledge about the relationships between flowers and pollinators. Our goal is to revisit the conflict between specialization for conspecific pollination and the generalised nature of pollination interactions, and evaluate the importance of ecological specialization in floral evolution.
Speaker 1: Agnes Dellinger
Department of Botany and Biodiversity Research, University of Vienna, Austria.
“Flowers on an adaptive plateau: what floral traits mediate specialization in buzz-pollinated Melastomataceae?”
Speaker 2: Nathan Muchhala,
Department of Biology, University of Missouri – St Louis, USA. Nathan Muchhala, Department of Biology, University of Missouri – St Louis, USA.
“Actinomorphy to Zygomorphy: bilateral symmetry, with correct flower orientation, greatly increases pollen transfer”
Speaker 3: Gerardo Arceo-Gómez
Department of Biological Sciences, East Tennesse State University, USA.
"Pollinator specialization and generalization and its role in co-flowering community assembly"
Topics (Up to three): Ecology and Plant Communities
Topic 2: Plant, Animal, and Microbe Interactions
Topic 3: Reproductive Biology
Justification: The study of the ecological and evolutionary relationships between flowers and pollinators is a dynamic and fast-moving field which is central to understanding the evolution and diversity of Angiosperms. The current loss of pollinator diversity in many ecosystems makes it urgent that we to improve our knowledge about the implications of this loss for plant reproduction. The scope of the symposium will attract a wide range of participants who will cover a variety of methods and study systems. Ultimately, the symposium will contribute to deepening our understanding of floral specialization, pollination syndromes, and generalization of pollination interactions