Journal Article

Floral and vegetative cues in oil-secreting and non-oil-secreting <i>Lysimachia</i> species

I. Schäffler, F. Balao and S. Dötterl

in Annals of Botany

Published on behalf of The Annals of Botany Company

Volume 110, issue 1, pages 125-138
Published in print July 2012 | ISSN: 0305-7364
Published online May 2012 | e-ISSN: 1095-8290 | DOI: http://dx.doi.org/10.1093/aob/mcs101
Floral and vegetative cues in oil-secreting and non-oil-secreting Lysimachia species

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  • Ecology and Conservation
  • Evolutionary Biology
  • Plant Sciences and Forestry

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Background and Aims

Unrelated plants pollinated by the same group or guild of animals typically evolve similar floral cues due to pollinator-mediated selection. Related plant species, however, may possess similar cues either as a result of pollinator-mediated selection or as a result of sharing a common ancestor that possessed the same cues or traits. In this study, visual and olfactory floral cues in Lysimachia species exhibiting different pollination strategies were analysed and compared, and the importance of pollinators and phylogeny on the evolution of these floral cues was determined. For comparison, cues of vegetative material were examined where pollinator selection would not be expected.

Methods

Floral and vegetative scents and colours in floral oil- and non-floral oil-secreting Lysimachia species were studied by chemical and spectrophotometric analyses, respectively, compared between oil- and non-oil-secreting species, and analysed by phylogenetically controlled methods.

Key Results

Vegetative and floral scent was species specific, and variability in floral but not vegetative scent was lower in oil compared with non-oil species. Overall, oil species did not differ in their floral or vegetative scent from non-oil species. However, a correlation was found between oil secretion and six floral scent constituents specific to oil species, whereas the presence of four other floral compounds can be explained by phylogeny. Four of the five analysed oil species had bee-green flowers and the pattern of occurrence of this colour correlated with oil secretion. Non-oil species had different floral colours. The colour of leaves was similar among all species studied.

Conclusions

Evidence was found for correlated evolution between secretion of floral oils and floral but not vegetative visual and olfactory cues. The cues correlating with oil secretion were probably selected by Macropis bees, the specialized pollinators of oil-secreting Lysimachia species, and may have evolved in order to attract these bees.

Keywords: Colour hexagon; oil secretion; correlated evolution; flower and vegetative scent; headspace analysis; GC-MS; Lysimachia; multidimensional scaling; oil-bee Macropis; phylogeny; spectral photometry

Journal Article.  9663 words.  Illustrated.

Subjects: Ecology and Conservation ; Evolutionary Biology ; Plant Sciences and Forestry

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