Publication details.


Author(s):A. Lázaro, O. Totland
Title:The influence of floral symmetry, dependence on pollinators and pollination generalization on flower size variation
JCR Impact Factor:3.654
Issue No.:1
Abstract:Background and Aims The pollinator-mediated stabilizing selection hypothesis suggests that the specialized pollination system of zygomorphic flowers might cause stabilizing selection, reducing their flower size variation compared with actinomorphic flowers. However, the degree of ecological generalization and of dependence on pollinators varies greatly among species of both flower symmetry types and this may also affect flower size variation. Methods Data on 43 species from two contrasting communities (one alpine and one lowland community) were used to test the relationships and interactions between flower size phenotypic variation, floral symmetry, ecological pollination generalization and species' dependence on pollinators. Key Results Contrary to what was expected, higher flower size variation was found in zygomorphic than in actinomorphic species in the lowland community, and no difference in flower size variation was found between symmetry types in the alpine community. The relationship between floral symmetry and flower size variation depended on ecological generalization and species' dependence on pollinators, although the influence of ecological generalization was only detected in the alpine community. Zygomorphic species that were highly dependent on pollinators and that were ecologically specialized were less variable in flower size than ecologically generalist and selfing zygomorphic species, supporting the pollinator-mediated stabilizing selection hypothesis. However, these relationships were not found in actinomorphic species, probably because they are not dependent on any particular pollinator for efficient pollination and therefore their flower size always shows moderate levels of variation. Conclusions The study suggests that the relationship between flower size variation and floral symmetry may be influenced by population-dependent factors, such as ecological generalization and species' dependence on pollinators. © 2014 The Author 2014.

Related staff

  • Amparo Lazaro Castillo
  • Related research groups

  • Ecology and Evolution