Sexually-trimorphic interactions with colour polymorphism determine nectar quality in a herbaceous perennial

Varga, Sandra and Soulsbury, Carl (2017) Sexually-trimorphic interactions with colour polymorphism determine nectar quality in a herbaceous perennial. Scientific Reports, 7 . p. 45838. ISSN 2045-2322

Full content URL: https://doi.org/10.1038/srep45838

Documents
26625 Nectar-colour Sci Rep.pdf

Request a copy
26625 Varga_et_al-2017-Scientific_Reports.pdf
[img]
[Download]
[img] PDF
26625 Nectar-colour Sci Rep.pdf - Whole Document
Restricted to Repository staff only
Available under License Creative Commons Attribution 4.0 International.

676kB
[img]
Preview
PDF
26625 Varga_et_al-2017-Scientific_Reports.pdf - Whole Document
Available under License Creative Commons Attribution 4.0 International.

540kB
Item Type:Article
Item Status:Live Archive

Abstract

Amongst gynodioecious plant breeding systems, there can exist intermediate morphs with a reduction in their male function (i.e. reduced number of functional anthers). Along with this sexual trimorphism, plants can also show floral colour polymorphism. Such intricate mixtures of phenotypes within a species may have complex effects on floral rewards. Floral rewards are known to vary between sexually dimorphic species and to a lesser extent between colour morphs. However, the interactive effect of sexual trimorphism and colour polymorphism is unexplored. We measured nectar’s sugar content in the sexually trimorphic Geranium sylvaticum, a gynodioecious plant with a light/dark floral polymorphism. We found that nectar reward differed across genders and colour morphs. Results were not however consistent within the three genders; dark female and hermaphrodite flowers had higher sugar content than light morphs, whereas intermediate flowers did not. As expected, females and hermaphrodites had different nectar reward, with intermediate morphs being midway between the other genders. In intermediates, the sugar content was positively correlated to the number of functional stamens. We show for the first time the existence of sex-specific differences between flower gender and colour morphs. Our results demonstrate the importance of considering multiple and conflicting selection pressures to explain rewards.

Keywords:gynodioecious, pollinator, nectar
Subjects:C Biological Sciences > C180 Ecology
C Biological Sciences > C182 Evolution
C Biological Sciences > C200 Botany
C Biological Sciences > C150 Environmental Biology
Divisions:College of Science > School of Life Sciences
ID Code:26625
Deposited On:06 Mar 2017 16:25

Repository Staff Only: item control page