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Abstract Detail

Pollination Biology

Martine, Christopher [1], Capaldi Evans, Elizabeth [1].

Is inaperturate pollen produced by Australian dioecious Solanum a false reward for pollen foraging bees? .

Ca. one dozen Solanum species in Australia are cryptically dioecious, with morphologically cosexual plants/flowers producing inaperturate (unfurrowed) pollen grains - thus rendering the plants that produce them functionally carpellate. The availability of nutritive pollen content to pollen-foraging bees may depend on the presence of furrows as access points. Thus, inaperturate grains may represent diminished value relative to functional porate pollen produced by staminate flowers. Pollen produced by morphologically hermaphrodite flowers might then be considered a “false reward” and have negative effects on the fitness and development of the bees/larvae that collect/ingest it. To begin addressing the false reward hypothesis, we spent three weeks in the Kakadu National Park region of The Northern Territory monitoring bee visits to two cryptically dioecious species, Solanum asymmetriphyllum and S. sejunctum. The behaviors of both male and female bees on both staminate and carpellate flowers were observed. Visitation rates and durations were recorded and the corbicular pollen loads of captured bees were evaluated for pollen types, a strategy to assess floral constancy across Solanum types and species. Determining the frequency and order of floral visitation in the field serves as a precursor to highly controlled, ex situ bee choice studies using both the dioecious plants and their pollen.

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Related Links:
Martine page
Capaldi Evans web page

1 - Bucknell University, Biological Sciences, 203 Biology Building, Lewisburg, PA, 17837, USA


Presentation Type: Oral Paper:Papers for Topics
Session: 43
Location: Melrose/Riverside Hilton
Date: Wednesday, July 31st, 2013
Time: 10:30 AM
Number: 43001
Abstract ID:487
Candidate for Awards:None

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