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Abstract Detail

Ecological Section

Cardel Sharp, Yuria [1], Koptur, Suzanne [2].

Size-number tradeoff in pollen production in response to severe defoliation in butterfly pea, Centrosema virginianum (Fabaceae: Papilionoideae).

Pollen number and size can be related to offspring quality: pollen number correlates with pollen load deposited on stigmas, and progeny produced by larger pollen loads often have greater vigor and greater reproductive output as adults. Bigger pollen grains may be associated with better post-pollination performance, having more resources that could lead to a greater ability to sire seeds. Previous studies by many investigators have shown that both the number and size of pollen decrease after herbivory episodes. We investigated the response to severe foliar damage of male components of fitness in Centrosema virginianum to see how they compared to other plant species. Results from our previous experiments showed a difference in pollen number and size between damaged and undamaged Centrosema virginianum plants. Like many other species, plants under severe defoliation treatments produced fewer pollen grains per flower, but unlike other species, these pollen grains were substantially larger than those of undamaged or slightly defoliated plants. In this study, our goal was to verify whether the C. virginianum response to severe foliar damage was consistent with our previous experiments, and if so, to compare the siring ability of large and small pollen. Our experimental design compared differences in the ability of pollen produced by severely damaged plants with pollen from control (undamaged plants) to sire seeds. Larger pollen grains from severely damaged plants yielded fruit with more seeds on average than smaller pollen grains from undamaged plants. We provide evidence suggesting a number-size trade-off for pollen produced by C. virginianum under artificial herbivory stress.

Broader Impacts:

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1 - Miami Palmetto Senior High School, 7460 SW 118th St., Pinecrest, FL, 33156, USA
2 - Florida International University, Department of Biological Sciences, 11200 SW 8th St, Miami, FL, 33199, USA


Presentation Type: Oral Paper:Papers for Sections
Session: 41
Location: Newberry/Riverside Hilton
Date: Wednesday, July 31st, 2013
Time: 11:00 AM
Number: 41008
Abstract ID:753
Candidate for Awards:None

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