Featured Research

from universities, journals, and other organizations

Flowers Shape Themselves To Guide Their Pollinators To The Pollen

Date:
April 4, 2007
Source:
University of Chicago Press Journals
Summary:
The fit between flower and pollinator is key: Bats pollinate wide flowers better, while hummingbirds transfer more pollen between narrow flowers. Videotaping demonstrated that a poor fit fails to correctly guide the pollinator while feeding. This tradeoff in adapting to bats vs. hummingbirds is strong enough to favor specialization on one or the other.

Why do flowers specialize on different pollinators? For example, both bats and hummingbirds pollinate plants in tropical forests; why adapt to just one instead of using both? Biologists often assume that tradeoffs contribute to such specialization (the jack of all pollinators is master of none), yet surprisingly little evidence exists in support of this idea.

Nathan Muchhala from the University of Miami explored pollinator specialization through experiments with bats, hummingbirds, and artificial flowers in cloudforests of Ecuador. In a study published in the April issue of the American Naturalist, he reports that the fit between flower and pollinator is key: bats pollinate wide flowers better, while hummingbirds transfer more pollen between narrow flowers. Videotaping demonstrated that a poor fit fails to correctly guide the pollinator while feeding.

This tradeoff in adapting to bats vs. hummingbirds is strong enough to favor specialization on one or the other. Nathan says, "While all leaves tend to look similar, flowers come in a spectacular variety of shapes and colors. This study suggests tradeoffs in adapting to different pollinators may have played an important role in the evolution of such diversity."

Nathan Muchhala, "Adaptive trade-off in corolla shape mediates specialization for flowers pollinated by bats and hummingbirds" The American Naturalist, volume 169 (2007), pages 494--504 DOI: 10.1086/512047


Story Source:

The above story is based on materials provided by University of Chicago Press Journals. Note: Materials may be edited for content and length.


Cite This Page:

University of Chicago Press Journals. "Flowers Shape Themselves To Guide Their Pollinators To The Pollen." ScienceDaily. ScienceDaily, 4 April 2007. <www.sciencedaily.com/releases/2007/04/070403112546.htm>.
University of Chicago Press Journals. (2007, April 4). Flowers Shape Themselves To Guide Their Pollinators To The Pollen. ScienceDaily. Retrieved August 22, 2014 from www.sciencedaily.com/releases/2007/04/070403112546.htm
University of Chicago Press Journals. "Flowers Shape Themselves To Guide Their Pollinators To The Pollen." ScienceDaily. www.sciencedaily.com/releases/2007/04/070403112546.htm (accessed August 22, 2014).

Share This




More Plants & Animals News

Friday, August 22, 2014

Featured Research

from universities, journals, and other organizations


Featured Videos

from AP, Reuters, AFP, and other news services

Endangered Red Wolves Face Uncertain Future

Endangered Red Wolves Face Uncertain Future

AP (Aug. 22, 2014) A federal judge temporarily banned coyote hunting to save endangered red wolves, but local hunters say that the wolf preservation program does more harm than good. Meanwhile federal officials are reviewing its wolf program in North Carolina. (Aug. 22) Video provided by AP
Powered by NewsLook.com
Farm Resurgence Grows With Younger Crowd

Farm Resurgence Grows With Younger Crowd

AP (Aug. 22, 2014) New England farms are seeing a surge in younger farm hands as the 'buy local' food movement grows across the country. (Aug. 22) Video provided by AP
Powered by NewsLook.com
Drug Used To Treat 'Ebola's Cousin' Shows Promise

Drug Used To Treat 'Ebola's Cousin' Shows Promise

Newsy (Aug. 21, 2014) An experimental drug used to treat Marburg virus in rhesus monkeys could give new insight into a similar treatment for Ebola. Video provided by Newsy
Powered by NewsLook.com
Terrifying City-Dwelling Spiders Are Bigger And More Fertile

Terrifying City-Dwelling Spiders Are Bigger And More Fertile

Newsy (Aug. 21, 2014) According to a new study, spiders that live in cities are bigger, fatter and multiply faster. Video provided by Newsy
Powered by NewsLook.com

Search ScienceDaily

Number of stories in archives: 140,361

Find with keyword(s):
Enter a keyword or phrase to search ScienceDaily for related topics and research stories.

Save/Print:
Share:

Breaking News:
from the past week

In Other News

... from NewsDaily.com

Science News

Health News

Environment News

Technology News



Save/Print:
Share:

Free Subscriptions


Get the latest science news with ScienceDaily's free email newsletters, updated daily and weekly. Or view hourly updated newsfeeds in your RSS reader:

Get Social & Mobile


Keep up to date with the latest news from ScienceDaily via social networks and mobile apps:

Have Feedback?


Tell us what you think of ScienceDaily -- we welcome both positive and negative comments. Have any problems using the site? Questions?
Mobile: iPhone Android Web
Follow: Facebook Twitter Google+
Subscribe: RSS Feeds Email Newsletters
Latest Headlines Health & Medicine Mind & Brain Space & Time Matter & Energy Computers & Math Plants & Animals Earth & Climate Fossils & Ruins