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 April 24, 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 April 24, 2014).

Share This



More Plants & Animals News

Thursday, April 24, 2014

Featured Research

from universities, journals, and other organizations


Featured Videos

from AP, Reuters, AFP, and other news services

Monkeys Are Better At Math Than We Thought, Study Shows

Monkeys Are Better At Math Than We Thought, Study Shows

Newsy (Apr. 23, 2014) A Harvard University study suggests monkeys can use symbols to perform basic math calculations. Video provided by Newsy
Powered by NewsLook.com
Raw: Leopard Bites Man in India

Raw: Leopard Bites Man in India

AP (Apr. 22, 2014) A leopard caused panic in the city of Chandrapur on Monday when it sprung from the roof of a house and charged at rescue workers. (April 22) Video provided by AP
Powered by NewsLook.com
Iowa College Finds Beauty in Bulldogs

Iowa College Finds Beauty in Bulldogs

AP (Apr. 22, 2014) Drake University hosts 35th annual Beautiful Bulldog Contest. (April 21) Video provided by AP
Powered by NewsLook.com
805-Pound Shark Caught Off The Coast Of Florida

805-Pound Shark Caught Off The Coast Of Florida

Newsy (Apr. 22, 2014) One Florida fisherman caught a 805-pound shark off the coast of Florida earlier this month. 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