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 1, 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 1, 2014).

Share This




More Plants & Animals News

Friday, August 1, 2014

Featured Research

from universities, journals, and other organizations


Featured Videos

from AP, Reuters, AFP, and other news services

Ebola Vaccine Might Be Coming, But Where's It Been?

Ebola Vaccine Might Be Coming, But Where's It Been?

Newsy (Aug. 1, 2014) Health officials are working to fast-track a vaccine — the West-African Ebola outbreak has killed more than 700. But why didn't we already have one? Video provided by Newsy
Powered by NewsLook.com
Study Links Certain Birth Control Pills To Breast Cancer

Study Links Certain Birth Control Pills To Breast Cancer

Newsy (Aug. 1, 2014) Previous studies have made the link between birth control and breast cancer, but the latest makes the link to high-estrogen oral contraceptives. Video provided by Newsy
Powered by NewsLook.com
Visitors Feel Part of the Pack at Wolf Preserve

Visitors Feel Part of the Pack at Wolf Preserve

AP (July 31, 2014) Seacrest Wolf Preserve on the northern Florida panhandle allows more than 10,000 visitors each year to get up close and personal with Arctic and British Columbian Wolves. (July 31) Video provided by AP
Powered by NewsLook.com
Florida Panther Rebound Upsets Ranchers

Florida Panther Rebound Upsets Ranchers

AP (July 31, 2014) With Florida's panther population rebounding, some ranchers complain the protected predators are once again killing their calves. (July 31) Video provided by AP
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