Event Title

Buzz-Pollination Across New England Habitats

Presenter Information

Bridget Curran, M.S Biology

Faculty Sponsor(s)

Diana Jolles

Abstract

Buzz pollination is a syndrome which relies on specialized floral morphology and pollinator foraging behavior. This syndrome has evolved independently across lineages and allows plants to conserve pollen so there is enough for successful reproduction. Buzz pollination is associated with poricidal anthers and bumblebees. In order to collect pollen, bees grasp the anthers and vibrate their indirect flight muscles, which creates an audible 'buzz'. The objective of this study is to determine the distribution of buzz pollinated species and evaluate anther morphology and buzz characteristics. We sampled 100 sites from May-September 2019 across New England. Flowers were collected in 95% ethanol and visitation was recorded using an audio recorder. Anther length, width, and pore area were measured and audio recordings were analyzed. Field observations and herbarium occurrences were analyzed using ecological niche modeling in R. Anther measurements were displayed on a 3D floral morphospace and multidimensional scaling analysis was used to infer relationships among habitats, anther dimensions, and 'buzz' characteristics from the recordings. Results of this study will inform evolutionary trajectories associated with specialized plant-pollinator symbiosis and conservation ecology.

Start Date

12-4-2019 12:00 PM

End Date

12-4-2019 1:00 PM

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Dec 4th, 12:00 PM Dec 4th, 1:00 PM

Buzz-Pollination Across New England Habitats

Buzz pollination is a syndrome which relies on specialized floral morphology and pollinator foraging behavior. This syndrome has evolved independently across lineages and allows plants to conserve pollen so there is enough for successful reproduction. Buzz pollination is associated with poricidal anthers and bumblebees. In order to collect pollen, bees grasp the anthers and vibrate their indirect flight muscles, which creates an audible 'buzz'. The objective of this study is to determine the distribution of buzz pollinated species and evaluate anther morphology and buzz characteristics. We sampled 100 sites from May-September 2019 across New England. Flowers were collected in 95% ethanol and visitation was recorded using an audio recorder. Anther length, width, and pore area were measured and audio recordings were analyzed. Field observations and herbarium occurrences were analyzed using ecological niche modeling in R. Anther measurements were displayed on a 3D floral morphospace and multidimensional scaling analysis was used to infer relationships among habitats, anther dimensions, and 'buzz' characteristics from the recordings. Results of this study will inform evolutionary trajectories associated with specialized plant-pollinator symbiosis and conservation ecology.