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Abstract Detail

Orchid Biology: Darwin`s Contrivances 150 Years Later

Neubig, Kurt [1], Carlsward, Barbara [2], Whitten, William [3], Williams, Norris [3].

Sticky and sweet, or without a treat? Floral anatomy, nectar and pollination in Sobralia and relatives (Orchidaceae: Sobralieae).

The orchid tribe Sobralieae is a major constituent of the Neotropical flora with approximately 200 species. As currently circumscribed,the tribe includes four genera which differ drastically in flower size: Elleanthus, Epilyna, Sertifera, and Sobralia. Although nectar-foraging pollinators are known for some species, an anatomical basis of flowers as it relates to pollinaria deposition, deceit, and nectar production is very poorly understood. We used SEMs and light microscopy of flowers to examine variation in anatomy, as well as nectar (presence, volume, and composition) as they relate to pollinators in the hopes of better understanding the evolution of pollination. Nectar secreting species all share starch accumulation in the nectary. With few exceptions, species of Sobralia predominantly offer no reward and are pollinated by bees. Elleanthus and Sertifera are small-flowered and putatively pollinated by hummingbirds in most cases, with a legitimate nectar reward. To better understand the pollinator shifts among Sobralieae, we mapped observed and inferred pollination syndromes and the incidence of nectar secretion on a phylogeny. The resulting analysis indicates a high level of homoplasy with regards to pollination, with multiple origins of hummingbird pollination that is highly associated with condensed and darkened pollinaria,nectar presence, coloration, and structural differences in the column.

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1 - University of Florida, Florida Museum of Natural History, 385 Dickinson Hall, Gainesville, FL, 32611-7800
2 - Eastern Illinois University, Department Of Botany, Life Sciences Bldg. 2070, 600 Lincoln Ave., Charleston, IL, 61920, USA
3 - University Of Florida, Florida Museum Of Natural History, PO BOX 117800, Gainesville, FL, 32611-7800, USA, 352/273-1964

floral anatomy

Presentation Type: Symposium or Colloquium Presentation
Session: C6
Location: Franklin B/Hyatt
Date: Wednesday, July 11th, 2012
Time: 2:00 PM
Number: C6003
Abstract ID:313

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