Martine, Christopher T. , Vogt, F. Daniel , Lavoie, Elizabeth .
Bees, wallabies, and aubergines: Pollination, seed dispersal, and population dynamics in Australian dioecious Solanum.
Recent phylogenetic research has bolstered our understanding of the relationships among Australian spiny solanums (Solanum subgenus Leptostemonum). One focus has been determining the number of times that dioecy has evolved in this group. The uncommon breeding system appears to have arisen once and was then followed by a radiation of at least nine dioecious species. All of these species achieve dioecy through the same cryptic condition in which pistillate plants bear flowers with anthers producing non-functional (inaperturate) pollen, thus rendering those flowers female. An expedition was made to the region of Kakadu National Park, Northern Territory, to further explore the ecology and population dynamics of dioecious Solanum through comparisons among two dioecious species and an andromonoecious congener. The following sets of questions are addressed in preliminary findings: A) Is there a difference in the behavior of bees that forage on inaperturate pollen versus “normal” pollen?; B) What role is played by the macropods with which these species share their isolated outcrop habitats? Can we determine through scat analysis and germination trials the relationship between the movements of these animals and the dispersal of Solanum seeds?; and C) Is genetic diversity higher in populations of dioecious (obligately outcrossing) species as compared to that of andromonoecious (potentially self-fertilizing) solanums in sympatry?
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1 - State University of New York at Plattsburgh, Biological Sciences, 101 Broad Street, Plattsburgh, NY, 12901, USA
Presentation Type: Oral Paper:Papers for BSA Sections
Location: Alpine B/Snowbird Center
Date: Tuesday, July 28th, 2009
Time: 2:30 PM