Abstract Detail

Reproductive Processes

Pearson, Avery [1], Nicole Incarnato , Miyauna Monique [1], Johnson, Ren [1], Stevens, Mia [1], Ison, Jennifer [2].

Independent bees working together: Male fitness of prairie perennial Echinacea angustifolia is more influenced by cumulative bee visitation than by any individual species.

Pollinators play key roles in the reproduction of most flowering plants. Their ability to transport pollen from one individual to another largely determines which plants can pass on their genetic information to the next generation. The reproductive fitness of plants can be split into male and female fitness. Female fitness, which is more widely studied, is measured by determining how many ovules are successfully fertilized, while male fitness is measured by determining which individual donated the pollen resulting in successful pollination. This study aimed to investigate how different species of pollinators influence the male fitness of the prairie plant Echinacea angustifolia. Previous research investigated pollen removal and deposition by pollinators, as well as the influence of foraging behavior on successful setting of seeds, but this study incorporated genetic analysis as a direct measure of male fitness. In a prairie restoration plot, we restricted pollinator visitation. We then genotyped the parental plants and the resulting offspring using microsatellites to match paternal candidates with offspring. We found that jointly pollinated individuals had increased male fitness compared to any individual species. However, of the individual species, specialist Andrena helianthiformis appears to be slightly more influential on male fitness than other pollinator species. Based on these results, future researchers can create more effective conservation and restoration plans for Echinacea, as we now know that maintaining pollinator diversity is more critical than focusing on one particular species.

Related Links:
Plant and Fungal Trees of Life Project web

1 - The College of Wooster, 1189 Beall Ave., Wooster, OH, 44691, USA
2 - The College Of Wooster, Biology Department, 1189 Beall Ave., Wooster, OH, 44691, United States

Echinacea angustifolia
plant-pollinator interactions
reproductive ecology
male fitness
tallgrass prairie
native bees.

Presentation Type: Oral Paper
Session: REP2, Reproductive Processes 2
Location: Virtual/Virtual
Date: Wednesday, July 29th, 2020
Time: 12:30 PM
Number: REP2001
Abstract ID:393
Candidate for Awards:None

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