Abstract Detail

Reproductive Processes

Tai, King-Chun [1], Shrestha, Mani [2], Dyer, Adrian G. [2], Yang, En-Cheng [3], Wang, Chun-Neng [4].

Floral colour diversity on the mountainous island of Taiwan reveals phylogenetic clustering and selective filtering due to bee preferences.

Islands are evolutionary hotspots. Located between tropical and subtropical zones, Taiwan has a remarkably diversified flora ranging from sea level tropical monsoon forest to above 3900m temperate montane forest. The high diversity of Taiwan flora is also contributed by its geographically nearby floras including continental Asia, Okinawa islands and Philippines. Plant pollinator interactions are the key driver of flowers colour signals. Flower colour diversity in Taiwan may become very much elaborated due to the rapid altitudinal transitions of habitats and its multiple phylogeographic origins. We thus evaluated what extent the flower colour signaling changes in Taiwan islands comparing to previously continental studies and how the signaling transits along altitudes of Taiwan from sea level to 3300m. We further tested whether phylogenetic overdispersion or clustering may explain these flower signaling patterns. A model of bee colour space was employed to plot loci from 727 species to enable direct comparisons to data sets from continental studies representing Northern and Southern Hemispheres, and also a continental mountain region. It was observed that the flower colour diversity of Taiwan was at a comparable level to flowers that exist in mainland continental studies, and flowers in Taiwan had predominantly evolved colour signals that closely matched bee colour preferences. At high altitude, the flora tend to be phylogenetically clustered rather than over-dispersed, and their floral colours exhibited weak phylogenetic signal. This is consistent with character displacement that facilitated the co-existence of similar species with different colours. Because the flowering times of alpine plants are highly overlapped and pollinator activities are limited, this character displacement of flower colours may help to reduce competition among related alpine plants on attracting the same pollinators. Using Taiwan as an ideally situated tropical-subtropical and topographically complicated island we show that flower colours are phylogenetically clustered and are influenced by selective filtering based upon the colour preferences of key bee pollinators.

1 - National Taiwan University, Department of Life Science, No.1, Sec. 4, Roosevelt Road, Taipei, Taipei City, 11075, Taiwan
2 - RMIT University, School of Media and Communication, Melbourne, VIC 3000, Australia
3 - National Taiwan University, Department of Entomology, No.1, Sec. 4, Roosevelt Road, Taipei, Taipei City, 10087, Taiwan
4 - National Taiwan University, Institute Of Ecology And Evolutionary Biology, Department Of Life Science, No.1, Sec. 4, Roosevelt Road,, Taipei, 10617, Taiwan

Flower color assembly
bee vision
floral color diversity
elevational gradient
character displacement
phylogenetic signal

Presentation Type: Oral Paper
Session: REP2, Reproductive Processes 2
Location: Virtual/Virtual
Date: Wednesday, July 29th, 2020
Time: 1:00 PM
Number: REP2003
Abstract ID:560
Candidate for Awards:None

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