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Effects of florivory on floral shape, colour patterns and scent emission: consequences for pollination

Grant number: 18/14146-0
Support type:Regular Research Grants
Duration: November 01, 2018 - October 31, 2020
Field of knowledge:Biological Sciences - Ecology
Principal Investigator:Elza Maria Guimarães Santos
Grantee:Elza Maria Guimarães Santos
Home Institution: Instituto de Biociências (IBB). Universidade Estadual Paulista (UNESP). Campus de Botucatu. Botucatu , SP, Brazil
Assoc. researchers:Luiz Claudio Di Stasi ; Silvia Rodrigues Machado ; Stefan Dotterl

Abstract

Biotic interactions demand the previous establishment of communication pathways between plant and animals, which are mainly modulated by visual and chemical signs. Among the traits related to pollination, floral shape, colour pattern and the emission of floral volatile compounds play a crucial role on pollinator attraction. However, visual and chemical signs may be used to locate flowers not only by their pollinators, but also by florivores. The interaction with both can be simultaneous and contrasting. The interface florivore-flower-pollinator, is still poorly explored even though it constitutes an appropriate and interesting system for the understanding of complex antagonist-plant-mutualistic interactions. Considering that, our goals are to (i) characterize floral shape alterations due to florivory, (ii) investigate if florivory leads to alterations in colour pattern and floral volatile chemical composition in plant species with distinct pollination systems, and (iii) test if changes in floral shape, colour pattern and floral volatiles, induced by florivory, affect pollinator behaviour. Thus, we will identify the types of damages caused by florivores, determine the sites of volatile emission in flowers and sample volatile compounds from intact and damaged flowers. For that, we will use species pollinated by bees, hummingbirds, butterflies, moths and bats. Additionally, we will test the effect of florivory-induced alterations in floral shape, colour pattern and floral volatiles on bee-pollinator behaviour. (AU)

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