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Coevolutionary elaboration of pollination-related traits in an alpine ginger (Roscoea purpurea) and a tabanid fly in the Nepalese Himalayas [New Phytologist]

Keywords : alpine ginger, coevolution, phenotypic selection, Philoliche longirostris, pollination, Roscoea

par Frédéric Magné - publié le

Geographical variation in the interacting traits of plant–pollinator mutualism can lead to local adaptive differentiation. We tested Darwin’s hypothesis of reciprocal selection as a key driving force for the evolution of floral traits of an alpine ginger (Roscoea purpurea) and proboscis length of a tabanid fly (Philoliche longirostris).
We documented the pattern of trait variation in R. purpurea and P. longirostris across five populations. At each site, we quantified pollinator-mediated selection on floral display area, inflorescence height and corolla length of R. purpurea by comparing selection gradients for flowers exposed to natural pollination and to supplemental hand pollination. Reciprocal selection between plant and fly was examined at two sites via the relationship between proboscis length and nectar consumption (fly benefit) and corolla length and pollen deposition (plant benefit).(...)

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