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Increased divergence in floral morphology strongly reduces gene flow in sympatric sexually deceptive orchids with the same pollinator

Title data

Gögler, Julia ; Stökl, Johannes ; Cortis, Pierluigi ; Beyrle, Heinrich ; Barone Lumaga, Maria R. ; Cozzolino, Salvatore ; Ayasse, Manfred:
Increased divergence in floral morphology strongly reduces gene flow in sympatric sexually deceptive orchids with the same pollinator.
In: Evolutionary Ecology. Vol. 29 (2015) Issue 5 . - pp. 703-717.
ISSN 1573-8477
DOI: https://doi.org/10.1007/s10682-015-9779-2

Abstract in another language

In sexually deceptive orchids, pollinator specificity is the main factor responsible for species isolation. The two sexually deceptive orchids Ophrys chestermanii and Ophrys normanii occur sympatrically on Sardinia and attract the same pollinator, males of Bombus vestalis, by producing the same odour bouquets. Since gene flow between these two species has been shown to be almost absent, their genetic distinctness seems to be preserved by other forms of reproductive barrier than pollinator specificity. The aim of this study is to investigate the nature and strength of these isolation barriers which apparently halt gene flow between these two orchids that share the same pollinator. Morphological measurements, combined with observations of cross-pseudocopulations, revealed that, in sympatry, the longer caudicles of O. normanii and the smaller and differently shaped stigmatic cavity in O. chestermanii are the main factors preventing gene flow between these two sympatric species. In contrast, other pre- or post-mating barriers seem to be weak or absent, as the two species have overlapping flowering time and we were able to rear hybrid offspring from interspecific manual crosses. At the same time, genetic analysis of orchid plantlets collected at sympatric sites detected the presence of only two putative hybrid individuals. Thus, the probability of natural cross-pollination between O. normanii and O. chestermanii seems to be strongly limited by divergence in their floral morphology. For some traits, this divergence was found increased between sympatric populations.

Further data

Item Type: Article in a journal
Refereed: Yes
Additional notes: BAYCEER147397
Keywords: Ecological character displacement; Ophrys chestermanii; Ophrys normanii; Phenology; Pollinia placement; Mechanical barriers; Reinforcement; Reproductive isolation
Institutions of the University: Faculties > Faculty of Biology, Chemistry and Earth Sciences > Department of Biology > Chair Animal Ecology II - Evolutionary Animal Ecology > Chair Animal Ecology II - Evolutionary Animal Ecology - Univ.-Prof. Dr. Sandra Steiger
Research Institutions
Research Institutions > Research Centres
Research Institutions > Research Centres > Bayreuth Center of Ecology and Environmental Research- BayCEER
Result of work at the UBT: No
DDC Subjects: 500 Science
Date Deposited: 11 Apr 2019 13:07
Last Modified: 11 Apr 2019 13:07
URI: https://eref.uni-bayreuth.de/id/eprint/48347