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Non-additive effects of genotypic diversity increase floral abundance and abundance of floral visitors.

Genung MA, Lessard JP, Brown CB, Bunn WA, Cregger MA, Reynolds WM, Felker-Quinn E, Stevenson ML, Hartley AS, Crutsinger GM, Schweitzer JA, Bailey JK - PLoS ONE (2010)

Bottom Line: In the emerging field of community and ecosystem genetics, genetic variation and diversity in dominant plant species have been shown to play fundamental roles in maintaining biodiversity and ecosystem function.However, the importance of intraspecific genetic variation and diversity to floral abundance and pollinator visitation has received little attention.These results provide evidence that declines in genotypic diversity may be an important but little considered factor for understanding plant-pollinator dynamics, with implications for the global decline in pollinators due to reduced plant diversity in both agricultural and natural ecosystems.

View Article: PubMed Central - PubMed

Affiliation: Department of Ecology and Evolutionary Biology, University of Tennessee, Knoxville, Tennessee, United States of America. mgenung@utk.edu

ABSTRACT

Background: In the emerging field of community and ecosystem genetics, genetic variation and diversity in dominant plant species have been shown to play fundamental roles in maintaining biodiversity and ecosystem function. However, the importance of intraspecific genetic variation and diversity to floral abundance and pollinator visitation has received little attention.

Methodology/principal findings: Using an experimental common garden that manipulated genotypic diversity (the number of distinct genotypes per plot) of Solidago altissima, we document that genotypic diversity of a dominant plant can indirectly influence flower visitor abundance. Across two years, we found that 1) plant genotype explained 45% and 92% of the variation in flower visitor abundance in 2007 and 2008, respectively; and 2) plant genotypic diversity had a positive and non-additive effect on floral abundance and the abundance of flower visitors, as plots established with multiple genotypes produced 25% more flowers and received 45% more flower visits than would be expected under an additive model.

Conclusions/significance: These results provide evidence that declines in genotypic diversity may be an important but little considered factor for understanding plant-pollinator dynamics, with implications for the global decline in pollinators due to reduced plant diversity in both agricultural and natural ecosystems.

Show MeSH
Relationships between floral abundance and flower visitors.Genetic relationships between floral abundance (number of inflorescences) and a) flower visitor abundance and b) flower visitor taxonomic richness (n = 42). Flower visitor abundance and taxonomic richness represent the total number of individuals and taxonomic groups observed per two minute time period. Each point represents a genotype mean (n = 2). Data represent observations from 2007.
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pone-0008711-g001: Relationships between floral abundance and flower visitors.Genetic relationships between floral abundance (number of inflorescences) and a) flower visitor abundance and b) flower visitor taxonomic richness (n = 42). Flower visitor abundance and taxonomic richness represent the total number of individuals and taxonomic groups observed per two minute time period. Each point represents a genotype mean (n = 2). Data represent observations from 2007.

Mentions: We found significant phenotypic correlations between floral abundance of S. altissima plants and both flower visitor abundance and taxonomic richness (Figure 1, Table 2). To reduce the environmental contribution to a phenotype, using phenotypic correlations, we conducted genetic correlations [29], [30]. Consistent with the phenotypic correlations, we found similar patterns across years for genetic correlations between floral abundance and flower visitor abundance and richness (Table 2). This result indicates that plant genetic factors can impact the diversity of floral communities through genotypic variation for floral abundance. Because there was significant genetic variance for floral abundance and flower visitor community phenotypes, these results suggest that: 1) evolutionary processes that impact plant floral phenotypes may have consequences on associated interacting species; and 2) population level plant genotypic diversity might directly impact plant traits important to flower visitors, such as floral abundance, while indirectly affecting flower visitor abundance due to effects on plant traits.


Non-additive effects of genotypic diversity increase floral abundance and abundance of floral visitors.

Genung MA, Lessard JP, Brown CB, Bunn WA, Cregger MA, Reynolds WM, Felker-Quinn E, Stevenson ML, Hartley AS, Crutsinger GM, Schweitzer JA, Bailey JK - PLoS ONE (2010)

Relationships between floral abundance and flower visitors.Genetic relationships between floral abundance (number of inflorescences) and a) flower visitor abundance and b) flower visitor taxonomic richness (n = 42). Flower visitor abundance and taxonomic richness represent the total number of individuals and taxonomic groups observed per two minute time period. Each point represents a genotype mean (n = 2). Data represent observations from 2007.
© Copyright Policy
Related In: Results  -  Collection

Show All Figures
getmorefigures.php?uid=PMC2806830&req=5

pone-0008711-g001: Relationships between floral abundance and flower visitors.Genetic relationships between floral abundance (number of inflorescences) and a) flower visitor abundance and b) flower visitor taxonomic richness (n = 42). Flower visitor abundance and taxonomic richness represent the total number of individuals and taxonomic groups observed per two minute time period. Each point represents a genotype mean (n = 2). Data represent observations from 2007.
Mentions: We found significant phenotypic correlations between floral abundance of S. altissima plants and both flower visitor abundance and taxonomic richness (Figure 1, Table 2). To reduce the environmental contribution to a phenotype, using phenotypic correlations, we conducted genetic correlations [29], [30]. Consistent with the phenotypic correlations, we found similar patterns across years for genetic correlations between floral abundance and flower visitor abundance and richness (Table 2). This result indicates that plant genetic factors can impact the diversity of floral communities through genotypic variation for floral abundance. Because there was significant genetic variance for floral abundance and flower visitor community phenotypes, these results suggest that: 1) evolutionary processes that impact plant floral phenotypes may have consequences on associated interacting species; and 2) population level plant genotypic diversity might directly impact plant traits important to flower visitors, such as floral abundance, while indirectly affecting flower visitor abundance due to effects on plant traits.

Bottom Line: In the emerging field of community and ecosystem genetics, genetic variation and diversity in dominant plant species have been shown to play fundamental roles in maintaining biodiversity and ecosystem function.However, the importance of intraspecific genetic variation and diversity to floral abundance and pollinator visitation has received little attention.These results provide evidence that declines in genotypic diversity may be an important but little considered factor for understanding plant-pollinator dynamics, with implications for the global decline in pollinators due to reduced plant diversity in both agricultural and natural ecosystems.

View Article: PubMed Central - PubMed

Affiliation: Department of Ecology and Evolutionary Biology, University of Tennessee, Knoxville, Tennessee, United States of America. mgenung@utk.edu

ABSTRACT

Background: In the emerging field of community and ecosystem genetics, genetic variation and diversity in dominant plant species have been shown to play fundamental roles in maintaining biodiversity and ecosystem function. However, the importance of intraspecific genetic variation and diversity to floral abundance and pollinator visitation has received little attention.

Methodology/principal findings: Using an experimental common garden that manipulated genotypic diversity (the number of distinct genotypes per plot) of Solidago altissima, we document that genotypic diversity of a dominant plant can indirectly influence flower visitor abundance. Across two years, we found that 1) plant genotype explained 45% and 92% of the variation in flower visitor abundance in 2007 and 2008, respectively; and 2) plant genotypic diversity had a positive and non-additive effect on floral abundance and the abundance of flower visitors, as plots established with multiple genotypes produced 25% more flowers and received 45% more flower visits than would be expected under an additive model.

Conclusions/significance: These results provide evidence that declines in genotypic diversity may be an important but little considered factor for understanding plant-pollinator dynamics, with implications for the global decline in pollinators due to reduced plant diversity in both agricultural and natural ecosystems.

Show MeSH