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Daily rhythm of mutualistic pollinator activity and scent emission in Ficus septica: ecological differentiation between co-occurring pollinators and potential consequences for chemical communication and facilitation of host speciation.

Conchou L, Cabioch L, Rodriguez LJ, Kjellberg F - PLoS ONE (2014)

Bottom Line: Most Ficus species are locally associated with a single specific agaonid wasp species.Our results suggest that their coexistence is facilitated by divergent ecological traits.Whether such situations may lead to host plant speciation is an open question.

View Article: PubMed Central - PubMed

Affiliation: CEFE UMR 5175, CNRS - Université de Montpellier - Université Paul-Valéry Montpellier - EPHE, Montpellier, France.

ABSTRACT
The mutualistic interaction between Ficus and their pollinating agaonid wasps constitutes an extreme example of plant-insect co-diversification. Most Ficus species are locally associated with a single specific agaonid wasp species. Specificity is ensured by each fig species emitting a distinctive attractive scent. However, cases of widespread coexistence of two agaonid wasp species on the same Ficus species are documented. Here we document the coexistence of two agaonid wasp species in Ficus septica: one yellow-colored and one black-colored. Our results suggest that their coexistence is facilitated by divergent ecological traits. The black species is longer-lived (a few more hours) and is hence active until later in the afternoon. Some traits of the yellow species must compensate for this advantage for their coexistence to be stable. In addition, we show that the composition of the scent emitted by receptive figs changes between sunrise and noon. The two species may therefore be exposed to somewhat different ranges of receptive fig scent composition and may consequently diverge in the way they perceive and/or respond to scents. Whether such situations may lead to host plant speciation is an open question.

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Daily variation of scent emission rates in Ficus septica and Ficus nota.Total scent emission rates from (A) figs (µg/fig*hour) and (B) leaves (µg/cm2*hour) of both species at sunrise and at noon.
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pone-0103581-g003: Daily variation of scent emission rates in Ficus septica and Ficus nota.Total scent emission rates from (A) figs (µg/fig*hour) and (B) leaves (µg/cm2*hour) of both species at sunrise and at noon.

Mentions: Figs and leaves of the two species displayed the same pattern of variation: emission rates were significantly higher at noon than at sunrise (Wilcoxon signed rank test on both species pooled; figs: V = 8, p = 4.8*10−5, Figure 3.A.; leaves : Figure 3.B., V = 8, p = 0.049). Hence the general physiology of the trees and protection against abiotic stress is sufficient to explain the rhythm of fig VOC production. We have no evidence in favor of an emission rhythm that would reflect adaptation to pollinator activity rhythm or number of pollinator species.


Daily rhythm of mutualistic pollinator activity and scent emission in Ficus septica: ecological differentiation between co-occurring pollinators and potential consequences for chemical communication and facilitation of host speciation.

Conchou L, Cabioch L, Rodriguez LJ, Kjellberg F - PLoS ONE (2014)

Daily variation of scent emission rates in Ficus septica and Ficus nota.Total scent emission rates from (A) figs (µg/fig*hour) and (B) leaves (µg/cm2*hour) of both species at sunrise and at noon.
© Copyright Policy
Related In: Results  -  Collection

License
Show All Figures
getmorefigures.php?uid=PMC4126690&req=5

pone-0103581-g003: Daily variation of scent emission rates in Ficus septica and Ficus nota.Total scent emission rates from (A) figs (µg/fig*hour) and (B) leaves (µg/cm2*hour) of both species at sunrise and at noon.
Mentions: Figs and leaves of the two species displayed the same pattern of variation: emission rates were significantly higher at noon than at sunrise (Wilcoxon signed rank test on both species pooled; figs: V = 8, p = 4.8*10−5, Figure 3.A.; leaves : Figure 3.B., V = 8, p = 0.049). Hence the general physiology of the trees and protection against abiotic stress is sufficient to explain the rhythm of fig VOC production. We have no evidence in favor of an emission rhythm that would reflect adaptation to pollinator activity rhythm or number of pollinator species.

Bottom Line: Most Ficus species are locally associated with a single specific agaonid wasp species.Our results suggest that their coexistence is facilitated by divergent ecological traits.Whether such situations may lead to host plant speciation is an open question.

View Article: PubMed Central - PubMed

Affiliation: CEFE UMR 5175, CNRS - Université de Montpellier - Université Paul-Valéry Montpellier - EPHE, Montpellier, France.

ABSTRACT
The mutualistic interaction between Ficus and their pollinating agaonid wasps constitutes an extreme example of plant-insect co-diversification. Most Ficus species are locally associated with a single specific agaonid wasp species. Specificity is ensured by each fig species emitting a distinctive attractive scent. However, cases of widespread coexistence of two agaonid wasp species on the same Ficus species are documented. Here we document the coexistence of two agaonid wasp species in Ficus septica: one yellow-colored and one black-colored. Our results suggest that their coexistence is facilitated by divergent ecological traits. The black species is longer-lived (a few more hours) and is hence active until later in the afternoon. Some traits of the yellow species must compensate for this advantage for their coexistence to be stable. In addition, we show that the composition of the scent emitted by receptive figs changes between sunrise and noon. The two species may therefore be exposed to somewhat different ranges of receptive fig scent composition and may consequently diverge in the way they perceive and/or respond to scents. Whether such situations may lead to host plant speciation is an open question.

Show MeSH