Time after time: Flowering phenology and biotic interactions. Trends in Ecology and

Department of Ecology and Evolution, University of Lausanne, CH 1015 Lausanne, Switzerland.
Trends in Ecology & Evolution (Impact Factor: 16.2). 09/2007; 22(8):432-9. DOI: 10.1016/j.tree.2007.05.006
Source: PubMed


The role of biotic interactions in shaping plant flowering phenology has long been controversial; plastic responses to the abiotic environment, limited precision of biological clocks and inconsistency of selection pressures have generally been emphasized to explain phenological variation. However, part of this variation is heritable and selection analyses show that biotic interactions can modulate selection on flowering phenology. Our review of the literature indicates that pollinators tend to favour peak or earlier flowering, whereas pre-dispersal seed predators tend to favour off-peak or later flowering. However, effects strongly vary among study systems. To understand such variation, future studies should address the impact of mutualist and antagonist dispersal ability, ecological specialization, and habitat and plant population characteristics. Here, we outline future directions to study how such interactions shape flowering phenology.

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    • "Shifts in the timing of phenophases are a well-documented response to climate change (Menzel et al., 2006; Parmesan, 2006), and these shifts can have profound and immediate effects on the interactions of species (Visser & Both, 2005; Both et al., 2006; Ozgul et al., 2010; McKinney et al., 2012), as well as longer term effects on the abundance and distribution of species (Moller et al., 2008; Chuine, 2010; Miller- Rushing et al., 2010; Willis et al., 2010; Cleland et al., 2012), and on ecosystem function and services (Richardson et al., 2010). For flowering plants, the timing of reproductive phenophases is particularly important, as it can influence the strength of mutualistic or antagonistic interactions between plants and their pollinators , seed dispersers, herbivores and seed predators (Elzinga et al., 2007; Yang & Rudolf, 2010; Forrest, 2015; Rafferty et al., 2015). "
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    ABSTRACT: For most species, a precise understanding of how climatic parameters determine the timing of seasonal life cycle stages is constrained by limited long-term data. Further, most long-term studies of plant phenology that have examined relationships between phenological timing and climate have been local in scale or have focused on single climatic parameters. Herbarium specimens, however, can expand the temporal and spatial coverage of phenological datasets. Using Trillium ovatum specimens collected over > 100 yr across its native range, we analyzed how seasonal climatic conditions (mean minimum temperature (Tmin ), mean maximum temperature and total precipitation (PPT)) affect flowering phenology. We then examined long-term changes in climatic conditions and in the timing of flowering across T. ovatum's range. Warmer Tmin advanced flowering, whereas higher PPT delayed flowering. However, Tmin and PPT were shown to interact: the advancing effect of warmer Tmin was strongest where PPT was highest, and the delaying effect of higher PPT was strongest where Tmin was coldest. The direction of temporal change in climatic parameters and in the timing of flowering was dependent on geographic location. Tmin , for example, decreased across the observation period in coastal regions, but increased in inland areas. Our results highlight the complex effects of climate and geographic location on phenology.
    New Phytologist 11/2015; DOI:10.1111/nph.13751 · 7.67 Impact Factor
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    • "Flowers are among the most spectacular products of nature. Blossoming of plants is regulated by mechanisms that act to ensure that flower emergence occurs in suitable environmental conditions (Elzinga et al. 2007; Tooke and Battey 2010). Major importance has been given to floral advertisement, which is related to multifunctional traits; for example, a three-dimensional cuticular relief, observed on petal surfaces, protects the floral tissues against physical, chemical and biological attack, it influences optical properties, it reduces the absorbance of UV radiation that reaches the cells and forms microsculptures (Kevan and Lane 1985; Jacobs, Koper, and Ursem 2007; Whitney and Glover 2007; Domínguez, Heredia-Guerrero, and Heredia 2011; Javelle et al. 2011; Glover et al. 2013). "
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    ABSTRACT: The present study revealed that adaxial and abaxial petal epidermises of the blue-flowered Lysimachia arvensis consist of elongated, multi-micro-papillate cells, which may aid the rapid petal expansion. The epidermal cells are covered by a wrinkled relief, which is further ornamented by submicron features that increase in size the surface area of lobes; this may be a well-adapted mechanism of the small-sized flowers of L. arvensis with the short life span. The sculpturally increased surface area of adaxial epidermal cells of petals is expected to contribute to optical and adhesive properties, and wettability of the floral tissues. The adaxial and the abaxial petal surfaces of L. arvensis possess submicron cuticular folds, smaller than the sub-wavelength visible spectrum, which reflect radiation of shorter rather than longer wavelengths, whereas intense absorption was detected in the red spectral region. Also, three-celled capitate trichomes with a pigmented spherical head, which are densely distributed at the corolla margins of L. arvensis, may be involved in adhesive, defensive and functional properties of the floral tissues.
    Acta botanica Gallica: bulletin de la Société botanique de France 11/2015; DOI:10.1080/12538078.2015.1091985 · 0.48 Impact Factor
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    • "It is possible that seed dispersal in these taxa is placing a selective pressure on year-round reproduction, or conversely that plasticity of phenology favors vector-dispersal of fruits. Low synchrony (low levels of flowering throughout a long flowering season) may help some individuals to avoid temporal bouts of predation from specific insects (Elzinga et al. 2007). "

    Journal of Plant Ecology 10/2015; DOI:10.1093/jpe/rtv066 · 2.65 Impact Factor
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