Article

Time after time: flowering phenology and biotic interactions

Department of Ecology and Evolution, University of Lausanne, CH 1015 Lausanne, Switzerland.
Trends in Ecology & Evolution (Impact Factor: 15.35). 09/2007; 22(8):432-9. DOI: 10.1016/j.tree.2007.05.006
Source: PubMed

ABSTRACT 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.

1 Follower
 · 
159 Views
  • [Show abstract] [Hide abstract]
    ABSTRACT: When ecological traits differ seasonally among biological groups, environmental adaptation is expected. However, current analytical methods for such seasonal data ignore the circular nature of data and therefore are likely to be flawed. We propose a simple bootstrap hypothesis test which statistically quantifies the presence/absence of differences in peak months for multiple groups taking the circular nature of the data into account. The test is based on a robust distribution-free method. Simulations showed that the test gives a satisfactory performance. The test is illustrated using data for anchovy and sardine egg abundances in the western North Pacific.
    Population Ecology 01/2011; 54(1). DOI:10.1007/s10144-011-0280-7 · 1.70 Impact Factor
  • [Show abstract] [Hide abstract]
    ABSTRACT: In this paper, we report on morphological diversity, ecology and flowering phenological records of an endangered and an endemic species of Morocco Pyrus mamorensis Trab. For this study, a survey was undertaken in North-Western Morocco (Mamora forest and Zaër region) whereby 67 accessions of P. mamorensis were sampled. A set of 33 genotypes of Pyrus spp. from the international collection INRA-Angers (France) of the genus Pyrus were also analyzed. The variability of the total of 100 accessions was assessed by twenty-six characters including fourteen qualitative and twelve quantitative traits. The results demonstrated high levels of morphological variation in the sampled accessions of P. mamorensis and established the relationships among the local germplasm using the UPGMA cluster analysis and the factorial discriminant analysis. Furthermore, we were able to distinguish three types of flowering in the Mamora forest: early, intermediate and late flowering type. Otherwise, the UPGMA classification comparing local accessions of P. mamorensis to the international collection led to the formation of four major groups showing the closest correspondence to their geographical origins: (1) The North African species represented by P. mamorensis, (2) The East Asian pea species, (3) The West Asian species and (4) The European species. These findings suggest the importance of implementing a conservation strategy preserving the genetic resources of wild pear in North-Western Morocco.
    Genetic Resources and Crop Evolution 03/2012; 60(3). DOI:10.1007/s10722-012-9889-4 · 1.48 Impact Factor
  • Source
    [Show abstract] [Hide abstract]
    ABSTRACT: Many examples of plant-insect interactions have shown that selection from herbivores can act on flowering and fruiting phenology. In Ulex europaeus (Fabaceae), escaping seed predation resulted in extended, but variable flowering periods, with some plants flowering from autumn until spring and others flowering only in spring. The present study aims at understanding how gorses can have a high reproductive success during winter despite harsh climatic conditions and low number of pollinators. We measured pollen production, flower size and seed production in spring and winter, and compared the different seasons. The pollination success of flowers was high in both seasons. The flowers produced as much pollen, and were of comparable size in spring and winter, but they stayed open twice as long in winter than in spring. The high pollination rate we observed was thus due to the longer opening period of flowers and the high attractiveness of flowers during winter. However, pod abortion was higher in winter, with 43% of the flowers in winter and 75% in spring producing ripe pods. Antagonistic selective pressures exerted by biotic and abiotic interactions may, therefore, have lead to the observed flowering polymorphism, and allow U.europaeus to thrive in various climates, thus, increasing its invasiveness in different countries.
    Plant Ecology 08/2007; 197(2):197-206. DOI:10.1007/s11258-007-9370-1 · 1.64 Impact Factor
Show more