Color variability in a population of Lapeirousia pyramidalis subsp. regalis
The reason of my field trip to the Cape was to study Lapeirousia pyramidalis. This plant species occurs in two subspecies: subspecies regalis, with mostly purple flowers, is distributed within a 80-km-long, ~1-km-wide stretch of the succulent Karoo region, along the Olifants river and West of the Cederberg; subspecies pyramidalis has mostly white-pink, scented flowers and is widespread in the Karoo East of the Cederberg. The two subspecies differ also by their pollinators: long-tongued flies for subsp. regalis and moths for subsp. pyramidalis. Continue reading
I came to South Africa to study how the ecological interactions between plants and pollinators affect their evolution. My research questions are not tightly linked to specific species, but they aim at assessing the generality of certain eco-evolutionary patterns. To this goal, I am focusing on a heterogeneous group of plants distributed all across South Africa, characterized by long-tubed flowers that are visited by insects with adequately long tongues and proboscis. Continue reading
Here is a selection of pictures by Christian Ziegler, naturalist and photojournalist for National Geographic. They depict animal-flower interactions in general, not only pollination events. And porn is in the eyes of the viewer, as well as in the eye of the maker. But Plant-Pollinator Porn makes a better acronym, so I’ll stick to that.
Recently, together with Olive Imanizabayo, Dennis Hansen, and Scott Armbruster, I published an article where we explore the role of flowers’ ‘behaviour’ in their pollination. Specifically we looked at the movement of some extrafloral structures and how could it affect the access of flower visitors.
© 2012 Scott Hilburn.
Most plants rely on flowers to reproduce. For transferring pollen to ovules (future seeds), most flowering plants rely on animals, that for this reason are called pollinators. In the evolutionary push toward optimizing pollination success, plants develope “floral syndromes”, Continue reading