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Abstract Detail

Ecological Section

Cardel-Sharp, Yuria [1], Koptur, Suzanne [2].

Reproductive Implications of Floral Herbivory in the butterfly pea, Centrosema virginianum (Fabaceae: Papilionoideae).

Herbivory to leaves decreases photosynthetic tissue and may reduce plant growth and reproduction. Floral herbivory can directly affect pollination by both decreasing floral display, and destruction of potential seeds as well. We studied three natural populations of butterfly pea, a native, perennial, herbaceous vine, to determine levels of folivory and florivory. Plants in the smallest pine rockland habitat fragment displayed greater leaf damage than those in the larger fragment or in the pristine site in Everglades National Park. Hand-pollination experiments (in the greenhouse on clones from field individuals) revealed plants to be partially self-compatible, requiring pollination for fruit set, and setting more seed with cross- than self-pollinations. Both pollinators and florivores were observed visiting flowers. Six species of bees were considered pollinators because they carried C. virginianum pollen on their bodies; the other insect visitors ate the flowers in different ways that affected flower appearance. Blister beetles (Epicauta strigosa and Lytta aenea) ate petals and flower parts, as did echo moth (Seirarctia echo) caterpillars and undetermined Orthoptera. Small adult flies (Agromyzidae) sucked the petal tissue fluids, creating large discolored spots. We marked and observed damaged flowers, and controls, in the field, to assess visitation by pollinators and monitor flower fate. Pollinators visited damaged flowers substantially less than undamaged flowers; fruit and seed set from undamaged control flowers was 5 10 times that of damaged flowers. Additionally, the average number of seeds produced from flowers damaged by flies was lower than that from flowers damaged by blister beetles.

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1 - Florida International University, Biological Sciences, 11200 SW 8th St., University Park, Miami, FL, 33199, USA
2 - Florida International University, Deparment of Biological Sciences, 11200 SW 8th St., Miami, Florida, 33199, USA

plant-animal interaction
floral display
fruit set

Presentation Type: Oral Paper:Papers for Sections
Session: 21
Location: Council Chambers/SUB
Date: Monday, July 28th, 2008
Time: 1:30 PM
Number: 21001
Abstract ID:918

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