Title

Effect of Floral Organs in Wild Roses on Flower Visitation by Insects

Presenter

Jessy Cherry

Abstract

Flowers consist of different organs that vary in their attractiveness to insects, which are necessary for pollination. As part of a long-term study, my goals were to determine the effect of petals and anthers on insect attraction and subsequent landings on flowers of two wild rose species, Rosa canina and R. rugosa. Manipulative behavioral experiments were conducted in the field: insects were offered a choice between intact flowers (control) and experimental flowers, in which either all petals or anthers were removed. The results show that petals are crucial to the attraction of all insects (bumble bees, honey bees, solitary bees and syrphid flies), whereas anthers are important only in modulating landings by bees. To translate these findings to evolutionary selective pressures shaping flower structure in the populations studied, further research is needed to identify which insects are the most effective pollinators and hence contribute to the plant’s sexual reproduction.

Faculty Sponsor

Heidi Dobson

Sponsor Department/Programs

Biology

Tracks

Poster Session

Location

Cordiner Hall

Presentation Type

Poster

Research Funding Source or OCS Program

Perry Summer Research Award

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Apr 19th, 1:00 PM Apr 19th, 2:00 PM

Effect of Floral Organs in Wild Roses on Flower Visitation by Insects

Cordiner Hall

Flowers consist of different organs that vary in their attractiveness to insects, which are necessary for pollination. As part of a long-term study, my goals were to determine the effect of petals and anthers on insect attraction and subsequent landings on flowers of two wild rose species, Rosa canina and R. rugosa. Manipulative behavioral experiments were conducted in the field: insects were offered a choice between intact flowers (control) and experimental flowers, in which either all petals or anthers were removed. The results show that petals are crucial to the attraction of all insects (bumble bees, honey bees, solitary bees and syrphid flies), whereas anthers are important only in modulating landings by bees. To translate these findings to evolutionary selective pressures shaping flower structure in the populations studied, further research is needed to identify which insects are the most effective pollinators and hence contribute to the plant’s sexual reproduction.