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Flower colour within communities shifts from overdispersed to clustered along an alpine altitudinal gradient

Flower colour within communities shifts from overdispersed to clustered along an alpine altitudinal gradient

Bergamo, Pedro Joaquim, Telles, Francismeire Jane, Arnold, Sarah E. J. ORCID: 0000-0001-7345-0529 and Garcia de Brito, Vinícius Lourenço (2018) Flower colour within communities shifts from overdispersed to clustered along an alpine altitudinal gradient. Oecologia, 188 (1). pp. 223-235. ISSN 0029-8549 (Print), 1432-1939 (Online) (doi:10.1007/s00442-018-4204-5)

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Abstract

Altitudinal gradients are interesting models to test the effect of biotic and abiotic drivers of floral colour diversity, since an increase in UV irradiance, decrease of pollinator availability and shifts from bee- to fly-pollination in high relative to low altitudes are expected. We tested the effect of altitude and phylogeny, using several chromatic and achromatic colour properties, UV-reflectance and pollinators’ discrimination capacity (Apis mellifera, Bombus terrestris, Musca do-mestica and Eristalis tenax), to understand the floral colour diversity in an alpine altitudinal gradi-ent. All colour properties were weakly related to phylogeny. We found a shift from overdispersed floral colours and high chromatic contrast with the background (for bees) in the low altitude, to clustered floral colours (UV and green range for bees and flies) and clustered chromatic and achro-matic properties in the high altitude. Different from flies, bees could discriminate floral colours in all altitudinal ranges. Low altitudes are likely to exhibit suitable conditions for more plant species, in-creasing competition for pollinators and floral colour divergence. Conversely, the increase in UV-irradiance in high altitudes may filter plants with specific floral UV-reflectance patterns. Overall, floral colour diversity suggests that both biotic (pollinator fauna) and abiotic (UV-irradiance) drivers shape floral communities, but their importance changes with altitude.

Item Type: Article
Uncontrolled Keywords: Competition, Environmental filtering, Facilitation, Pollination ecology, UV reflectance
Subjects: S Agriculture > S Agriculture (General)
Faculty / Department / Research Group: Faculty of Engineering & Science
Faculty of Engineering & Science > Natural Resources Institute
Faculty of Engineering & Science > Natural Resources Institute > Agriculture, Health & Environment Department
Faculty of Engineering & Science > Natural Resources Institute > Ecosystem Services Research Group
Last Modified: 01 Oct 2018 12:20
Selected for GREAT 2016: None
Selected for GREAT 2017: None
Selected for GREAT 2018: None
URI: http://gala.gre.ac.uk/id/eprint/20357

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