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The role of pollinators in the floral diversification and life history of Leucospermum (Proteaceae)

Johnson, C.M., He, T.ORCID: 0000-0002-0924-3637, Lamont, B.B. and Pauw, A. (2015) The role of pollinators in the floral diversification and life history of Leucospermum (Proteaceae). South African Journal of Botany, 98 . p. 168.

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Leucospermum, commonly known as pincushions, are an endemic genus often associated with South Africa and, more specifically, the fynbos ecosystem and Cape Floral Kingdom. The staggering floral polymorphism within the genus suggests a wide variety of pollination modes. Despite this remarkable assortment of floral morphologies within Leucospermum only recently has any research been conducted to explain the role of pollinators in driving diversification. In this study we construct the first molecular phylogeny for the genus and, taking relatedness into account using a phylogenetic generalized least squares approach, determine how pollinators have driven floral divergence. Pollinators were assigned through direct observations and a suite of floral traits that are likely to reflect pollination mode were measured for each taxa. In addition, the ability to autonomously self-pollinate was determined for each taxon and used to test if autogamy is linked to specific classes of pollinators, specialized taxa or recently derived taxa. All fieldwork has been finalized and we are awaiting our phylogenetic analysis before any results can be determined.

Item Type: Journal Article
Publisher: Elsevier B.V.
Copyright: © 2015
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