Navigation Links
Grazers and pollinators shape plant evolution
Date:10/21/2013

It has long been known that the characteristics of many plants with wide ranges can vary geographically, depending on differences in climate. But changes in grazing pressure and pollination can also affect the genetic composition of natural plant populations, according to a new study.

Researchers at Uppsala University and Stockholm University are presenting the new study this week in the journal Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences, PNAS.

It is known that a prominent floral display increases attractiveness to pollinators, but also increases the risk of damage from grazing animals and seed-eating insects. To investigate how pollinators and grazing animals affect the characteristics of natural plant populations, these researchers studied bird's eye primrose populations in alvar grasslands on the Baltic island of land. Two distinct morphs of primrose occur there: a short morph that produces its flowers close to the ground and a tall morph that displays its flowers well above the ground. The tall morph is better at attracting pollinators, but, on the other hand, it is more frequently damaged by grazing animals and seed predators.

In field experiments the scientists have shown that grazing pressure and pollination intensity determine whether the short or the tall primrose morph reproduces more successfully. The difference in plant height has a genetic basis, and over time differences in reproductive success affect the genetic composition of plant populations. For a period of eight years, the researchers documented changes in the proportion of short plants in natural populations and field experiments. The results show that altered grazing pressure leads to rapid changes in the genetic composition of the primrose populations, specifically in the proportion of short plants.

The Agricultural Landscape of Southern land has been a World Heritage Site since 2000. The grazing pressure on the alvar grasslands of land has increased dramatically in the last fifteen years as a result of measures taken to keep the landscape open.

- The study shows that grazing pressure impacts not only which plants dominate but also the genetic composition of the plant populations. These findings help us understand how differences in environmental conditions influence the evolution of genetic differentiation among plant populations, says Professor Jon gren at the Evolutionary Biology Centre.


'/>"/>

Contact: Jon Ågren
jon.agren@ebc.uu.se
46-070-643-6364
Uppsala University
Source:Eurekalert

Related biology news :

1. Tiny grazers play key role in marine ecosystem health
2. Wild pollinators increase crop fruit set regardless of honey bees
3. Wild pollinators support farm productivity and stabilize yield
4. New approach to protecting prion protein from altering shape
5. The genomes 3-D structure shapes how genes are expressed
6. How petals get their shape
7. The science of spring flowers -- how petals get their shape
8. Strange phallus-shaped creature provides crucial missing link
9. New research on migratory behavior of oceanic whitetip sharks can help shape conservation strategies
10. Epigenetics shapes fate of brain vs. brawn castes in carpenter ants
11. Scripps Research Institute study shows how brain cells shape temperature preferences
Post Your Comments:
*Name:
*Comment:
*Email:
(Date:11/29/2016)... , Nov. 29, 2016   ... identification and object recognition technologies, today released ... for fingerprint recognition solutions that run on ... fingerprint template using less than 128KB of ... compact devices that have limited on-board resources, ...
(Date:11/28/2016)... 2016 "The biometric system ... The biometric system market is in the growth ... near future. The biometric system market is expected to ... a CAGR of 16.79% between 2016 and 2022. Government ... technology in smartphones, rising use of biometric technology in ...
(Date:11/22/2016)... 2016 According to the new market research report ... Vein, Signature, Voice), Multi-Factor), Component (Hardware and Software), Function (Contact and Non-contact), ... market is expected to grow from USD 10.74 Billion in 2015 to ... 2016 and 2022. Continue Reading ... ...
Breaking Biology News(10 mins):
(Date:12/8/2016)... Dec. 8, 2016  Anaconda BioMed S.L., a pre-clinical ... the next generation neuro-thrombectomy system for the treatment of ... G. Jovin, MD to join its Scientific Advisory Board ... strategic network of scientific and clinical experts to Anaconda ... the ANCD BRAIN ® to its clinical phase. ...
(Date:12/8/2016)... ... December 08, 2016 , ... ... their exceptionally efficient human mesenchymal stem/stromal cell (hMSC) expansion medium. This ... products engineered to radically streamline culture processes, minimize processing time, significantly decrease ...
(Date:12/8/2016)... Ames, Iowa (PRWEB) , ... December 08, 2016 , ... ... of asynchronous approvals for biotech crops. The authors focus on the economic effects in ... the global approval of new biotech crops and the resultant risk of low level ...
(Date:12/8/2016)... -- Soligenix, Inc. (OTCQB: SNGX) (Soligenix or the Company), ... products to treat rare diseases where there is an ... hosting an Investor Webcast Event Friday, December 16, 2016, ... defense regulators (IDRs) as a new drug class, as ... recently announced and published Phase 2 clinical data for ...
Breaking Biology Technology: