Navigation Links
Study: Competition for sex is a 'jungle out there'

Mother Nature could use a few more good pollinators, especially in species-rich biodiversity hotspots, according to a new study in the Proceedings of the National Academy of Science (PNAS).

Jana Vamosi, Ph.D, postdoctoral associate at the University of Calgary and Tiffany Knight, Ph.D., assistant professor of biology in Arts & Sciences at Washington University in St. Louis, and their collaborators have performed an exhaustive global analysis of more than 1,000 pollination studies which included 166 different plant species and found that, in areas where there is a great deal of plant diversity, plants suffer lower pollination and reproductive success. For some plant species, this reduction in fruit and seed production could push them towards extinction.

One reason that pollen becomes limiting to plants in regions of high diversity may be increased competition between the plants -- there are more plant species vying for the services of pollinators. Also, when there are a lot of species around, plants become more separated from other individuals of the same species, causing pollinators to have to fly long distances to deliver pollen. When pollinators do arrive, they may deliver lots of unusable pollen from other plant species.

Knight and her colleagues found this pattern to be especially true for species that rely heavily on pollinators for reproduction -- those that require outcrossing -- and for trees, in relation to herbs or shrubs, because individuals of the same species tend to be separated large distances when species diversity is high.

To test for pollen limitation of each plant species, scientists added pollen to a number of plants and compared them with control plants that were pollinated naturally. Vamosi, Knight and their colleagues created a database of more than 1,000 pollination experiments conducted worldwide.

"If pollinators are doing a good job, you wouldn't expect a treatment effect," Knight said. "But for some of our plants we saw a huge treatment effect. We saw that a lot of the plants are incredibly pollen-limited.

"Biodiversity hotspots, such as tropical rainforests, are a global resource -- they are home to many of the known plants used for medicine and may be a source for future cures ,and they absorb huge amounts of carbon dioxide and generate volumes of clean oxygen. Our research suggests that plants in these areas area also very fragile. They already suffer from low pollen receipt, and future perturbations of the habitat may exacerbate the situation."

According to Knight, there is no doubt that a reduced number of pollinating species ?bees, flies, birds, even bats -- is one contributor to pollen limitation. But it's not the only one. Habitat fragmentation is a proven cause of pollen limitation, as well as development.

"These findings have global implications given the importance of biodiversity hotspots for medicine, food, nutrient cycling, and alternative resources for pollinators of domesticated crops world wide," said collaborator Tia-Lynn Ashman, Ph.D., of the University of Pittsburgh.

"The concern is that we are losing habitat really rapidly globally, especially in tropical areas, and losing pollinators there as well," Knight said. "We show that these areas are sensitive to pollen limitation just because they are diverse. Any perturbation in the tropical areas -- and there are lots right now ?is going to hurt the situation even more than we think and perhaps drive certain species to extinction."


'"/>

Source:Washington University in St. Louis


Related biology news :

1. Study: Soap And Water Work Best In Ridding Hands Of Disease Viruses
2. Study: homemade gene expression technology unreliable
3. Study: Well-known protein helps stem cells become secretory cells
4. Study: Harmless virus kills some cancers
5. Study: Predatory dinosaurs had bird-like pulmonary system
6. Study: Plants use dual defense system to fight pathogens
7. Study: Paramedics save more lives when they dont follow the rules
8. Study: Living coral reefs provide better protection from tsunami waves
9. Solutions that reduce death of marine life reeled in by International Smart Gear Competition
Post Your Comments:
*Name:
*Comment:
*Email:


(Date:2/2/2016)... 2016  BioMEMS devices deployed in hospitals ... medical screening and diagnostic applications, such as ... that facilitate and assure continuous monitoring without ... being bolstered through new opportunities offered by ... coupled with wireless connectivity and low power ...
(Date:2/2/2016)... VIEW, Calif. , Feb. 2, 2016 /PRNewswire/ ... retinopathy market, Frost & Sullivan recognizes US-based Intelligent ... America Frost & Sullivan Award for New Product ... provider in North America , ... in the rapidly growing diabetic retinopathy market. The ...
(Date:1/27/2016)... , Jan. 27, 2016  Rite Track, Inc. ... in West Chester, Ohio announced ... winning service staff, based in Austin, Texas ... and ability to provide modifications, installations and technical support ... , CEO of PLUS, commented, "PLUS has provided world ...
Breaking Biology News(10 mins):
(Date:2/5/2016)... 2016 Amarantus BioScience Holdings, Inc. ... on developing products for Regenerative Medicine, Neurology and Orphan ... Designation (RPDD) from the US Food and Drug Administration ... was previously granted orphan drug designation (ODD) by the ... BioScience Holdings, Inc. (OTCQB: AMBS), a ...
(Date:2/4/2016)... ... February 04, 2016 , ... Shimadzu Scientific Instruments ... host live demos and poster sessions, and present on the analysis of mycotoxins ... place March 6 to 10 at the Georgia World Congress Center in Atlanta, ...
(Date:2/4/2016)... NEW YORK , February 4, 2016 ... (OTCQB: QBIO), a biotechnology acceleration company is pleased to provide ... --> --> Over the last 3 months ... note and securities purchase agreements exceeding $1,000,000. As a result, ... under our Mannin Research Inc. license agreement and expect that ...
(Date:2/4/2016)... England , February 4, 2016 ... Bioscience Laboratories (ABL), Inc. --> Strasbourg, France ... Inc. --> PharmaVentures is pleased to announce that ... of its biopharmaceutical manufacturing unit in Strasbourg, France ... Inc. --> --> Transgene ...
Breaking Biology Technology: