An integrative approach to trait evolution via biological interactions : 'floral color change' as a model system

  • Suzuki Miki
    Graduate School of Life and Environmental Sciences, University of Tsukuba
  • Ohashi Kazuharu
    Graduate School of Life and Environmental Sciences, University of Tsukuba
  • Makino Takashi
    Department of Ecology and Evolutionary Biology, University of Toronto

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Other Title
  • 生物間相互作用がもたらす形質進化を理解するために : 「花色変化」をモデルとした統合的アプローチのすすめ
  • セイブツ カン ソウゴ サヨウ ガ モタラス ケイシツ シンカ オ リカイ スル タメニ : 「 ハナイロ ヘンカ 」 オ モデル ト シタ トウゴウテキ アプローチ ノ ススメ

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Ontogenic color changes in fully turgid flowers ("floral color change") occur in many angiosperms and constitute a good opportunity for studying the role of biotic interactions in shaping organisms using an integrated approach. Two evolutionary hypotheses explain this peculiar trait, in which plants retain reproductively non-functioning, rewardless flowers that have changed in color: 1) the retention of old flowers enhances cross-pollination because it increases pollinator attraction, while the color difference helps pollinators to detect young flowers; and 2) rewardless flowers discourage pollinators from staying on a plant and reduce self-pollination. These hypotheses have not been tested in terms of realized cross-pollination and fail to explain several observed patterns: the inconsistent effects of old flowers on pollinator attraction; the prevalence of species without floral color changes; the variation in floral parts that undergo color changes; and the difference in proximate factors triggering color changes. Future research should examine this diversity and develop an integrated approach, including comparisons across related species of the color and reward changes, floral longevity, flowering schedule, and floral design; an understanding of diverse pollinator responses to color change in relation to their cognitive abilities; and a theoretical exploration of the evolution of these traits.



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