New Phytologist Publishes Dr. Felipe Torres-Vanegas' Paper on Pollinator Foraging Tactics
Dr. Felipe Torres-Vanegas, Wagner Lab, published their paper Pollinator foraging tactics have divergent consequences for the mating system of a tropical plant in New Phytologist
Resolving the consequences of functionally distinct pollinator foraging behaviours for plant mating systems is fundamental for understanding the ecological and evolutionary forces governing plant populations. In this study, we investigate the consequences of particular pollinator foraging tactics (complete trapline foraging, sample-and-shift trapline foraging, territorial foraging) for the mating system of Heliconia tortuosa, a tropical forest herb. Our analysis revealed high outcrossing rates, ubiquitous multiple paternity at the fruit and plant levels, and a pronounced departure from near-neighbour mating. We highlight novel consequences of trapline foraging for plant mating systems: despite the high number of potential pollen donors, maternal plants receive pollen from a restricted set of donors over the course of a flowering season. Our analysis suggested that even a minor variation in the particular foraging tactic adopted by pollinators can have important consequences for plant mating systems. Indeed, a minor increase in the frequency at which pollinators engaged in sample-and-shift trapline foraging had a substantial impact on multiple paternity and near-neighbour mating. We provide a framework to understand the impact of conceptualized parameters of pollinator foraging on plant mating system parameters, which accounted for the interplay of pollinator foraging tactics and the mechanics of pollen removal and deposition. This novel finding highlights the relevance of the dynamics and complexities of pollinator foraging behaviour as a driver of the ecology and evolution of plant mating systems.
Felipe did his PhD in EEB with a full scholarship from COLCIENCIAS (the Colombian equivalent of NSERC). He was recently awarded a postdoctoral scholarship by the Sven and Lilly Lawski Foundation, Sweden. He is currently working on pollination ecology and plant mating systems with Øystein Opedal in the Department of Biology at Lund University.