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Abstract Detail

Recent Topics Posters

Walsh, Seana [1], Pender, Richard [1], Morden, Clifford [1], Lorence, David [2], Daehler, Curtis [1].

Investigating the reproductive biology and genetic diversity of the critically endangered Hawaiian plant species, Brighamia insignis (Campanulaceae).

Brighamia insignis, or ‘olulu in Hawaiian, is a critically endangered, endemic succulent believed to have evolved flowers adapted for moth pollination. Despite its conservation status, we know little about the reproductive biology of this species. To address this knowledge gap, we undertook four separate avenues of investigation. First, we studied a suite of floral biology traits (e.g., phenology, nectar characteristics) of cultivated B. insignis plants to determine the likely historic pollinator(s). The flowers are protandrous (anthers mature before stigma), spending, on average, ca. 1.6 days in the male (pollen dispersal) phase and ca. 4.6 days in the female (stigma receptive) phase. Nectar sugar compositions and floral morphology support the assumption that B. insignis evolved flowers adapted for moth pollination (phalaenophily). Second, to assess if pollinators are necessary for seed formation, we used manipulative pollination treatments to study the breeding system of cultivated plants. The plants had a high degree of self-incompatibility, requiring out-cross pollen (xenogamous) to form viable seeds. Third, a pollination ecology study of individuals outplanted near the former range of B. insignis is being undertaken to ascertain if native or introduced insects are potentially serving as pollinators. However, none were seen visiting B. insignis flowers after 24 diurnal and 13 nocturnal observation hours, respectively. Lastly, we are conducting a molecular study to examine the genetic diversity of living collections of B. insignis globally, to enhance conservation efforts by identifying individuals with novel genotypes whose genes may be incorporated in restoration plantings in the future. Although preliminary, these results have pertinent implications for the conservation of this species. In the absence of natural pollinators, anthropogenic out-cross pollination may be the only means to maintain B. insignis both in wild and restored populations.

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1 - University Of Hawai'i At Manoa, Botany, 3190 Maile Way, Room 101, Honolulu, HI, 96822, USA
2 - National Tropical Botanical Garden, Science and Conservation, 3530 Papalina Road, Kalaheo, HI, 96741, USA

none specified

Presentation Type: Recent Topics Poster
Session: P
Location: /
Date: Monday, July 28th, 2014
Time: 5:30 PM
Number: PRT018
Abstract ID:1256
Candidate for Awards:None

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