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Abstract Detail

Ecological Section

LeCroy, Kathryn [1], Matthew, Koski [1], Arceo-Gmez, Gerardo [1], Meindl, George [1], ASHMAN , TIA-LYNN RUTH [1].

Floral color assembly of serpentine seep communities in northern California, USA.

Species traits, particularly those that impact fitness, can shape the evolutionary relationships among coexisting species. Trait distribution (clustering or overdispersion) within communities can provide evidence of key ecological interactions (such as competition or facilitation) that can contribute to assembly. The distribution of floral colors in a community may reflect pollinator-mediated interactions. Various metrics of color have been used to describe flower color pattern within communities, but some metrics may provide greater biological insight than others. Furthermore, in order to understand the impact of phylogeny on community assemblages based on color, we must test for phylogenetic signal for color traits.  Additionally, the size of a local community habitat may influence the type or strength of ecological interactions among co-occurring species.  In this study we examine how floral color is distributed within replicated co-flowering assemblages. We asked: is there evidence for nonrandom distribution of floral color in the community, either through two pollinator-vision metrics or through a vision-neutral color metric? Is there phylogenetic signal for these floral color metrics? If so, is there phylogenetic clustering or overdispersion across local communities? Is there an effect of size of the local habitat on these outcomes? We surveyed the floral color diversity of fourteen serpentine seeps at the McLaughlin Natural Reserve in Lower Lake, CA USA. For 55 co-flowering species, we collected reflectance spectra between 300-700nm wavelengths of light and calculated three metrics of color. Two metrics incorporate knowledge of pollinator color vision: Delta S (pairwise color discriminability between species by Apis mellifera) and spectral inflection point(s) (important spectral aspect for pollinator discrimination of colors).  Our vision-neutral metric was calculated by performing a Principal Component Analysis (PCA) on raw reflectance data of all species. Three principal components cumulatively accounted for ~90% of the variation. From our preliminary analyses, we found no evidence for phylogenetic signal of floral color. PC1 separated species with high red-orange reflectance from species with high reflectance in the violet-UV spectrum, and on average the species with more extreme loadings of PC1 were more likely to co-occur in local communities. We detected no patterns of phylogenetic clustering or overdispersion in local communities, but we found that there is overdispersion of Delta S values in communities. By analyzing vision-neutral and pollinator vision-dependent color metrics for phylogenetic signal and assessing local community phylogenetic and trait structure of floral color, we add to understanding the ecological assembly of traits in a co-flowering plant community.

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1 - University Of Pittsburgh, Biological Sciences, 4249 Fifth Avenue, 216 Clapp Hall, Pittsburgh, PA, 15260, USA

community assembly
community phylogenetics
flower color
pollinator vision
McLaughlin Natural Reserve
plant ecology.

Presentation Type: Poster:Posters for Sections
Session: P
Location: Eyrie/Boise Centre
Date: Monday, July 28th, 2014
Time: 5:30 PM
Number: PEC015
Abstract ID:729
Candidate for Awards:Ecological Section Best Graduate Student Poster

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