Intraspecific convergence of floral size correlates with pollinator size on different mountains: a case study of a bumblebee-pollinated Lamium (Lamiaceae) flowers in Japan

Tsubasa Toji, Natsumi Ishimoto, Shin Egawa, Yuta Nakase, Mitsuru Hattori, Takao Itino

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

5 Citations (Scopus)

Abstract

Background: Geographic differences in floral size sometimes reflect geographic differences in pollinator size. However, we know little about whether this floral size specialization to the regional pollinator size occurred independently at many places or occurred once and then spread across the distribution range of the plant species. Results: We investigated the relationship between the local floral size of flowers and local pollinator size in 12 populations of Lamium album var. barbatum on two different mountains in the Japan Alps. Then, using 10 microsatellite markers, we analyzed genetic differentiation among the 12 populations. The results showed that local floral size was correlated with the average size of relevant morphological traits of the local pollinators: floral size was greater in populations visited frequently by the largest flower visitors, Bombus consobrinus queens, than it was in other populations. We also found that the degree of genetic similarity between populations more closely reflected interpopulation geographic proximity than interpopulation similarity in floral size. Conclusions: Although genetic similarity of populations was highly associated with geographic proximity, floral size varied independently of geographic proximity and was associated with local pollinator size. These results suggest that in L. album var. barbatum, large floral size evolved independently in populations on different mountains as a convergent adaptation to locally abundant large bumblebee species.

Original languageEnglish
Article number64
JournalBMC Ecology and Evolution
Volume21
Issue number1
DOIs
Publication statusPublished - Dec 2021
Externally publishedYes

Keywords

  • Bumblebee
  • Flower size
  • Independent evolution
  • Pollination
  • Trait matching

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