Papers in the Biological Sciences


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Published in Evolution (April 2008) 62(4): 793-806; DOI:10.1111/j.1558-5646.2008.00327.x Copyright © 2008, the Society for the Study of Evolution; published by Blackwell-Wiley. Used by permission.


Differences in floral traits among plant species have often been attributed to adaptation to pollinators. We explored the importance of pollinator shifts in explaining floral divergence among 15 species of Iochroma. We examined four continuously varying floral traits: corolla length, nectar reward, display size, and flower color. Pollinator associations were characterized with a continuously varying measure of pollinator importance (the product of visitation and pollen deposition) for four groups of pollinators: hummingbirds, Hymenoptera, Lepidoptera, and Diptera. A phylogenetic generalized least squares approach was used to estimate correlations between pollinator groups and floral traits across a sample of Bayesian trees using different models of trait evolution. Multivariate analyses were also employed to identify suites of traits associated with each pollinator group. We found that nonphylogenetic models typically fit the data better than phylogenetic models (Brownian motion, Ornstein-Uhlenbeck), and thus results varied little across trees. Our results indicated that species with high nectar reward and large displays are significantly more likely to be pollinated by hummingbirds and less likely to be pollinated by all groups of insects. Corolla length and flower color did not show any consistently significant associations with pollinator groups. For these two traits, we discuss alternative evolutionary forces, including phylogenetic inertia and community-level factors.

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