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Pollination Interactions: Darwin's Orchid

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80 Questions

What is the main focus of coevolution in the context of mutualisms?

The interaction between groups of interacting species

What is the primary mechanism by which figs prevent cheating by wasp individuals?

Sanctions against cheating wasps, resulting in the abortion of figs

What is the Geographic Mosaic Theory of Coevolution primarily concerned with?

The coevolution of species in different environmental contexts

What is the main difference between monoecious and dioecious fig species?

The presence of male and female flowers on the same or different individuals

What is the cost to the fig in the fig-pollinator mutualism?

The loss of some seeds to the fig wasp larvae

What is the purpose of Jánder's experiment on Barro Colorado Island?

To assess the possibility of sanctions against cheating wasps

What is the term for the landscape of habitat patches with varying environmental variables and species distributions?

Selection mosaic

What is the main prediction of the Geographic Mosaic Theory of Coevolution?

The outcome of coevolutionary processes will vary across different environmental contexts

What is the primary characteristic of the interaction between Darwin's orchid and its hawk moth pollinator?

High level of specialisation

What is the common feature observed in plant species that are pollinated by the same type of pollinator?

Convergence of flower traits

What is the term used to describe the study of patterns of interactions between plants and pollinators?

Flower visitation networks

What is the key factor that drives the convergence of flower traits among plant species that are pollinated by the same type of pollinator?

Selection pressures from pollinators

What is the significance of Darwin's orchid example in the context of plant-pollinator interactions?

It is an exception to the general pattern of plant-pollinator interactions

What is the outcome of the interaction between plants and pollinators in terms of traits selection?

Both plants and pollinators impose selection pressures on each other

What is the main difference between the interaction between Darwin's orchid and its hawk moth pollinator and many other plant-pollinator interactions?

The number of pollinator species involved

What is the term used to describe the process of coevolution between multiple species, as observed in plant-pollinator interactions?

Diffuse coevolution

What is the interaction between Lithophragma plants and Greya moths similar to?

The interaction between figs and fig wasps

What is the result of the interaction between Lithophragma plants and Greya moths in environments where co-pollinating bees and bee flies are rare?

Mutualistic interaction

What is the 'escape and radiate' hypothesis proposed by Ehrlich and Raven?

The process of rapid speciation in Lepidoptera driven by plant chemistry

What is the characteristic of the interaction between Darwin's orchid and its hawk moth pollinator?

Highly specialized interaction

What is the typical pattern of plant-pollinator interactions?

Many-to-many interaction

What is the purpose of studying 'flower visitation networks'?

To analyze the patterns of interactions between plants and pollinators

What is the consequence of geographic barriers affecting both the host and the parasite?

Similar speciation patterns in both groups, but not due to coevolution

What is the prediction of Ehrlich and Raven's 'escape and radiate' hypothesis?

Plant lineages that invest in chemical defences will diversify more quickly

What is the term used to describe a landscape with varying strengths of selection that species impose on each other?

Selection mosaic

What is the term used to describe the process by which a species evolves a trait that allows it to overcome a plant's defence, leading to rapid speciation?

Escape and radiate

What is an example of a mutualistic interaction that can turn commensalistic or antagonistic in certain environments?

Lithophragma-Greya moth interaction

What is the term used to describe the process by which two species evolve together, leading to matching patterns of speciation?

Cospeciation

What is the primary driver of large-scale evolutionary patterns in Lepidoptera, according to Ehrlich and Raven's hypothesis?

Plant chemistry

What is the result of a period of rapid speciation following the evolution of a new defence compound in plants, according to Ehrlich and Raven's hypothesis?

A new species of plant evolves with a novel defence trait

What is the pattern observed in the phylogenetic relationships between insects and their host plants, according to Ehrlich and Raven's hypothesis?

Insect lineages tend to be contemporary with their associated plant lineages

What is the term used to describe the process by which two species interact and evolve together, leading to reciprocal adaptations?

Coevolution

What is a common feature in plant-pollinator interactions?

The convergence of flower traits among groups of plant species

What is the main difference between monoecious and other fig species?

The presence of male and female flowers on the same individual

What is the cost that the fig has to pay for the pollination services?

The loss of some seeds to the fig wasp larvae

What is the main conflict between the mutualists in the Ficus-fig wasp mutualism?

Wasps are selected to maximise the number of offspring, figs are selected to maximise the number of seeds

What did Jánder predict about the proportion of figs maturing in the P- treatment relative to the P+ treatment?

The proportion of figs maturing would be lower in the P- treatment

What is the main idea behind the Geograpic Mosaic Theory of Coevolution?

The trajectories of coevolutionary processes will largely depend on the environmental context

What is the purpose of the female wasp's pollen collection in the Ficus-fig wasp mutualism?

To fertilise some of the female flowers in the fig

What is the result of Jánder's experiment on figs adopting sanctions against cheating wasp individuals?

Figs do abort figs attacked by cheaters

What is the characteristic of the interaction between plant species and their pollinators in many cases?

Diffuse, involving multiple species

What is the effect of convergent evolution on flower traits among plant species?

Convergence of flower traits

What is the primary driver of the convergence of flower traits among plant species?

Selection pressures from pollinators

What is the significance of Darwin's orchid example in the context of plant-pollinator interactions?

It is a rare example of a highly specialized interaction

What is the term used to describe the study of patterns of interactions between plants and pollinators?

Flower visitation networks

What is the outcome of the interaction between plants and pollinators in terms of traits selection?

Convergence of traits

What is the key factor that drives the coevolution between multiple species in plant-pollinator interactions?

Selection pressures from pollinators

What is the term used to describe the process of coevolution between multiple species, as observed in plant-pollinator interactions?

Diffuse coevolution

What is the main benefit that the fig receives from the mutualism with the fig wasp?

The wasp's role in pollinating its flowers

What is the main selective pressure driving the evolution of fig traits in the Ficus-fig wasp mutualism?

The fig's need to maximise the number of seeds produced

What is the main implication of the Geographic Mosaic Theory of Coevolution for understanding the evolution of mutualisms?

That mutualisms are always asymmetric and context-dependent

What is the primary mechanism by which the fig wasp's cheating behaviour is selected against in the Ficus-fig wasp mutualism?

The fig's ability to abort figs attacked by cheating wasps

What is the main difference between the fig-pollinator mutualism and other mutualisms, according to the text?

The fig-pollinator mutualism is the only obligate mutualism

What is the main prediction of Jánder's experiment on the fig-pollinator mutualism?

That the proportion of figs maturing would be lower in the P- treatment than in the P+ treatment

What is the main consequence of the fig's policing measures against cheating wasps in the Ficus-fig wasp mutualism?

The wasp's ability to pollinate is decreased

What is the main implication of the fig-pollinator mutualism for understanding the evolution of coevolutionary processes?

That coevolutionary processes can be influenced by the interactions between multiple species

What is the primary driver of large-scale evolutionary patterns in Lepidoptera, according to Ehrlich and Raven's hypothesis?

The evolution of novel chemicals that serve as plant defenses against herbivores

What is the consequence of geographic barriers affecting both the host and the parasite?

Similar patterns of speciation between interacting partners, but not due to coevolution

What is the term used to describe the process by which two species evolve together, leading to matching patterns of speciation?

Cospeciation

What is the result of a period of rapid speciation following the evolution of a new defence compound in plants, according to Ehrlich and Raven's hypothesis?

Multiple new species emerge

What is the pattern observed in the phylogenetic relationships between insects and their host plants, according to Ehrlich and Raven's hypothesis?

Insect lineages are contemporary or younger than plant lineages

What is the characteristic of the interaction between Darwin's orchid and its hawk moth pollinator?

Highly specialised and unique

What is the purpose of studying 'flower visitation networks'?

To understand patterns of interactions between plants and pollinators

What is an example of a mutualistic interaction that can turn commensalistic or antagonistic in certain environments?

The interaction between Lithophragma plants and Greya moths

What is the primary mechanism by which coevolution can lead to the rise of new species?

Character displacement through competition

What is the term used to describe the pattern of speciation events in one group that are mirrored by speciation events in the other group?

Cospeciation

What is the primary driver of the evolution of novel chemicals that serve as plant defenses against herbivores?

Coevolutionary pressures

What is the term used to describe the landscape of habitat patches with varying environmental variables and species distributions?

Selection mosaic

What is the primary characteristic of the 'escape and radiate' hypothesis?

The rapid speciation of plants following the evolution of new defense compounds

What is the outcome of the interaction between Lithophragma plants and Greya moths in environments where co-pollinating bees and bee flies are rare?

Mutualistic interaction

What is the pattern observed in the phylogenetic relationships between insects and their host plants, according to Ehrlich and Raven's hypothesis?

Insect lineages are contemporary or younger than their associated plant lineages

What is the primary driver of the large-scale evolutionary patterns in Lepidoptera, according to Ehrlich and Raven's hypothesis?

Coevolutionary pressures with host plants

What is the primary factor that influences the trajectories of coevolutionary processes, according to the Geographic Mosaic Theory of Coevolution?

Environmental context

What is the expected outcome of the interaction between figs and pollinating wasps, from the fig's perspective, if the wasps cheat by not providing pollination services?

The fig will abort the figs attacked by cheaters

What is the key characteristic of the coevolutionary process involving multiple species, as observed in plant-pollinator interactions?

It is a diffuse process, involving multiple species

What is the purpose of the female wasp's pollen collection in the Ficus-fig wasp mutualism, from the fig's perspective?

To fertilize some of the female flowers in the fig

What is the primary conflict between the mutualists in the Ficus-fig wasp mutualism?

The fig wants to produce more seeds, while the wasp wants to produce more offspring

What is the expected outcome of Jánder's experiment on figs adopting sanctions against cheating wasp individuals, in terms of the number of fig offspring emerging from the mature fig?

The number of fig offspring will be lower in the P- treatment than in the P+ treatment

What is the characteristic of the flowers in monoecious fig species, in terms of reproductive biology?

Female and male flowers occur on the same individual

What is the key prediction of Jánder's experiment on figs adopting sanctions against cheating wasp individuals, in terms of the proportion of figs maturing?

The proportion of figs maturing will be lower in the P- treatment than in the P+ treatment

Study Notes

Mutualistic Interactions

  • Darwin predicted that Darwin's orchid would be pollinated by an extremely long-tongued pollinator, and this was later confirmed
  • The interaction between Darwin's orchid and its hawk moth pollinator is highly specialized, with likely only one species of hawk moth available
  • Many plants are pollinated by multiple pollinator species, and most pollinator species pollinate multiple plant species
  • Plant-pollinator interactions are often studied through 'flower visitation networks'

Fig-Pollinating Wasp Mutualism

  • The fig-pollinator mutualism is an example of an obligate mutualism, where neither partner can live without the other
  • In monoecious fig species, female and male flowers occur on the same individual
  • A female wasp enters the fig, carrying pollen from the fig in which she developed as a larva, which fertilizes some of the female flowers in the fig
  • The cost to the fig is that some seeds will be lost to the fig wasp larvae, but some seeds successfully develop
  • There is a conflict between the mutualists: wasps are selected to maximize the number of offspring emerging from fig flowers, while figs are selected to maximize the number of flowers turning into seeds

Preventing Cheating in Mutualisms

  • Jánder conducted an experiment to assess whether figs adopt sanctions against cheating wasp individuals
  • Figs do abort figs attacked by cheaters, and Jánder found that the proportion of figs maturing was lower in the treatment with wasps not carrying pollen
  • The number of fig offspring emerging from the mature fig was also lower in the treatment with wasps not carrying pollen

Geographic Mosaic Theory of Coevolution

  • This theory, developed by John Thompson, suggests that coevolutionary processes depend on environmental context
  • The strength of selection between species will vary across space, leading to different outcomes in the coevolutionary process
  • The landscape can be envisioned as a collection of habitat patches, with some patches having strong reciprocal selection and others having no effect

Coevolution and Speciation

  • Coevolution is thought to be a major force in the rise of new species
  • The stickleback example illustrates how competition between different forms may lead to speciation via 'character displacement'
  • Matching phylogenies between interacting partners can illustrate cospeciation, but care must be taken when interpreting phylogenies
  • The absence of matching phylogenies is not evidence for the lack of coevolution

Escape and Radiate Hypothesis

  • This hypothesis, proposed by Paul Ehrlich and Peter Raven, suggests that the evolution of novel chemicals as plant defences against herbivores drives the evolution of new species
  • Plant species will occasionally evolve a new defence compound, leading to a period of rapid speciation
  • A herbivore species might evolve a trait that allows it to overcome the defence, leading to rapid speciation in the insects

Mutualistic Interactions

  • Darwin predicted that Darwin's orchid would be pollinated by an extremely long-tongued pollinator, and this was later confirmed
  • The interaction between Darwin's orchid and its hawk moth pollinator is highly specialized, with likely only one species of hawk moth available
  • Many plants are pollinated by multiple pollinator species, and most pollinator species pollinate multiple plant species
  • Plant-pollinator interactions are often studied through 'flower visitation networks'

Fig-Pollinating Wasp Mutualism

  • The fig-pollinator mutualism is an example of an obligate mutualism, where neither partner can live without the other
  • In monoecious fig species, female and male flowers occur on the same individual
  • A female wasp enters the fig, carrying pollen from the fig in which she developed as a larva, which fertilizes some of the female flowers in the fig
  • The cost to the fig is that some seeds will be lost to the fig wasp larvae, but some seeds successfully develop
  • There is a conflict between the mutualists: wasps are selected to maximize the number of offspring emerging from fig flowers, while figs are selected to maximize the number of flowers turning into seeds

Preventing Cheating in Mutualisms

  • Jánder conducted an experiment to assess whether figs adopt sanctions against cheating wasp individuals
  • Figs do abort figs attacked by cheaters, and Jánder found that the proportion of figs maturing was lower in the treatment with wasps not carrying pollen
  • The number of fig offspring emerging from the mature fig was also lower in the treatment with wasps not carrying pollen

Geographic Mosaic Theory of Coevolution

  • This theory, developed by John Thompson, suggests that coevolutionary processes depend on environmental context
  • The strength of selection between species will vary across space, leading to different outcomes in the coevolutionary process
  • The landscape can be envisioned as a collection of habitat patches, with some patches having strong reciprocal selection and others having no effect

Coevolution and Speciation

  • Coevolution is thought to be a major force in the rise of new species
  • The stickleback example illustrates how competition between different forms may lead to speciation via 'character displacement'
  • Matching phylogenies between interacting partners can illustrate cospeciation, but care must be taken when interpreting phylogenies
  • The absence of matching phylogenies is not evidence for the lack of coevolution

Escape and Radiate Hypothesis

  • This hypothesis, proposed by Paul Ehrlich and Peter Raven, suggests that the evolution of novel chemicals as plant defences against herbivores drives the evolution of new species
  • Plant species will occasionally evolve a new defence compound, leading to a period of rapid speciation
  • A herbivore species might evolve a trait that allows it to overcome the defence, leading to rapid speciation in the insects

Learn about the specialized pollination interaction between Darwin's orchid and its hawk moth pollinator, and how it compares to other plant pollinator interactions.

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