Limiting the cost of mutualism: the defensive role of elongated gynophore in the leafflower–moth mutualism

Limiting the cost of mutualism: the defensive role of elongated gynophore in the... Mutualisms are interactions from which both partners benefit but may collapse if mutualists’ costs and benefits are not aligned. Host sanctions are one mechanism whereby hosts selectively allocate resources to the more cooperative partners and thereby reduce the fitness of overexploiters; however, many mutualisms lack apparent means of host sanctions. In mutualisms between plants and pollinating seed parasites, such as those between leafflowers and leafflower moths, pollinators consume subsets of the seeds as larval food in return for their pollination service. Plants may select against overexploiters by selectively aborting flowers with a heavy egg load, but in many leafflower species, seeds are fully eaten in some fruits, suggesting that such a mechanism is not present in all species. Instead, the fruits of Breynia vitis-idaea have stalk-like structures (gynophore) through which early-instar moth larvae must bore to reach seeds. Examination of moth mortality in fruits with different gynophore lengths suggested that fruits with longer gynophore had higher moth mortality and, therefore, less seed damage. Most moth mortality occurred at the egg stage or as early larval instar before moths reached the seeds, consistent with the view that gynophore functions to prevent moth access to seeds. Gynophore length was unaffected by plant size, extent of moth oviposition, or geography; thus, it is most likely genetically controlled. Because gynophores do not elongate in related species whose pollinators oviposit directly into the ovary, the gynophore in B. vitis-idaea may have evolved as a defense to limit the cost of the mutualism. http://www.deepdyve.com/assets/images/DeepDyve-Logo-lg.png Oecologia Springer Journals

Limiting the cost of mutualism: the defensive role of elongated gynophore in the leafflower–moth mutualism

Loading next page...
 
/lp/springer_journal/limiting-the-cost-of-mutualism-the-defensive-role-of-elongated-O5WECdrq0z
Publisher
Springer Berlin Heidelberg
Copyright
Copyright © 2017 by Springer-Verlag GmbH Germany
Subject
Life Sciences; Ecology; Plant Sciences; Hydrology/Water Resources
ISSN
0029-8549
eISSN
1432-1939
D.O.I.
10.1007/s00442-017-3910-8
Publisher site
See Article on Publisher Site

Abstract

Mutualisms are interactions from which both partners benefit but may collapse if mutualists’ costs and benefits are not aligned. Host sanctions are one mechanism whereby hosts selectively allocate resources to the more cooperative partners and thereby reduce the fitness of overexploiters; however, many mutualisms lack apparent means of host sanctions. In mutualisms between plants and pollinating seed parasites, such as those between leafflowers and leafflower moths, pollinators consume subsets of the seeds as larval food in return for their pollination service. Plants may select against overexploiters by selectively aborting flowers with a heavy egg load, but in many leafflower species, seeds are fully eaten in some fruits, suggesting that such a mechanism is not present in all species. Instead, the fruits of Breynia vitis-idaea have stalk-like structures (gynophore) through which early-instar moth larvae must bore to reach seeds. Examination of moth mortality in fruits with different gynophore lengths suggested that fruits with longer gynophore had higher moth mortality and, therefore, less seed damage. Most moth mortality occurred at the egg stage or as early larval instar before moths reached the seeds, consistent with the view that gynophore functions to prevent moth access to seeds. Gynophore length was unaffected by plant size, extent of moth oviposition, or geography; thus, it is most likely genetically controlled. Because gynophores do not elongate in related species whose pollinators oviposit directly into the ovary, the gynophore in B. vitis-idaea may have evolved as a defense to limit the cost of the mutualism.

Journal

OecologiaSpringer Journals

Published: Jul 14, 2017

References

You’re reading a free preview. Subscribe to read the entire article.


DeepDyve is your
personal research library

It’s your single place to instantly
discover and read the research
that matters to you.

Enjoy affordable access to
over 18 million articles from more than
15,000 peer-reviewed journals.

All for just $49/month

Explore the DeepDyve Library

Search

Query the DeepDyve database, plus search all of PubMed and Google Scholar seamlessly

Organize

Save any article or search result from DeepDyve, PubMed, and Google Scholar... all in one place.

Access

Get unlimited, online access to over 18 million full-text articles from more than 15,000 scientific journals.

Your journals are on DeepDyve

Read from thousands of the leading scholarly journals from SpringerNature, Elsevier, Wiley-Blackwell, Oxford University Press and more.

All the latest content is available, no embargo periods.

See the journals in your area

DeepDyve

Freelancer

DeepDyve

Pro

Price

FREE

$49/month
$360/year

Save searches from
Google Scholar,
PubMed

Create lists to
organize your research

Export lists, citations

Read DeepDyve articles

Abstract access only

Unlimited access to over
18 million full-text articles

Print

20 pages / month

PDF Discount

20% off