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Open Access Publications from the University of California

Reproductive isolation between Zaluzianskya species: The influence of volatiles and flower orientation on hawkmoth foraging choices

  • Author(s): Campbell, DR
  • Jürgens, A
  • Johnson, SD
  • et al.

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© 2015 New Phytologist Trust. Floral trait differences between related species may play a key role in reproductive isolation imposed by pollinators. Volatile emissions can influence pollinator choice, but how they act in combination with traits such as flower orientation is rarely studied. We compared flower-opening patterns, morphology, colour, orientation and volatile emissions for two closely related species of Zaluzianskya and their natural hybrids. Hawkmoth pollinators were tested for preference between flowers of the two species, and between flowers with manipulations of volatiles or orientation. Flowers of Z. natalensis and Z. microsiphon open at night and day, respectively, but they overlap during early evening, when hawkmoths showed a strong preference for Z. natalensis. The species have similar flower size and colour, but Z. natalensis emits more floral volatiles in the evening and presents flowers vertically face-up as opposed to horizontally in Z. microsiphon, whereas natural hybrids are intermediate. Adding methyl benzoate and linalool to flowers of Z. microsiphon did not increase hawkmoth attraction, but re-orientation of flowers to face vertically increased attraction when scent cues were present, whereas re-orientation of Z. natalensis flowers to face horizontally decreased attraction. This study highlights the importance of flower orientation in imposing reproductive isolation.

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