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dc.contributor.authorRussell, Avery L.
dc.contributor.authorNewman, China Rae
dc.contributor.authorPapaj, Daniel R.
dc.date.accessioned2016-11-11T01:12:43Z
dc.date.available2016-11-11T01:12:43Z
dc.date.issued2016-08-11
dc.identifier.citationWhite flowers finish last: pollen-foraging bumble bees show biased learning in a floral color polymorphism 2016 Evolutionary Ecologyen
dc.identifier.issn0269-7653
dc.identifier.issn1573-8477
dc.identifier.doi10.1007/s10682-016-9848-1
dc.identifier.urihttp://hdl.handle.net/10150/621351
dc.description.abstractPollinator-driven selection is thought to drive much of the extraordinary diversity of flowering plants. Plants that produce floral traits preferred by particular pollinators are more likely to receive conspecific pollen and to evolve further adaptations to those pollinators that enhance pollination and ultimately generate floral diversity. Two mechanisms in particular, sensory bias and learning, are thought to explain how pollinator preference can contribute to divergence and speciation in flowering plants. While the preferences of pollinators, such as bees, flies, and birds, are frequently implicated in patterns of floral trait evolution, the role of learning in generating reproductive isolation and trait divergence for different floral types within plant populations is not well understood. Floral color polymorphism in particular provides an excellent opportunity to examine how pollinator behavior and learning might maintain the different floral morphs. In this study we asked if bumble bees showed innate preferences for different color morphs of the pollen-only plant Solanum tridynamum, whether bees formed preferences for the morphs with which they had experience collecting pollen from, and the strength of those learned preferences. Using an absolute conditioning protocol, we gave bees experience collecting pollen from a color polymorphic plant species that offered only pollen rewards. Despite initially-naïve bees showing no apparent innate bias toward human-white versus human-purple flower morphs, we did find evidence of a bias in learning. Specifically, bees learned strong preferences for purple corollas, but learned only weak preferences for hypochromic (human-white) corollas. We discuss how our results might explain patterns of floral display evolution, particularly as they relate to color polymorphisms. Additionally, we propose that the ease with which floral visual traits are learned—i.e., biases in learning—can influence the evolution of floral color as a signal to pollinators.
dc.description.sponsorshipThis work was supported by a University of Arizona Honors College Undergraduate Research Grant, as well as funding from the Graduate and Professional Student Council, and the National Science Foundation (IOS-1257762 to A.S. Leonard, S.L. Buchmann, and D.R. Papaj).en
dc.language.isoenen
dc.publisherSpringeren
dc.relation.urlhttp://link.springer.com/10.1007/s10682-016-9848-1en
dc.rights© Springer International Publishing Switzerland 2016en
dc.subjectBumble beeen
dc.subjectPollen rewarden
dc.subjectLearningen
dc.subjectColor polymorphismen
dc.subjectBiases in learningen
dc.subjectPreferenceen
dc.titleWhite flowers finish last: pollen-foraging bumble bees show biased learning in a floral color polymorphismen
dc.typeArticleen
dc.contributor.departmentDepartment of Ecology and Evolutionary Biology, University of Arizonaen
dc.identifier.journalEvolutionary Ecologyen
dc.description.noteFirst Online: 11 August 2016. 12 month embargo.en
dc.description.collectioninformationThis item from the UA Faculty Publications collection is made available by the University of Arizona with support from the University of Arizona Libraries. If you have questions, please contact us at repository@u.library.arizona.edu.en
dc.eprint.versionFinal accepted manuscripten
refterms.dateFOA2017-08-11T00:00:00Z
html.description.abstractPollinator-driven selection is thought to drive much of the extraordinary diversity of flowering plants. Plants that produce floral traits preferred by particular pollinators are more likely to receive conspecific pollen and to evolve further adaptations to those pollinators that enhance pollination and ultimately generate floral diversity. Two mechanisms in particular, sensory bias and learning, are thought to explain how pollinator preference can contribute to divergence and speciation in flowering plants. While the preferences of pollinators, such as bees, flies, and birds, are frequently implicated in patterns of floral trait evolution, the role of learning in generating reproductive isolation and trait divergence for different floral types within plant populations is not well understood. Floral color polymorphism in particular provides an excellent opportunity to examine how pollinator behavior and learning might maintain the different floral morphs. In this study we asked if bumble bees showed innate preferences for different color morphs of the pollen-only plant Solanum tridynamum, whether bees formed preferences for the morphs with which they had experience collecting pollen from, and the strength of those learned preferences. Using an absolute conditioning protocol, we gave bees experience collecting pollen from a color polymorphic plant species that offered only pollen rewards. Despite initially-naïve bees showing no apparent innate bias toward human-white versus human-purple flower morphs, we did find evidence of a bias in learning. Specifically, bees learned strong preferences for purple corollas, but learned only weak preferences for hypochromic (human-white) corollas. We discuss how our results might explain patterns of floral display evolution, particularly as they relate to color polymorphisms. Additionally, we propose that the ease with which floral visual traits are learned—i.e., biases in learning—can influence the evolution of floral color as a signal to pollinators.


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