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FW: bat/pollination article

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  • Cynthia Myers
    http://www.sciencedaily.com/releases/2007/08/070822143214.htm Cynthia Myers San Diego CA www.BatRescue.org www.BatWorld.org http://home.earthlink.net/~cmsquare
    Message 1 of 1 , Sep 9, 2007
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      http://www.sciencedaily.com/releases/2007/08/070822143214.htm

      Cynthia Myers
      San Diego CA
      www.BatRescue.org
      www.BatWorld.org
      http://home.earthlink.net/~cmsquare

      ~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~
      Source:
      University of Miami Rosenstiel School of Marine & Atmospheric Science
      Date:
      August 23, 2007

      More on:
      New Species, Endangered Plants, Botany, Wild Animals, Nature, Biology
      How To Share A Bat
      Science Daily — New research shows how different species of plants
      evolve unique floral adaptations in order to transfer pollen on
      different regions of bats' bodies, thus allowing multiple plant species
      to share bats as pollinators.

      Flowers reduce competition for bat pollination by evolving differences
      in flower shape. This serves to place pollen in different regions of the
      bats bodies, and thus greatly reduces "incorrect" (between-species)
      pollen transfer. (Credit: Nathan Muchhala)

      A pattern of character displacement has only rarely been shown for
      plants, and this is the first study to examine the competitive mechanism
      and process driving this pattern.

      When multiple plant species occur in the same habitat and share the same
      pollinator, large amounts of pollen may be transferred between different
      species. This form of plant-plant competition can reduce the fitness of
      all species by interfering with successful pollination. Dr. Nathan
      Muchhala, a post-doctorate researcher, and Dr. Matthew D. Potts,
      assistant professor in the University of Miami Department of Biology,
      studied such competition in remote cloud forests of the Ecuadorian
      Andes.

      They found that co-occurring bat-pollinated species of the genus
      Burmeistera reduce competition by evolving differences in flower shape.
      This serves to place pollen in different regions of the bats bodies, and
      thus greatly reduces "incorrect" (between-species) pollen transfer.
      Experiments with bats and flowers showed that greater differences in
      flower shape between two species decreases "incorrect" pollen transfer
      and thus maximizes successful pollination.
      "This research study clearly demonstrates that these plants are
      competing and the competition is strong enough for them to evolve unique
      characteristics in order to reduce competition for pollination," says
      Nathan Muchhala, Ph.D., researcher in the University of Miami Department
      of Biology.

      Along with the experimental work, the research team also analyzed
      Burmeistera in 18 field sites, and found that differences in flower
      morphology between co-occurring species were much greater than what
      would be expected by chance.
       The study, titled "Character displacement among bat-pollinated flowers
      of the genus Burmeistera: analysis of the mechanism, process and
      pattern", was recently published in the Proceedings of the Royal Society
      B.

      This implies that Burmeistera evolve to use different portions of bats
      bodies than the co-occurring species in their habitat. This type of
      local divergence in some trait is termed character displacement.
       
      Note: This story has been adapted from a news release issued by
      University of Miami Rosenstiel School of Marine & Atmospheric Science.
       
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