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Temperature-Limited Floral Longevity in the Large-Flowered Mediterranean Shrub Cistus Ladanifer (Cistaceae)

AutorTeixido, Alberto L.; Valladares Ros, Fernando
Palabras claveActual floral longevity
Floral maintenance costs
Flower size
Pollen deposition
Potential floral longevity
Fecha de publicación6-feb-2015
EditorUniversity of Chicago Press
CitaciónInternational Journal of Plant Sciences - Botanical Gazette 176(2):131-140 (2015)
ResumenPremise of research. Larger and longer-lived flowers are more frequently pollinated, but they are associated with high maintenance costs due to greater water usage. The Mediterranean climate limits plant reproduction and maximizes resource use efficiency, so smaller and short-lived flowers are potentially advantageous under hot and dry conditions.
Methodology. We experimentally evaluated the relationship between the floral longevity of Cistus ladanifer, a large-flowered Mediterranean shrub, and pollination, flower size, and temperature at two different altitudes with contrasting climatic conditions. We hypothesized that flower size and longevity would be reduced in the drier and hotter conditions of the lower-altitude site. In addition, we expected that floral longevity would decrease with experimental pollen deposition, flower size, and temperature. We pollinated and capped flowers to evaluate the variation in floral longevity by comparing actual and potential floral longevity at low and high altitudes.
Pivotal results. In agreement with our hypothesis, flower size was observed to increase with altitude, but, contrary to expectations, floral longevity decreased at the high altitude since temperature increased during the flowering time. Floral longevity tended to be short but depended on pollination, such that potential floral longevity was greater than actual floral longevity. Capped flowers lasted longer (1.31 ± 0.65 d) than control (0.95 ± 0.39 d) or hand-pollinated (0.60 ± 0.08 d) flowers. At the high altitude, larger flowers and higher temperatures resulted in a reduction in both the observed and potential floral longevity, but temperature had a differential effect in limiting potential floral longevity.
Conclusions. Our experimental survey reported short-lived flowers and limitations in floral longevity when flowers were larger and temperatures were higher. Overall, the results reveal an important effect of temperature on increasing floral maintenance costs, imposing selective pressures on flower size, and longevity in large-flowered Mediterranean plants.
DescripciónManuscript received July 2014; revised manuscript received October 2014; electronically published December 19, 2014
Versión del editorhttp://dx.doi.org/10.1086/679477
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