The adaptive role of nectarial appendages in Colchicum
A few species within the genus Colchicum of the Colchicaceae family, a small group of species native to the transitional belt of the Mediterranean and the Middle East deserts, are characterized by unique morphological traits: nectarial appendages that occur at the base of the perianth segments and consist of two lamellae with teeth. The morphology of the nectarial appendages was measured in three species and in a new population with similar traits to this group for the first time. Nectarial appendages and nectar standing crop are larger for the inner whorl of perianth segments in all species, although the perianth segments are themselves usually smaller. Intact flowers received more ant visits in outer than in inner whorl perianth nectaries. Removal of the nectarial appendages resulted in an opposite trend, implying that these organs prevent ant access to nectaries. Ant access to flowers reduced nectar standing crop, which could reduce the fitness of the species assuming that ants do not pollinate. The role of nectarial appendages as nectar-theft deterrents is reinforced in light of the group's harsh habitat and flowering season.
|Date of creation:||Sep 2013|
|Date of revision:|
|Contact details of provider:|| Postal: Feldman Building - Givat Ram - 91904 Jerusalem|
Web page: http://www.ratio.huji.ac.il/
More information through EDIRC
When requesting a correction, please mention this item's handle: RePEc:huj:dispap:dp645. See general information about how to correct material in RePEc.
For technical questions regarding this item, or to correct its authors, title, abstract, bibliographic or download information, contact: (Ilan Nehama)
If references are entirely missing, you can add them using this form.