Brassica rapa Plants grow them more attractive flowers by bumblebee populations. But this evolution is compromised when robbers simultaneously attack the plant. With the bees that secure them less efficiently, the plants are increasingly restricted. In a table poisoning experiment, scientists at a University of Zurich have just how much the effects of abusers and creatures have on each other.
In nature, plants work with a whole range of organisms, causing the evolution of their specific characteristics to disappear. Although fasteners influence floral traits and reproductions, herbivorous insects increase the plant health of the plant. Now botanist times at a University of Zurich examined how to enter these various interactions, and how to adapt rarer plants than the combination of selective agents with which they are changing.
Experimental evolution in real
In a two-year experiment, Florian Schiestl, professor at UZH's Department of Systematic and Evolutionary Botany, and doctor candidates Sergio Ramos have made a powerful contribution between the effects of pollinating insects and those of herbivores. They used them for their experiment Brassica rapa, a plant that is closely associated with oval-like rape, interacting with bumblebees and caterpillars as selective agents. Up to six generations, they have four groupings of plants for various treatments: bees-only bees (animals), tied up with herbivores (caterpillars), unobstructed manipulation, and herbivory attachment.
Balance between withdrawal and defense
After this experimental evolutionary study, the plants were confirmed by bombs without herbivores, the most attractive to the polluters: they are developing more beautiful flowers, which are constantly increasing. "These plants had been customized to" "preferred," explains Sergio Ramos. In addition, bee-pollinated herbivorous plants were less attractive, with higher concentrations of defectoxic metabolites and fewer fruity flowers that are smaller. "The caterpillars contain the evolution of attractive flowers, as plants provide more sources of defense," Ramos says.
Combined reproduction impact
The powerful recording between the effects of bees and caterpillars was also evident in the reproducing properties: in & # 39; For example, a rally of their evolution developed the bee-pollinated plants a tendency to spontaneously self-pollinate when linked simultaneously by caterpillars. Plants that attacked by caterpillars developed less attractive flowers, which affected the behavior of their bees, so that these flowers were less restricted.
Better understands the evolution of mechanics
The study shows the importance of interactive effects in different evolution. If the combination of selective agents changes, for example, by loss of habitat, climate change or a reduction of nuisance, it may end up shorter evolutionary change in plants. "The environment of human beings has an impact on the evolutionary fate of many organisms. This has implications in terms of ecosystem stability, loss of biodiversity, and security security, "says Florian Schiestl. He believes that understanding of these mechanics is never more important than it is now.