Cockroach pollination and its consequences on plant reproductive success

Name: Cockroach pollination and its consequences on plant reproductive success
Researchers: Vlasáková Blanka (researcher)
Project Type: B - national grants (GA ČR, GA AVČR)
Realization from: 2012
Realization to: 2014
Summary: Mutualistic interactions between plants and pollinators often promote evolution of specialized floral traits. Sets of such traits (pollination syndromes) are mostly associated with four insect orders (Coleoptera, Diptera, Hymenoptera, and Lepidoptera). It is mostly unknown whether members of other orders can become involved in specialized pollination and whether such pollinators can exert selective pressure on floral traits. The proposed project focuses on a presumably specialized case of cockroach pollination, a highly unusual pollination mode. I intend to examine the degree of specialization on the plant's as well as pollinator's side and I ask: Can cockroach pollination promote evolution of specialized floral traits that are related to cockroaches' physiology? Particularly: Are the attraction cues related to sexual signaling system of cockroaches? Has the plant species evolved a floral reward to satisfy special needs of its pollinators? To draw conclusions about evolution of specialization, I ask: What are the consequences of cockroach pollination on plant reproduction success?

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