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Abstract Detail



The evolutionary causes and consequences of dioecy across the land plants

Eppley, Sarah [1], Rosenstiel, Todd [2], Shortlidge, Erin [3].

Sexual dimorphism in moss volatile chemistry and the reproductive consequences. .

Sexual reproduction in mosses requires that sperm travel across the terrestrial landscape from male to female reproductive structures. In moss species with separate sexes, this may seem a difficult task, yet most mosses have separate sexes and sexually reproduce. Recent data has suggested that microarthropods can disperse moss sperm. However, little is known about this relationship, including whether chemical communication is involved in the interaction and the relative importance of microarthropod versus abiotic sperm dispersal in mosses. Here, we show that tissues of mosses emit complex volatile scents, similar in chemical diversity to those described in pollination mutualisms between flowering plants and insects and that the chemical composition moss volatiles are sex-specific. Interestingly, we found that common moss-dwelling microarthropods are differentially attracted to these sex-specific moss volatile cues. Furthermore, using experimental microcosms, we discovered that microarthropods significantly increase moss fertilization rates, even when in the presence of water spray, highlighting the important role of microarthropod dispersal in contributing to moss mating success. Taken together, our results indicate the presence of a scent-based ‘plant–pollinator-like’ relationship that has evolved between two of Earth’s most ancient terrestrial lineages, mosses and microarthropods. More recent data suggest that moss-associated fungi are also sex-specific, leading to the possibility of more complex interactions across several trophic levels.

Broader Impacts:


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1 - Portland State University, Biology, PO Box 751, Portland, OR, 97207, USA
2 - Portland State University, Biology, 1719 SW 10th Ave., SB2 Room 246, Portland, OR, 97207, USA
3 - Portland State University, Department of Biology, OR

Keywords:
dioecy
reproduction
bryophyte
ecology
sexual system.

Presentation Type: Symposium or Colloquium Presentation
Session: SY05
Location: Jasperwood/Riverside Hilton
Date: Monday, July 29th, 2013
Time: 4:15 PM
Number: SY05006
Abstract ID:603
Candidate for Awards:None


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