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J Chem Ecol. 2015 Jul;41(7):641-50. doi: 10.1007/s10886-015-0599-1. Epub 2015 Jul 2.

Spatiotemporal Floral Scent Variation of Penstemon digitalis.

Author information

1
Plant Ecology and Evolution, Department of Ecology and Genetics, Evolutionary Biology Centre, Uppsala University, Uppsala, 75236, Sweden, rosalieburdon@gmail.com.

Abstract

Variability in floral volatile emissions can occur temporally through floral development, during diel cycles, as well as spatially within a flower. These spatiotemporal patterns are hypothesized to provide additional information to floral visitors, but they are rarely measured, and their attendant hypotheses are even more rarely tested. In Penstemon digitalis, a plant whose floral scent has been shown to be under strong phenotypic selection for seed fitness, we investigated spatiotemporal variation in floral scent by using dynamic headspace collection, respectively solid-phase microextraction, and analyzed the volatile samples by combined gas chromatography-mass spectrometry. Total volatile emission was greatest during flowering and peak pollinator activity hours, suggesting its importance in mediating ecological interactions. We also detected tissue and reward-specific compounds, consistent with the hypothesis that complexity in floral scent composition reflects several ecological functions. In particular, we found tissue-specific scents for the stigma, stamens, and staminode (a modified sterile stamen common to all Penstemons). Our findings emphasize the dynamic nature of floral scents and highlight a need for greater understanding of ecological and physiological mechanisms driving spatiotemporal patterns in scent production.

PMID:
26133675
DOI:
10.1007/s10886-015-0599-1
[Indexed for MEDLINE]

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