Abstract Detail



Anatomy and Morphology

Klahs, Phillip [1], Clark, Lynn [2].

Anemophily in Poaceae: Towards A Model of the System .

Imagine the remarkable journey a pollen grain must travel to accomplish pollination. For anemophilous plants the chaotic nature of that biological endeavor is shaped by pollen mass and morphology, the specifics of anther dehiscence, wind speed and climatic conditions, the ‘actualized’ stigma surface area, the aerodynamics of the plant, and the fluid dynamics of air around the spikelet. Utilizing principles of mechanical engineering and virtual simulations we explore these components of reproductive biology in the wind pollinated grasses. The virtual models of spikelets we create are subjected to computational fluid dynamic simulations in order to predict air movement. The spikelets of a woodland grass (Festuca subverticillata) and a prairie grass (Festuca paradoxa), both classified within Festuca sect. Obtusae, are being modeled to investigate correlations between spikelet morphology and ecological niche. Both species have laterally compressed spikelets with multiple florets, but the spikelets of F. paradoxa are more ovate and more crowded in the synflorescence. Tests emulating open prairie and woodland habitats are conducted by using a gradient of wind speeds and particle tracking as a proxy for pollen movement. Both species will experience each wind speed and the results of the simulations will be compared and analyzed. We predict that the frequency of pollen collisions with exserted stigmas is a function of wind speed and spikelet morphology, and that prairie and woodland grasses will have peak pollen collision frequencies at different wind speeds.


1 - Iowa State University, Ecology, Evolutionary, and Organismal Biology, 251 Bessey Hall, 2200 Osborn Drive, Ames, Iowa, 50011, United States
2 - Iowa State University, Department Of Ecology, Evolution, And Organismal Biology, 251 Bessey Hall, 2200 Osborn Dr., Ames, IA, 50011, United States

Keywords:
Poaceae
pollination
computation fluid dynamics
Plant Reproduction Biology
biomechanics.

Presentation Type: Oral Paper
Number:
Abstract ID:759
Candidate for Awards:None


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