Abstract Detail



Symbioses: Plant, Animal, and Microbe Interactions

Piatscheck, Finn [1], Nason, John [2].

Insights from ecological studies, comparative phylogeography and species distribution modeling into the past and the future of an obligate plant-insect symbiosis.

Flowering plants are ubiquitously associated with diverse assemblage of insects, including mutualists, and the dynamics of their interaction can be influenced by variations in their environment. Past climatic fluctuation and geological history are factors which influence current species distributions and contemporary genetic structure. In the case of obligate mutualisms, mutualistic partner dependence suggests congruent phylogeographic structures between the interacting species. However, as mutualists can have different life history traits, recent diverging demographic event can disrupt potential congruent phylogeographic patterns. Fig trees (Ficus, Moraceae) are well-known example of obligate symbiosis in which the trees provide larva nursery while pollinating fig wasps (Agaonidae, Chalcidoidea) are specialized pollinators of fig trees. Using single nucleotide polymorphism molecular data, population genetics, phylogenetics as well as species distribution modeling, we investigated how the geology, geography and historical climate in Mexico might have participate in shaping the genetic landscape of the endemic fig tree Ficus petiolaris and compare it with its associated symbionts across their range in Mexico. Preliminary results indicate different past and ongoing demographical processes depending on the region of study, which tend to be congruent between symbionts. Furthermore, near future global climate change scenarios in Mexico predict changes in temperature and rainfall which could differentially affect species. Obligate mutualisms are particularly sensitive to environmental change because impacts on one mutualist could detrimentally affect partner mutualists. From ecological investigations of linkages between the abiotic environment and the reproductive dynamics of the pollinating fig, we found strong effect of both temperature and precipitation on pollinator reproductive success. Using future climate modeling, we project the distribution of the host tree and predict changes in pollinator reproductive success and its implication for the F. petiolaris fig-fig wasp mutualism.


1 - 243 South Franklin Avenue, Ames, IA, 50014, United States
2 - Iowa State University, Ecology, Evolution, And Organismal Biology, 251 Bessey Hall, Ames, IA, 50011, United States

Keywords:
mutualism
phylogeography
climate change
Ficus
Species Distribution Models.

Presentation Type: Oral Paper
Number: 0014
Abstract ID:1061
Candidate for Awards:None


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