Floral scent variation in woodland stars

Reproductive traits important to coevolving interactions, such as the floral scent of L. bolanderi, may be more canalized than other traits important for plant fitness.

The evolution of floral scent has recently emerged as a major topic in plant research with several studies focused upon the implications of floral chemistry for fitness and diversification. Friberg et al. disentangle the genetic and environmental components underlying floral scent variation in the woodland star, Lithophragma bolanderi (Saxifragaceae), testing if the release of floral volatiles depends on nutrient availability.

Lithophragma bolanderi and Greya moth

Great similarity in floral scent resulted from growing genetically identical clones in two different nutrient treatments, but very different scent distinguished clonal pairs, implying a strong genetic component to floral scent variation.

Reference List

Friberg, M., Waters, M. T., & Thompson, J. N. (2017). Nutrient availability affects floral scent much less than other floral and vegetative traits in Lithophragma bolanderi. Annals of Botany, 120(3), 471–478. https://doi.org/10.1093/aob/mcx069