The staminal lever mechanism and floral diversity of some bee-pollinated Salvia L. (Lamiaceae) species

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2011
Atalay, Zeynep
The characteristic staminal lever mechanism is defined as a functional unit including the modification of stamens into lever-like structures, their reversible movement and the organisation with the remaining floral structures and they are involved in the process of pollen transfer. The staminal levers play a major role in the process of pollen deposition on the pollinators’ body and their proportion and interaction with pollinators may have significant consequences for the pollination system in Salvia. In this study, staminal lever mechanism and floral diversity of bee pollinated species including Salvia absconditiflora, Salvia aethiopis, Salvia russellii, Salvia tchihatcheffii which grow sympatrically are investigated in the campus flora of Middle East Technical University. The functioning of the staminal lever mechanism is tested and pollinators of the Salvia species are observed by field investigations. Special attention is given to species-specific patterns of pollen deposition on the pollinators’ body. Floral diversity of the Salvia species such as corolla shape, size, colour, stamen type are studied. Floral and pollinator structures are measured morphometrically by laboratory investigations. Moreover, the isolation mechanism among the co-occuring Salvia species are investigated by field observations. All field observations are backed by photos and video recordings. Field and laboratory investigations revealed that co-occuring Salvia species are reproductively isolated by several means and the diversity of floral constructions and staminal lever mechanism increases the mechanical isolation by attracting different pollinators and by loading pollen on different parts of their bodies.

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Citation Formats
Z. Atalay, “The staminal lever mechanism and floral diversity of some bee-pollinated Salvia L. (Lamiaceae) species,” M.S. - Master of Science, Middle East Technical University, 2011.