Natural selection on floral scent composition is a key element of the hypothesis that pollinators and other floral visitors drive scent evolution. The measure of such selection is complicated by the high-dimensional nature of floral scent data and uncertainty about the cognitive processes involved in scent-mediated communication. We use dimension reduction through reduced-rank regression to jointly estimate a scent composite trait under selection and the strength of selection acting on this trait. To assess and compare variation in selection on scent across species, time and space, we reanalyse 22 datasets on six species from four previous studies. The results agreed qualitatively with previous analyses in terms of identifying populations and scent compounds subject to stronger selection but also allowed us to evaluate and compare the strength of selection on scent across studies. Doing so revealed that selection on floral scent was highly variable, and overall about as common and as strong as selection on other phenotypic traits involved in pollinator attraction or pollen transfer. These results are consistent with an important role of floral scent in pollinator attraction. Our approach should be useful for further studies of plant–animal communication and for studies of selection on other high-dimensional phenotypes. In particular, our approach will be useful for studies of pollinator-mediated selection on complex scent blends comprising many volatiles, and when no prior information on the physiological responses of pollinators to scent compounds is available.
|Tidskrift||Journal of evolutionary biology|
|Status||Published - 2022 nov.|
Bibliografisk informationFunding Information:
ØO acknowledges support from the Carl Trygger Foundation (grant 20:323), OO from the Academy of Finland (grants 284601 and 309581), Jane and Aatos Erkko Foundation and the Research Council of Norway through its Centres of Excellence Funding Scheme (223257) via Centre for Biodiversity Dynamics and MF from the Swedish Research Council and the Crafoord Foundation. AP was supported by an NSERC Discovery Grant.
© 2022 The Authors. Journal of Evolutionary Biology published by John Wiley & Sons Ltd on behalf of European Society for Evolutionary Biology.