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Floral Color Diversity: How Are Signals Shaped by Elevational Gradient on the Tropical–Subtropical Mountainous Island of Taiwan?

Citation

Tai, King-Chun et al. (2021), Floral Color Diversity: How Are Signals Shaped by Elevational Gradient on the Tropical–Subtropical Mountainous Island of Taiwan?, Dryad, Dataset, https://doi.org/10.5061/dryad.63xsj3v08

Abstract

Pollinators with different vision are a key driver of flower coloration. Islands provide important insights into evolutionary processes, and previous work suggests islands may have restricted flower colors. Due to both species richness with high endemism in tropical–subtropical environments, and potentially changing pollinator distributions with altitude, we evaluated flower color diversity across the mountainous island of Taiwan in a comparative framework to understand the cause of color diversity. We sampled flower color signaling on the tropical–subtropical island of Taiwan considering altitudes from sea level to 3300 m to inform how over-dispersion, random processes or clustering may influence flower signaling. We employed a model of bee color space to plot loci from 727 species to enable direct comparisons to data sets from continental studies representing Northern and Southern Hemispheres, and also a continental mountain region. We observed that flower color diversity was similar to flowers that exist in mainland continental studies, and also showed evidence that flowers predominantly had evolved color signals that closely matched bee color preferences. At high altitudes floras tend to be phylogenetically clustered rather than over-dispersed, and their floral colors exhibited weak phylogenetic signal which is consistent with character displacement that facilitated the co-existence of related species. Overall flower color signaling on a tropical–subtropical island is mainly influenced by color preferences of key bee pollinators, a pattern consistent with continental studies.

Usage Notes

Supplemental table and appendix tree file.

Funding

Ministry of Science and Technology, Taiwan, Award: MOST-106-2313-B-002-035-MY3

Ministry of Science and Technology, Taiwan, Award: MOST-109-2313-B-002-019; MOST-107-2313-B-002-038-MY3

Australian Research Council Discovery Projects, Award: DP160100161

Australian Research Council Discovery Projects, Award: DP160100161