Data from: Dispensing pollen via catapult: explosive pollen release in mountain laurel (Kalmia latifolia)
Cite this dataset
Switzer, Callin M.; Combes, Stacey A.; Hopkins, Robin (2017). Data from: Dispensing pollen via catapult: explosive pollen release in mountain laurel (Kalmia latifolia) [Dataset]. Dryad. https://doi.org/10.5061/dryad.65sd4
The astonishing amount of floral diversity has inspired countless assumptions about the function of diverse forms and their adaptive significance; yet many of these hypothesized functions are untested. We investigated an often-repeated adaptive hypothesis about how an extreme floral form functions. In this study, we conducted four investigations to understand the adaptive function of explosive pollination in Kalmia latifolia, the mountain laurel. We first performed a kinematic analysis of anther movement. Second, we constructed a heat map of pollen trajectories in three-dimensional space. Third, we conducted field observations of pollinators and their behaviors while visiting K. latifolia. Finally, we conducted a pollination experiment to investigate the importance of pollinators for fertilization success. Our results suggest that insect visitation dramatically improves fertilization success and that bees are the primary pollinators that trigger explosive pollen release.