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News tips from the July issue of the American Naturalist
Date:6/20/2011

ong from the female's local population. The other songs came from other sparrow populations, one from 15 miles away and the other from 2,500 miles away. A fourth song from a completely different bird species was also played. The research found that the females were much less likely to respond to the foreign songs. In fact, females were no more likely to respond to the song from 15 miles away than they were to the song from the other species. "Our study is the first to show tropical female mate preference for male song over a very short distance," Danner said.

Julie E. Danner, Raymond M. Danner, Frances Bonier, Paul R. Martin, Thomas W. Small, and Ignacio T. Moore, "Females, But Not Males, Respond More Strongly to the Local Song Dialect in a Tropical Sparrow: Implications for Population Divergence."


A Long-Distance Prediction for Pollinators

Is it possible to predict what kind of pollinator will visit a flower based on the flower's shape and chemistry? It is, according to a new study led by Scott Armbruster (University of Portsmouth (UK) and University of Alaska, Fairbanks). The study focused on Dalechampia, a genus of flowering vines that includes over 120 different species. After studying several Dalechampia species in South America and Africa, the researchers predicted that a previously unstudied Dalechampia species native to China would be pollinated by female resin-collecting bees around 12 to 20 millimeters in length. Armbruster and his team then conducted field observations in China to see if they were right. Sure enough, the Chinese species is pollinated by a female bee that fit the prediction. The study shows that pollination ecology can be predicted "from the pollination trends derived from studies conducted on the other side of the world," the researchers write. The finding validates the somewhat controversial idea that pollination ecology is sometimes predictable from the morphology of the flowers, Armbr
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Contact: Kevin Stacey
kstacey@press.uchicago.edu
773-834-0386
University of Chicago Press Journals
Source:Eurekalert

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