Lecture: plants’ secret powers

2014-04-29 00:00

AS part of the Royal Society of South Africa’s Lecture Series 2014, Professor Lawrence D. Harder will present a lecture with the title “Machiavellian flowers: power and control in plant reproduction” tomorrow at 5.45 pm at the John Bews Lecture Theatre, Life Sciences campus, Carbis Road, Pietermaritzburg.

In general, plant reproduction involves interactions between participants with contrasting self-interests. Although such interactions are evident in sexual conflict, parent-offspring competition and sibling rivalry, they are most obvious for plants that rely on animals to disperse their pollen. Pollinators typically visit flowers to obtain food and while serving their self-interest they coincidentally disperse pollen, which serves the plant’s self-interest. Although mutual benefit can result, it need not, and various characteristics of flowers act as evolutionary adaptations to manipulate pollinators and promote pollen dispersal.

Using examples drawn from his research during the past two decades, Harder will interpret a variety of floral and inflorescence characteristics from this perspective. These examples provide explanations for: why plants are so attractive; why they restrict pollen removal by individual pollinators; the high frequency of pollination by deceit in orchids, but not other angiosperms; and the size and structure of inflorescences, including the segregation of sex roles. Harder completed his PhD in Zoology in 1983, but increasingly appreciated the greater virtues of plants, in their own right and as subjects for developing and testing concepts about ecology and evolution. Since joining the University of Calgary, Canada, in 1986, he has published over 100 research articles, primarily about plant reproduction, as well as co-editing a volume titled Ecology and Evolution of Flowers.

All are welcome. Inquiries to Professor Mike Perrin, on 033 260 5118 or 5435 or Dr Andreas Jürgens on 033 260 6492.

— Supplied.

Join the conversation!

24.com encourages commentary submitted via MyNews24. Contributions of 200 words or more will be considered for publication.

We reserve editorial discretion to decide what will be published.
Read our comments policy for guidelines on contributions.

24.com publishes all comments posted on articles provided that they adhere to our Comments Policy. Should you wish to report a comment for editorial review, please do so by clicking the 'Report Comment' button to the right of each comment.

Comment on this story
0 comments
Comments have been closed for this article.

Inside News24

 
/News

Book flights

Compare, Book, Fly

Traffic Alerts
Traffic
There are new stories on the homepage. Click here to see them.
 
English
Afrikaans
isiZulu

Hello 

Create Profile

Creating your profile will enable you to submit photos and stories to get published on News24.


Please provide a username for your profile page:

This username must be unique, cannot be edited and will be used in the URL to your profile page across the entire 24.com network.

Settings

Location Settings

News24 allows you to edit the display of certain components based on a location. If you wish to personalise the page based on your preferences, please select a location for each component and click "Submit" in order for the changes to take affect.




Facebook Sign-In

Hi News addict,

Join the News24 Community to be involved in breaking the news.

Log in with Facebook to comment and personalise news, weather and listings.