Do plant interactions with mutualists and antagonists simultaneously shape and constrain selection on nectar traits?

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Do plant interactions with mutualists and antagonists simultaneously shape and constrain selection on nectar traits?

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Determining which factors regulate and drive variation in the form and abundance of organisms in natural systems is a central goal in ecological and evolutionary research. In collaboration with Lynn Adler from UMass-Amherst, we are integrating the costs and benefits of resistance and tolerance associated with a ubiquitous but poorly understood floral trait, toxic nectar, in the context of joint forces of selection exerted by both mutualistic and antagonistic floral visitors using the perennial vine, Gelsemium simpervirens, native to the southeastern US and its native pollinators and nectar robber. We are also working in urban systems, studying the ecological and evolutionary consequences of urbanization for plant-insect interactions.

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