Thesis: Multiple paternity, pollen dispersal and fitness consequences of bird-pollination in Red and Green Kangaroo Paw (Anigozanthos manglesii)
This project aims to address the consequences of bird pollination on mating, spatial genetic structure, and fitness in Kangaroo Paws. A combination of pollinator observations, exclusion experiments and molecular analysis for paternity assignment will be used to track pollinator behaviour and pollen dispersal within populations of Anigozanthos manglesii. Results will address hypotheses concerning pollen carryover, pollinator mobility and increased multiple paternity in plants pollinated by nectar-feeding birds in the South West Australian Floristic Region, and their conservation and evolutionary consequences.
Why my research is important
The South West corner of Western Australia has the highest incidence of vertebrate pollinated plants in the world. Fifteen percent of its flora is pollinated by birds and/or mammals, including 40% of threatened flora. A greater understanding of the critical role vertebrates play in pollination will help us make better management, restoration and conservation decisions.