Ruben AlarconPh.D., Ecology and Evolutionary Biology
University of California, Irvine
BS Biology & BS Chemistry 1998
I am currently in the 4th year of my Ph.D. program. As part of my dissertation I am testing the predictive value of the pollination syndrome hypothesis. The hypothesis maintains that the floral traits are adaptations to specific pollinators. Biologists frequently used these traits to predict the identity of the pollinators of flowering plants. However, recent studies suggest that the relationship between floral evolution and plant-pollinator interactions may not be as straightforward as the hypothesis suggests. To test the hypothesis I am conducting a community level study of plant-pollinator interactions in the sub-alpine meadows of the San Bernardino Mountains. I have scored the plants for the floral traits used to ascribe species into the different syndromes. I plan to compare the traits to pollinator visitation data and insect pollen load data to determine how much variation is explained by the floral traits. I am also planning to compare the ability of "legitimate syndrome pollinators" and "non-legitimate pollinators" to effect seed set.
Campbell, D. R., R. Alarcon and C. Wu. 2001. Reproductive isolation and hybrid pollen disadvantage in Ipomopsis. In Preparation
Alarcon, R., and D. R. Campbell. 2000. Absence of conspecific pollen advantage in the dynamics of an Ipomopsis (Polemoniaceae) hybrid zone. American Journal of Botany 87: 819-824
Marchant, T. A., R. Alarcon, J. A. Simonsen, and H. Koopowitz. 1998. Population ecology of Dudleya multicaulis (Crassulaceae); a rare narrow endemic. Madrono 45: 215-220.