Flower Biology and Pollination Ecology - MODULE I: Concepts and practicesprint
Date: 1-4 March 2021 (on-line)
Training School leaders: Sílvia Castro, Giovanna Aronne, Marta Galloni and Boštjan Surina
This online training school was prepared within the framework of ConservePlants COST Action (CA18201), with the support of the Italian Botanical Society – Phenology and Life Strategy working group and the Sociedade Broteriana and aims at training Early Career Researchers on concepts and field and laboratory tools to assess flower functionality for biodiversity conservation.
The course introduced fundamental concepts of flower design and function, from advertisement and reward production to pollen and stigma biology, mating strategies and pollen dispersal, as well as pollination ecology, including the concept of pollination syndromes, plant-pollinator interactions and consequences of variable pollinator behaviour and effectiveness. A particular focus was given to impacts of flower biology and pollination ecology for plant conservation.
Using a mixture of lectures, protocol discussion and case studies, participants learned to design experiments to study flower biology and reproductive systems, understand the different factors impacting plant reproduction and consequences of plant-pollinator interactions, develop a critical thinking when analysing the results of field experiments and understand the consequences of different strategies for conservation of threatened plants.
This course is the first of two modules and will focus on concepts and practices. This first module was held online and was designed for PhD students and Early Career Researchers, interested in flower biology and pollination tools, enabling them to start applying routine protocols in plant conservation and explore its usefulness to explain reproductive problems in threatened plants.