Can plant hybridization and polyploidy lead to pollinator shift?
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Events of both hybridization and polyploidy are capable of completely restructuring the genome, modifying phenotypic traits and affecting ecological interactions. For plants, these changes may affect floral traits that are important for interactions with pollinators, which could lead to shifts in pollinator behavior and taxa between hybrids/polyploids and parental/diploid species. Such pollinator shifts have great ecological and evolutionary relevance since they play a key role in the diversification of angiosperms. There is a growing number of studies that explicitly address the relationship between plant hybridization/polyploidy and pollinator shifts. However, questions remain about how often hybridization and polyploidy lead to pollinator shifts and what are the mechanisms that mediate this process. We reviewed studies that compared the reproductive biology of hybrids/polyploid with that of parental/diploid species. These studies are based on modifications of floral traits involved in attracting and rewarding pollinators. We also discussed how such changes in flower traits are widespread among plant taxa and affect pollinator visitation rates, pollinator fidelity, pollen movement, and could lead to pollinator shifts. All of these consequences are underexplored, especially from the perspective of pollinators, which foster future research that integrates genetics, ecology, and evolution of plant-pollinator interactions.