We have tested whether floral characters of Erysimum have evolved as a consequence of shifts among pollination niches.
Pollinator-mediated evolutionary divergence has seldom been explored in generalist clades because it is assumed that pollinators in those clades exert weak and conflicting selection. We investigate
whether pollinators shape floral diversification in a pollination generalist plant genus, Erysimum. Species from this genus have flowers that appeal to broad assemblages of pollinators. Nevertheless, we recently reported that it is possible to sort plant species into pollination niches varying in the quantitative composition of pollinators. We test here whether floral characters of Erysimum have evolved as a consequence of shifts among pollination niches. For this, we quantified the evolutionary lability of the floral traits and their phylogenetic association with pollination niches. As with pollination niches, Erysimum floral traits show weak phylogenetic signal. Moreover, floral shape and color are phylogenetically associated with pollination niche. In particular, plants belonging to a pollination niche dominated by long-tongued large bees have lilac corollas with parallel petals. Further analyses suggest, however, that changes in color preceded changes in pollination niche. Pollinators seem to have driven the evolution of corolla shape, whereas the association between pollination niche and corolla color has probably arisen by lilac-flowered Erysimum moving toward certain pollination niches for other adaptive reasons.