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Pollination in Brazilian Syngonanthus (Eriocaulaceae) Species: Evidence for Entomophily Instead of Anemophily
, Borba E.L.
, Funch L.S.
Annals of Botany
, 2005. V. 96. No. 3. P. 387–397
Журнал с антэкологическими публикациями.
Oxford University Press · email@example.com
Background and Aims The reproductive biology of Syngonanthus mucugensis and S. curralensis (Eriocaulaceae) was studied in areas of ‘campo rupestre’ vegetation in the Chapada Diamantina, north-eastern Brazil. These species are herbaceous and the individuals have a grouped distribution. Their leaves are united in a rosette, and their inflorescence is monoecious, of the capitulum type. The staminate and pistillate rings mature in a centripetal manner on the capitulum. Methods A field study was conducted, including observations concerning the morphology and biology of the flowers, fruit development, insect visits and anemophily, in both S. mucugensis and S. curralensis. Experimental pollinations were also carried out to study the mating systems of S. mucugensis. Key Results Both species flower from June to August. The staminate cycle lasts approx. 7 d, and the pistillate cycle from 3 to 4 d, with no temporal overlap between them on the same capitulum. The pollen viability of S. mucugensis was 88·6%, and 92·5% for S. curralensis. The inflorescences of both species demonstrated ultraviolet absorbance, and a sweet odour was detected during both the staminate and pistillate phases. No nectar production was ever noted, although nectaries are present. Both species were visited by numerous groups of insects, with the Diptera being the principal pollinators, especially the species of Syrphidae and Bombyliidae. There were secondary pollinators among species of Coleoptera and Hymenoptera. There was no evidence of wind pollination. Syngonanthus mucugensis is a self-compatible species, and forms fruits by agamospermy at low frequencies. Conclusions This is apparently the first report for pollination biology and mating systems of Eriocaulaceae. Conversely to that stated by some authors, entomophily, mainly effected by species of Diptera but also by species of Coleoptera and Hymenoptera, is probably the only pollination system in these species. In spite of the monoecious inflorescences without overlap of the staminate and pistillate phases, geitonogamy may occur in S. mucugensis, as the species is self-compatible and different capitula in the same plant at different phases is common.