Studies on the pollination biology and breeding systems of some genera with sympatric species in the Brazilian cerrados
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Flowering phenology, floral strategies pollinator activity and breeding system were investigated in 14 species of the cerrado vegetation in Braeflia (DF), from April 1985 to April 1986 in Tabebuia caraiba (Mart.) Bur., T. ochracea (Cham.) Standl.; Erythroxylum campestre St. Hil., E. suberosum St. Hil., E. tortuosum Mart.; Diplueodon crulsianue Pohl., D. oblongus Pohl., D. ramosissimus Pohl., D. roomarinifolius St. Hil., D. villosus Pohl.; Kielneyera abdita Saddi, K. coriacea Mart., K. speciosa St. Hil. and K. variabilis Mart. The species occur sympatrically, often only a few meters apart, and conspecifics frequently occur in clumps. The majority of the species flowered during the dry season (May to August) except D. oblongue, D. villosue and K. speciosa which flowered during the wet season (December to March). Most of them flowered for several months except Tabebuia (one month). The most frequent flowering pattern was the "Cornucopian"' type, except for D. crulsianue and D. Villosus which were "Steady-State" types. Most congeners flowered synchronously, except K. speciosa which showed displacement. Flowers of all species are pollen donors (Tabebuia and Erythroxylum also have nectar rewards), but each genus presents specific floral strategies; Tabebuia, Massflowering, Erythroxylum, distyly and cauliflory, Diplueodon, enantiostyly and Kielmeyera, andromonoecy. Flowers were visited by a large spectrum of bees (38spp. ) and Erythroxylum were also visited by wasps (16 app. ). However, each genus had particular pollen vectors. Tabebuia; Centris and Bombus; Erythroxylum: wasps; Diplueodon; Apia and Trigona; and Kielmeyera; Xylocopa, despite the fact that other bees occur all year round. Controlled pollination experiments (self-, intraspecific-, interspecific crosses, tests for apomixis and from untreated bagged flowers), revealed that all species have a high outcrossing level and are selfincompatible. Only E. campeatre (shrub), D. crulsianus and D. villosus (hemixyles), showed some self-compatibility. Fluorescence microscopy indicated that pollen tubes from selfing and from interspecific cross pollinations were blocked in the ovary, suggesting that the selfincompatibility barrier operates late. Only in Erythroxylum the blockage occurred in the stigma (Thrum flowers) or in the style (Pin flowers). Fruit-set number from hand-pollinations and from natural pollination were low, but the former frequently yielded a higher number of fruits than the latter. Low fruit-set was associated with lack of resources allocated by the maternal parent for fruit maturation. In addition, it seemed that, in all species, many flowers were programmed to be pollen donors only, since they dropped without any sign of ovary enlargement even if they were hand-pollinated or were frequently visited by pollinators.
Thesis, PhD Doctor of Philosophy
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