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Breeding system and spatial variation in the pollination biology of the heterocarpic Thymelaea velutina (Thymelaeaceae)

AuthorsBandera, Mari Carmen de la; Traveset, Anna
KeywordsThymelaea velutina
Mediterranean vegetation
Insect and wind effectiveness
Generalized pollination
Breeding system
Balearic Islands
Issue DateFeb-2006
CitationPlant Systematics and Evolution 257(1-2): 9-23 (2006)
AbstractThymelaea velutina (Thymelaeaceae) is a unique dioecious and heterocarpic shrub, each female producing both dry and fleshy fruits. It is endemic to the Balearic Islands (western Mediterranean) and has suffered an important regression in recent decades, especially due to habitat loss. It lives in coastal areas, mainly in dunes, but a few populations occur up to 1300 m in the mountains of Mallorca. In the present study, we examined its breeding system and pollen vectors, determined whether seed production is pollen-limited, and quantified the relative importance of different insect visitors at coastal and mountain sites. Selective exclusions showed no differences between populations in the relative importance of insects and wind as pollen vectors. Pollen was limiting at both populations, though not consistently in time. Flowers of T. velutina were visited mostly by generalist insects, and species composition and abundance of flower visitors varied both in space and time. The flowering period is about a month later in the mountain than in the dune, and this results in a higher frequency of insect visits to plants in the mountain due to the higher insect abundance; insects were also more diverse in the mountain, although they visited a proportionally lower number of flowers than in the dune. Despite this spatio-temporal variation in the frequency of insect visits and in the importance of a particular insect group, the ambophilous system in this species (previously described as anemophilous) ensures a relatively high fruit set at the two different sites. © Springer-Verlag 2005.
Publisher version (URL)http://dx.doi.org/10.1007/s00606-005-0380-y
Identifiersdoi: 10.1007/s00606-005-0380-y
issn: 0378-2697
Appears in Collections:(IMEDEA) Artículos
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