Abstract Detail



Reproductive Processes

Rosales-Ramos, Fernanda [1], Caraballo, Marcos [2], Cacho, N. Ivalu [1].

Contribution to the reproductive biology of the Mexican endemic mistletoe Cladocolea loniceroides (Loranthaceae).

Parasitism is an extremely successful life strategy that occurs in several eukaryotic lineages. Approximately 1% of all flowering plants are parasitic with over 12 independent origins. Loranthaceae in the order Santalales is one of the most diverse families of parasitic plants with around 1,000 species in 76 genera, which are hemiparasites of branches and/or roots. Hemiparasitic plants are able to photosynthesize but acquire mineral nutrients and water directly from their host plants through a specialized organ called haustorium. Despite the ecological importance and high diversity of Loranthaceae in America, we still lack studies on their phenology, pollination, and other aspects of their reproductive biology.
The goal of this work is to expand our knowledge of the reproductive biology of Loranthaceae by documenting aspects of their phenology and pollination biology, including the diversity and abundance of potential pollinators. We focused on the mistletoe Cladocolea loniceroides, a species endemic to central Mexico and locally abundant in the Ecological Reserve of the Pedregal de San Ángel (REPSA), a protected area located in the south of Mexico City and where we conducted this study.
We monitored the reproductive phenology of C. loniceroides and excluded floral visitors to evaluate the importance of pollinators in the production of fruit set in this species. We also examined whether the diversity and abundance of pollinators differs in conserved and disturbed areas of the REPSA and surrounding areas. Using GoPro cameras and field observations, we documented the floral visitors of C. loniceroides throughout the day. Approximately 140 hours of video footage were obtained in a period of 60 days, from which floral visitors were identified. Only those visitors who made direct contact with anthers or stigmas were considered potential pollinators.
Our data shows that flowers of C. loniceroides are imperfect and last around 3 days. Pollination of C. loniceroides in the REPSA is carried out mainly by the introduced honey bees Apis mellifera. Fruit set in this mistletoe is completely dependent on cross-pollination, since no fruits were produced in the inflorescences where floral visitors were excluded.
Understanding the reproductive biology of mistletoes is an important component of assessing their long term viability and ecological importance in both, natural and urban settings.


1 - Insituto de Biologia, UNAM
2 - Smithsonian Institution, Botany, NMNH-MRC 166, P.O. Box 37012, Washington, DC, 20013, United States

Keywords:
pollination biology
Tropical Biology
hemiparasitism
mistletoes.

Presentation Type: Poster This poster will be presented at 6:15 pm. The Poster Session runs from 5:30 pm to 7:00 pm. Posters with odd poster numbers are presented at 5:30 pm, and posters with even poster numbers are presented at 6:15 pm.
Number: PRP012
Abstract ID:906
Candidate for Awards:None


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