Original Papers


, Volume 82, Issue 4, pp 501-506

First online:

Mating systems of two Bombacaceous trees of a neotropical moist forest

  • D. A. MurawskiAffiliated withDepartment of Botany, University of GeorgiaDepartment of Genetics, University of Georgia
  • , J. L. HamrickAffiliated withDepartment of Botany, University of GeorgiaDepartment of Genetics, University of Georgia
  • , S. P. HubbellAffiliated withDepartment of Biology, Princeton UniversitySmithsonian Tropical Research Institute
  • , R. B. FosterAffiliated withSmithsonian Tropical Research Institute

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A multilocus mixed mating model was used to analyze the mating systems of two tropical canopy trees in the Bombacaceae that differ in successional status and overall abundance. One population of each species was studied on Barro Colorado Island, Republic of Panama. Population outcrossing estimates of 0.57 and 0.35 from two years indicate a mixed-mating system with intermediate outcrossing levels for the gap-specialist Cavanillesia platanifolia, a relatively rare component of the island flora. Population and individual outcrossing estimates were associated with flowering tree density or degree of spatial isolation. Trees within clusters of flowering individuals have a higher degree of outcrossing than isolated trees. Annual estimates of individual tree outcrossing rates varied greatly as a function of flowering in its nearest neighbors. In contrast to C. platanifolia, Quararibea asterolepis was completely outcrossed and may be self incompatible. Maternal trees of both species had significantly heterogeneous pollen pools indicating non-random outcrossing. Apomixis by sporophytic agamospermy was rejected in C. platanifolia as contributing to the apparent selfing rate.

Key words

Bombacaceae Mating system Panama Rain forest Tropics