Biodiversity & Conservation

, Volume 2, Issue 1, pp 39–50

Insect-induced wind pollination of the palm Chamaedorea pinnatifrons and pollination in the related Wendlandiella sp.

  • Christian Listabarth
Papers

In Peruvian Amazonia pollination ecology of two palms, Chamaedorea pinnatifrons (Jacq.) Oerst. and Wendlandiella sp. was studied from October 1988 to January 1990. Both palms are dioecious understory species that form locally dense populations.

In C. pinnatifrons both sexes flower synchronously during the dry season. Prior to anthesis, the pendulous male inflorescence is inhabited by numerous thrips (Thysanoptera) and Ptiliidae (Coleoptera). Staminate flowers open by a small basal slit between the petals. At anthesis pollen is shed and the movements of the insects inside the flowers trigger pollen release in small clouds. Thus, the powdery pollen becomes airborne and finally air currents act as a vector, carrying pollen to the inconspicuous female plants, which usually are not visited by insects. The term ‘insect induced wind pollination’ is suggested for this pollination mode.

Wendlandiella flowers during four months in the dry season. Male and female plants were not visited by insects. The dry condition of the pollen indicates that anemophily is the pollination mode in Wendlandiella. Fructification is rare but the plants show intense vegetative propagation.

The significance of anemophily in the tropical lowland rain forest is discussed.

Keywords

Arecaceae (Palmae) Chamaedorea Wendlandiella pollination biology anemophily (wind pollination) insect-induced wind pollination 

Preview

Unable to display preview. Download preview PDF.

Unable to display preview. Download preview PDF.

References

  1. Anderson, A.B., Overal, W.L. and Henderson, A. (1988) Pollination ecology of a forest-dominant palm (Orbignya phalerata Mart.) in northern Brazil. Biotrop. 20, 192–205.Google Scholar
  2. Bawa, K.S. and Crisp, J.E. (1980) Wind pollination in the understorey of a rain forest in Costa Rica. J. Ecol. 68, 871–6.Google Scholar
  3. Bawa, K.S., Bullock, S.H., Perry, D.R., Corville, R.E. and Grayum, M.H. (1985) Reproductive biology of tropical lowland rain forest trees. II. Pollination systems. Ammer. J. Bot. 72, 346–56.Google Scholar
  4. Faegri, K. and van der, Pijl, L. (1979) The Principles of Pollination Ecology. (3rd edn). Oxford: Pergamon Press.Google Scholar
  5. Fisher, J.B. and Moore, H.E. (1977) Multiple inflorescences in palms (Arecaceae): their development and significance. Bot. Jahrb. Syst. 98, 573–611.Google Scholar
  6. Henderson, A. (1986) A review of pollination studies in the Palmae. Bot. Rev. 52, 221–59.Google Scholar
  7. Herrera, J. (1989) On the reproductive biology of the dwarf palm, Chamaerops humilis in southern Spain. Principes 33, 27–32.Google Scholar
  8. Inouye, D.W. (1980) The terminology of floral larcency. Ecol. 61, 1251–3.Google Scholar
  9. Lewis, W.H. (1986) Airborne pollen of the Neotropics. Potential roles in pollination and pollinosis. Grana 25, 75–83.Google Scholar
  10. MacBride, J.F. (1960) Flora of Peru. 16. Palmae. Field Mus. Nat. Hist., Bot. Ser. 13, 321–418.Google Scholar
  11. Read, R.W. (1975) The genus Thrinax (Palmae: Coryphoideae). Smithsonian Contr. Bot. 19, 1–98.Google Scholar
  12. Scariot, A.O., Lleras, E. and Hay, J.D. (1991) Reproductive biology of the palm Acroncomia aculeata in Central Brazil. Biotrop. 23, 12–22.Google Scholar
  13. Soderstrom, T.R. and Calderon, C.E. (1971) Insect pollination in tropical rain forest grasses. Biotrop. 3, 1–16.Google Scholar
  14. Spruce, R. (1869) Palmae Amazonicae, sive enumeratio palmarum in itinere suo per regiones Americas aequatoriales lectarum. J. Linn. Soc. Bot. 11, 65–183.Google Scholar
  15. Uhl, N.W. and Dransfield, J. (1987) Genera palmarum. Kansas: Allen Press, Lawrence.Google Scholar
  16. Whitehead, D.R. (1969) Wind pollination in the angiosperms: evolutionary and environmental considerations. Evolution 23, 28–35.Google Scholar
  17. Whitehead, D.R. (1983) Wind pollination: Some ecological and evolutionary perspectives. In: Pollination Biology (L., Real, ed.) pp. 97–108. Orlando, Florida: Academic Press.Google Scholar
  18. Whitmore, T.C. (1990) An introduction to tropical rain forests. Oxford: Clarendon Press.Google Scholar

Copyright information

© Chapman & Hall 1992

Authors and Affiliations

  • Christian Listabarth
    • 1
  1. 1.Institute of Botany and Botanical GardenUniversity of ViennaWienAustria

Personalised recommendations