Plant Systematics and Evolution

, Volume 141, Issue 2, pp 153–168 | Cite as

A functional interpretation ofLactuceae (Compositae) pollen

  • Stephen Blackmore


Pollen morphology and ultrastructure inLactuceae pollen is considered in relation to the accomodation of volume changes, pollination biology and exine-held substances. Echinate pollen grains, such as those ofCatananche, are shown to accomodate volume changes by folding along the colpi and possibly by volume changes in the cavea. The different patterns of echinolophate pollen respond in different ways. Folding along the colpi is important inScorzonera andTragopogon and to a limited extent inCichorium andEpilasia whilst inScolymus the colpi are almost immobilized. Movements of the lacunar floors take over the harmomegathic function to compensate for lack of colpus mobility. Bulging of the intine at the apertures and changes in the size of the cavea may account for part of the volume change accomodated in any pollen type. Echinolophate pollen is interpreted as being a superior means of regulating volume changes with the most economical and mechanically efficient use of wall material which has evolved independently in several tribes ofCompositae.

Key words

Compositae Lactuceae Catananche Cichorium Epilasia Scorzonera Tragopogon Function harmomegathy palynology 


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Copyright information

© Springer-Verlag 1982

Authors and Affiliations

  • Stephen Blackmore
    • 1
  1. 1.British Museum (Natural History)London, EnglandUK

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