Plant Systematics and Evolution

, Volume 147, Issue 3, pp 253–266

Synchronized dichogamy and dioecy in neotropicalLauraceae

  • Klaus Kubitzki
  • Holger Kurz

DOI: 10.1007/BF00989387

Cite this article as:
Kubitzki, K. & Kurz, H. Pl Syst Evol (1984) 147: 253. doi:10.1007/BF00989387


In hermaphrodite neotropicalLauraceae a highly evolved dichogamous system is present which represents a kind of temporal dioecy. This system involves the existence of two flower morphs which are characterized by reciprocal phases of receptivity of the stigmas and pollen release. In some genera (Persea, Cinnamomum), nectar is produced as a reward for the flower visitors, while in other genera (Aniba, Clinostemon, Licaria), nectar is absent and pollen seems to be the only reward. This implies that in this case the flowers in the female stage must be deceptive flowers. In dioecious species of the generaOcotea andNectandra, both the male and female flowers attract the visitors with nectar. The pollen-ovule ratio of theLauraceae is comparatively low. — The type of reproductive system that characterizes theLauraceae, comprising functional dioecy, small, inconspicuously coloured flowers, pollination by small bees, and large, one-seeded fruits dispersed by birds, is quite prominent among trees of various families in the tropical lowland forest. The relationship between the different modes of flowering within theLauraceae and the causes for the correlation of their reproductive traits are discussed.

Key words

Angiosperms Lauraceae Meliponinae Pollination dispersal reproductive biology dichogamy dioecy Neotropics 

Copyright information

© Springer-Verlag 1984

Authors and Affiliations

  • Klaus Kubitzki
    • 1
  • Holger Kurz
    • 1
  1. 1.Institut für Allgemeine Botanik und Botanischer GartenUniversität HamburgHamburg 52Germany

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