Advertisement

Plant Systematics and Evolution

, Volume 281, Issue 1–4, pp 247–250 | Cite as

A presumed case of functional convergence between the flowers of Schizolobium parahyba (Fabaceae) and species of Malpighiaceae

  • I. Sazima
  • Mardiore Pinheiro
  • Marlies Sazima
Short Communication

Abstract

Flowers of Malpighiaceae have a flag petal with a sturdy base that Centridini bees clasp with their mandibles to free their legs and thus be able to harvest oil. We found that the yellow, nectariferous flowers of Schizolobium parahyba (Fabaceae) have a forward-flexed upper petal with a sturdy claw and an adnate filament. Two Centris species were among the most frequent bee visitors to S. parahyba flowers. These bees clasped the adnate filament and the claw of the upper petal with their mandibles and extended their mouthparts into the corolla to take nectar. During the visit they leaned on, or loosely grabbed, the stamens. Blooming in the same area and period were two yellow-flowered Stigmaphyllon species (Malpighiaceae) whose pollen was also found on loads carried by the Centris bees. The flexion and the sturdiness of the upper petal claw of Schizolobium parahyba flowers may be viewed as a trait that suits the mandible clasp of Centris bees. Although this clasp is not needed when the bees visit S. parahyba flowers, it is vital when the bees exploit flowers of the Malpighiaceae. We suggest that the sturdy claw and the adnate filament of S. parahyba may be viewed as an instance of presumed functional convergence with the upper petal of Malpighiaceae.

Keywords

Schizolobium parahyba Floral features Centris bees Visiting behaviour Stigmaphyllon ciliatum Stigmaphyllon arenicola Functional convergence 

Notes

Acknowledgments

We thank the Instituto Florestal (Parque Estadual da Serra do Mar, Núcleo Picinguaba) for the permit to study pollination biology of Fabaceae on protected public lands, and Adriano Kid Azambuja and Rubem Samuel de Ávila Jr. for valuable help in the field. M.P. had a grant from the FAPESP, and I.S. and M.S. have research grants from the CNPq. This research was partially supported by the State of São Paulo Research Foundation (FAPESP) as part of the Thematic Project Functional Gradient (Process Number 03/12595-7), within the BIOTA/FAPESP Program—The Biodiversity Virtual Institute (http://www.biota.org.br). COTEC/IF 41.065/2005 and IBAMA/CGEN 093/2005 permits.

References

  1. Bortoluzzi RLC (2004) A subfamília Caesalpinioideae (Leguminosae) no estado de Santa Catarina, Brasil. Ph.D. Thesis, Universidade Federal do Rio Grande do Sul, BrasilGoogle Scholar
  2. Cocucci AA, Galetto L, Sérsic A (1992) El síndrome floral de Caesalpinia gilliesii (Fabaceae-Caesalpinioideae). Darwiniana 31:111–135Google Scholar
  3. Cowan RS (1981) Caesalpinioideae. In: Polhill RM, Raven PH (eds) Advances in legume systematics. Royal Botanic Gardens, Kew, pp 57–64Google Scholar
  4. Cowan RS, Polhill RM (1981) Detarieae. In: Polhill RM, Raven PH (eds) Advances in legume systematics. Royal Botanic Gardens, Kew, pp 117–134Google Scholar
  5. Eiten G (1970) A vegetação do Estado de São Paulo. Bol Inst Bot 7:1–147Google Scholar
  6. Endress PK (1994) Diversity and evolutionary biology of tropical flowers. Cambridge University Press, CambridgeGoogle Scholar
  7. Martin P, Bateson P (1986) Measuring behaviour, an introductory guide. Cambridge University Press, CambridgeGoogle Scholar
  8. Sazima M, Sazima I (1989) Oil-gathering bees visit flowers of eglandular morphs of the oil-producing Malpighiaceae. Bot Acta 102:106–111Google Scholar
  9. Sazima M, Buzato S, Sazima I (2003) Dyssochroma viridiflorum (Solanaceae): a reproductively bat-dependent epiphyte from the Atlantic Rainforest in Brazil. Ann Bot 92:725–730PubMedCrossRefGoogle Scholar
  10. Vogel S (1974) Ölblumen und ölsammelnde Bienen. Trop Subtrop Pflanzenwelt 7:283–547Google Scholar
  11. Vogel S (1990) History of the Malpighiaceae in the light of pollination ecology. Mem NY Bot Gard 55:130–142Google Scholar
  12. Vogel S (1994) Radiación adaptativa del síndrome floral en las familias neotropicales. Bol Acad Nac Cienc Córdoba 59:5–30Google Scholar

Copyright information

© Springer-Verlag 2009

Authors and Affiliations

  1. 1.Museu de Zoologia, Instituto de Biologia, CP 6109Universidade Estadual de CampinasCampinasBrazil
  2. 2.Departamento de Biologia Vegetal, Instituto de Biologia, CP 6109Universidade Estadual de CampinasCampinasBrazil

Personalised recommendations