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Sexual Plant Reproduction

, Volume 9, Issue 5, pp 279–285 | Cite as

Flowering seasonality and flower characteristics ofLoranthus acaciae Zucc. (Loranthaceae): Implications for advertisement and bird-pollination

  • Yiftach VakninEmail author
  • Yoram Yom Tov
  • Dan Eisikowitch
Original Paper

Abstract

The flowering biology and pollination ecology ofLoranthus acaciae was studied at Hazeva in the northern Arava Valley in Israel. Flowers at anthesis had red anthers, a red stigma and a green corolla which turned red as a postfloral phenomenon. Their flowering period was approximately 10 months long (from mid-June until mid-April) during which time two main flowering patterns were distinguished. Some plants flowered twice a year, with separate summer and winter flowering periods; other plants flowered continuously, with two peaks, one in the summer and one in the winter. Several significant differences between summer and winter flowering and fruiting were found: (1) the summer flowering period was shorter than that of winter, (2) flowering synchrony between individual plants was lower in summer than in winter, (3) in summer the plants produced a larger proportion of female flowers, whereas in winter most of the plants produced a larger proportion of hermaphrodites, (4) in summer a limited number of plants produced smaller flowers while the majority produced normal-sized flowers, whereas in winter the entire population produced only normal-sized flowers, and (5) fruit set percentage was lower in summer than in winter.L. acaciae was found to be self-compatible, but, since it was not spontaneously self-pollinated, it showed high dependence on pollinator activity. In summer the flowers were visited by a wide spectrum of pollinators, both birds and insects, while in winter flowers were visited almost exclusively by the orange-tufted sunbird (Nectarinia osea osea, Nectariniidae). These seasonal changes in flowering characteristics and pollinator activity could explain why reproductive success is higher in winter than in summer.

Key words

Loranthus acaciae Nectarinia osea osea Gynomonoecious Male sterility Self-compatible 

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Copyright information

© Springer-Verlag 1996

Authors and Affiliations

  • Yiftach Vaknin
    • 1
    • 2
    Email author
  • Yoram Yom Tov
    • 1
  • Dan Eisikowitch
    • 2
  1. 1.Department of Zoology, George S. Wise Faculty of Life SciencesTel Aviv UniversityTel AvivIsrael
  2. 2.Department of Botany, George S. Wise Faculty of Life SciencesTel Aviv UniversityTel AvivIsrael

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