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Reproductive Behaviour and Its Individual Variability in a Tropical Palm, Astrocaryum Mexicanum

D. Piñero and J. Sarukhán
Journal of Ecology
Vol. 70, No. 2 (Jul., 1982), pp. 461-472
DOI: 10.2307/2259915
Stable URL: http://www.jstor.org/stable/2259915
Page Count: 12
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Reproductive Behaviour and Its Individual Variability in a Tropical Palm, Astrocaryum Mexicanum
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Abstract

(1) The reproductive characteristics of a tropical understorey palm, Astrocaryum mexicanum, and the causes of individual variability were observed for 414 adults on six plots during 5 yr. (2) The probability of reproduction is the most plastic of the reproductive characteristics analysed, since it varied between plots, age and years. (3) Individuals appear to respond to an environment that is heterogeneous in time and space since reproductive events were not randomly distributed among them. This probably accounts for the unsynchronized supra-annual seeding behaviour. (4) The reproductive output was correlated with both the spatial location and the leaf area of individual palms which suggests that light may play an important role in controlling seed output. (5) Light gaps and seed predation appear to be the most important selective pressures acting on this species.

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