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Preliminary Observations on Floral Biology in Mangrove Rhizophoraceae

P. B. Tomlinson, R. B. Primack and J. S. Bunt
Biotropica
Vol. 11, No. 4 (Dec., 1979), pp. 256-277
DOI: 10.2307/2387918
Stable URL: http://www.jstor.org/stable/2387918
Page Count: 22
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Preliminary Observations on Floral Biology in Mangrove Rhizophoraceae
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Abstract

The tribe Rhizophoreae (Rhizophoraceae) includes the largest taxonomic assemblage exclusively of mangroves, with 4 genera and about 18 species. Rhizophora is pan-tropical; Bruguiera, Ceriops, and Kandelia have an Indo-Malayan distribution. All species have the same basic floral structure, but field observations demonstrate a wide variety of pollination mechanisms. Variation in such features as size and orientation of flowers, number of flowers per inflorescence, number of stamens, time of stamen dehiscence, and method of pollen discharge can be shown to have direct relevance to pollination biology. Pollen vectors may be predominantly wind (Rhizophora, as deduced from circumstantial evidence) or animals (remaining genera, as observed directly). An explosive method of pollen release occurs in Bruguiera and Ceriops tagal, but is modified to suit a range of flower visitors such as birds in the large-flowered Bruguiera species (e.g., B. gymnorrhiza) or butterflies and other insects in the small-flowered Bruguiera species (e.g., B. parviflora) and moths in Ceriops tagal. Ceriops decandra lacks the explosive mechanism of pollen release, as does Kandelia. Since these taxa often form mixed communities a high degree of partitioning of pollinator resource is achieved.

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