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Submarine Pollination in the Marine Angiosperm Zostera marina (Zosteraceae). I. The Influence of Floral Morphology on Fluid Flow
Josef Daniel Ackerman
American Journal of Botany
Vol. 84, No. 8 (Aug., 1997), pp. 1099-1109
Published by: Botanical Society of America, Inc.
Stable URL: http://www.jstor.org/stable/2446153
Page Count: 11
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An understanding of the process of submarine pollination should provide insight into the evolutionary and reproductive ecology of the marine angiosperms (seagrasses). The flow around the reproductive organs of the seagrass Zostera marina L. (Potamogetonales) was, therefore, examined in a flow chamber. The phenological emergence of flowers during (1) pollen capture and (2) pollen release, and by fruit during (3) seed release, led to a reduction in flow rate toward the inflorescence. This change in flow due to floral emergence was associated with a 50% increase in the fluid shear stress [tau = (2.2 ± 0.3) x 10-3 Pa for an immature flower vs. τ = (3.1 ± 0.5) x 10-3 Pa for a receptive flower]. The Reynolds number (Re) and fluid shear stress around inflorescences and infructescences were comparable, indicating a dynamic similarity in the processes of pollen capture and fruit dehiscence [Re = 47 ± 5, τ = (1.6 ± 0.3) x 10-3 Pa for inflorescences; Re = 38 ±0 5, τ = (1.3 ± 0.1) x 10-3 Pa for infructescences]. These results indicate that the emergence of reproductive organs leads to changes in fluid shear stress, which will affect the release, transport, and capture of particles including pollen. Theoretical considerations of these observations using aerosol-filtration theory suggest that pollen capture in Z. marina occurs through direct interception of pollen by stigmas.
American Journal of Botany © 1997 Botanical Society of America, Inc.