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Flowering Dynamics in Arum italicum (Araceae): Relative Role of Inflorescence Traits, Flowering Synchrony, and Pollination Context on Fruit Initiation

Marcos Méndez and Anita Díaz
American Journal of Botany
Vol. 88, No. 10 (Oct., 2001), pp. 1774-1780
Stable URL: http://www.jstor.org/stable/3558352
Page Count: 7
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Since scans are not currently available to screen readers, please contact JSTOR User Support for access. We'll provide a PDF copy for your screen reader.
Flowering Dynamics in Arum italicum (Araceae): Relative Role of Inflorescence Traits, Flowering Synchrony, and Pollination Context on Fruit Initiation
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Abstract

We studied the relative role of inflorescence traits, flowering synchrony, and pollination context for infructescence and fruit initiation in two Spanish populations of Arum italicum, a species in which inflorescences are the pollination unit. In this species, a specialized inflorescence organ, the appendix, is important for pollinator attraction. However, the short floral longevity and the production of mostly one inflorescence per plant make its pollination potentially dependent on strong flowering synchrony and on external factors not controlled by the plant (the pollination context). The flowering period in both sites lasted >3 mo. Day-to-day variation in simultaneous antheses was high, and 11-50% of antheses occurred on days during which no pollen donor was present. Inflorescence traits, flowering synchrony, and between-plant distance all influenced infructescence and fruit initiation, but their relative importance differed between sites. In one large population, infructescence initiation was positively related to inflorescence traits; in a smaller population infructescence initiation increased with the number of donor inflorescences. In both sites, percentage of fruits initiated per infructescence was dependent on a combination of inflorescence traits, flowering synchrony, and between-plant distance. Plants producing 2-4 inflorescences had higher probability of infructescence initiation and overlapped their antheses with more plants than single-inflorescence ones.

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