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Reproductive phenology of bryophytes in tropical rain forests: the sexes never sleep

Adaíses S. Maciel-Silva and Ivany Ferraz Marques Válio
The Bryologist
Vol. 114, No. 4 (Winter 2011), pp. 708-719
Stable URL: http://www.jstor.org/stable/41486719
Page Count: 12
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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.
Reproductive phenology of bryophytes in tropical rain forests: the sexes never sleep
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Abstract

Events of the sexual reproductive cycle of 11 bryophyte species (mosses and liverworts with monoicous and dioicous sexual conditions) were described for two different sites (montane and sea level) of a Brazilian tropical rain forest, during a 15 month-period. The sex expression of many species was continuous over the whole period, irrespective of the seasons and the forest sites. The specific sexual conditions of dioicous species did not change, but synoicous species had strategies to increase the chances of out-crossing, bearing unisexual branches in addition to bisexual ones. The pattern of gametangia and sporophyte development was different among the species, but the same between the sites. There was a seasonal effect on the maturation of gametangia and sporophytes. Male gametangia were mostly mature by the end of the dry season. Fertilization occurred during the wettest months and sporophytes developed during the dry season, dispersal of spores mostly towards the end of the dry season. Female gametangia were receptive over the whole period, with many mature gametangia before the start of the rainy season. Male gametangia, in contrast to female, took longer to develop and aborted in high numbers. Bryophytes in tropical rain forests are favored by wet weather and mild temperatures. Similar reproductive phenological patterns were found in different habitats with minor variations.

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