Reproductive biology of Wahlenbergia (Campanulaceae) endemic to Robinson Crusoe Island (Chile)

Anderson, Gregory J.; Bernardello, Gabriel; Lopez, Patricio; Crawford, D.J.; Stuessy, T.F.


The reproductive biology of W. berteroi, W. fernandeziana, and a putative hybrid between W. fernandeziana and W. grahamiae, endemic to Robinson Crusoe Island (Juan Fernández archipelago, Chile) was studied. Flowers are hermaphroditic, protandrous, offer nectar, and exhibit secondary pollen presentation involving pollen collecting hairs on the style. These features imply allogamy and biotic pollination. However, male and female phases overlap and no effective pollinators were observed. Experimental data indicate these taxa are self-compatible and facultatively autogamous, a conclusion also suggested by the pollen/ovule ratios. Selfing is accomplished when the stigmatic lobes reflex and touch the style, except for W. berteroi where they do not reflex completely. Autogamy is accomplished in the latter when pollen grains deposited on the inner surface of the corolla throat by the "pollen brush" are gathered by stigmatic lobes when shaken by wind. The degree of autogamy, and perhaps self-compatibility, seems to be inconstant, as implied by the variable natural seed set (overall range 21—188 seeds per fruit). A mixed mating system — primarily outcrossing/entomophilous, but also autogamous — must have been present in the continental ancestors of these taxa. Autogamy promoting self-fertilization is important now — on an island with scarce pollinators — and in the past — when the first founders arrived.

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Volumen: 223
Número: 1/2
Fecha de publicación: 2000
Página de inicio: 109
Página final: 123
Idioma: English
Notas: ISI