Pollination biology of cantharophilous and melittophilous Annonaceae and Cyclanthaceae in French Guiana

Source: OAI


Due to human impact tropical forests become fragmented and their preservation and sustainable management receive more attention. Functioning plant-animal interactions are crucial for long-term preservation of biodiversity in every rainforest. Therefore, understanding the plant-animal interactions is the key to sustainable management of this ecosystem. In undisturbed ecosystems, these interactions exist in their most preserved state and provide the true account on the ecology of the species concerned. The relationship between plants and their insect pollinators is one of the most important interactions in the evolutionary history of angiosperms. Most tropical plants are pollinated by insects, but only a fraction has been investigated and information is completely missing for many evolutionary important taxonomical groups. The aim of the present study was to estimate pollination mechanisms of selected species belonging to the families Annonaceae and Cyclanthaceae in their original and undisturbed habitat. Annonaceae are an evolutionary old family, and their members form an important component of tropical rainforests because of their species richness and high abundance. The Cyclanthaceae occur only in the Neotropics. Their live form include mostly terrestrial herbs or (hemi)-epiphytes.

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    • "Its floral odor is dominated by compounds indicative of fermenting sugar (2-and 4-carbon aliphatic alcohols, acetic acid and 3-hydroxy-2-butanone), and is perceived by humans as 'yeasty'. The unusual floral scent of A. triloba differs from the fruity alcohol-and ester-dominated scents of tropical Annonaceae studied by Jürgens et al. (2000) and Teichert (2008), and from the unusual floral volatiles of Unonopsis stipitata and Duguetia cadaverica, which attract male euglossine bees and mycetophagous beetles, respectively (Teichert, 2008; Teichert et al., 2008). These 'yeasty' 2-and 4-carbon aliphatic compounds may attract a broader spectrum of saprophilic insects from several orders (see Willson & Schemske, 1980) through generalized mimicry of fermented fruit or sap. "
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    ABSTRACT: Floral scent is a key component of floral display, and probably one of the first floral attractants linking insect pollinators to the radiation of Angiosperms. In this article, we investigate floral scent in two extra-tropical genera of Annonaceae. We discuss floral scent in the context of differing pollination strategies in these genera, and compare their scent to that of a close tropical relative. Floral volatiles were collected for Annona glabra, Asimina and Deeringothamnus whole flowers and dissected floral organs, using a standardized static-headspace solid phase microextraction method. Scents were analyzed using gas chromatography-mass spectrometry, and identified using known standards. The floral scents of these species are highly dynamic, varying between floral organs, sexual stages and species. Maroon-flowered species of Asimina produce 'yeasty' odors, dominated by fermentation volatiles and occasionally containing sulfurous or nitrogenous compounds. White-flowered species of Asimina and Deeringothamnus produce pleasant odors characterized by lilac compounds, benzenoids and hydrocarbons. Annona glabra produces a strong, fruity-acetonic scent dominated by 3-pentanyl acetate and 1,8-cineole. The fermented/decaying scents of maroon-flowered species of Asimina suggest mimicry-based pollination strategies similar to aroids and stapeliads, whereas the pleasant scents of white-flowered species of Asimina suggest honest, reward-based pollination strategies. The scent of Annona glabra is typical of specialized beetle pollination systems common to tropical Annonaceae.
    New Phytologist 02/2009; 183(2):457-69. DOI:10.1111/j.1469-8137.2009.02868.x · 7.67 Impact Factor
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    New Phytologist 02/2009; 183(2):240-3. DOI:10.1111/j.1469-8137.2009.02932.x · 7.67 Impact Factor
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    ABSTRACT: The pollination biology of Annonaceae has received considerable attention, with data now available for > 45% of the genera (or genus‐equivalent clades) included in recent molecular phylogenetic analyses. This provides a basis for understanding evolutionary shifts in the pollination system within the family. The present study focuses on subfamilies Anaxagoreoideae, Ambavioideae and Annonoideae, for which robust, well‐resolved phylogenetic trees are available. Information is summarized on the pollination biology of individual clades and the evolutionary adaptations favouring different pollinator guilds evaluated. Although the majority of species of Annonaceae are pollinated by small beetles, five other pollinator groups are known: large beetles, thrips, flies, bees and cockroaches. Small‐beetle pollination is inferred as the ancestral pollination system, with all other systems being derived. Evolutionary shifts to pollination by large beetles, thrips and flies are unlikely to have been significantly constrained by previous adaptations favouring pollination by small beetles, as many of the adaptations to these different pollinator guilds are similar (including protogyny, partially enclosed floral chambers and olfactory cues). In contrast, however, the evolutionary shift to bee pollination has presumably been constrained by both protogyny (as pollen‐collecting bees are unlikely to visit pistillate‐phase flowers) and the presence of floral chambers. © 2012 The Linnean Society of London, Botanical Journal of the Linnean Society, 2012, 169, 222–244.
    Botanical Journal of the Linnean Society 05/2012; 169(1):222-244. DOI:10.1111/j.1095-8339.2011.01208.x · 2.53 Impact Factor


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