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Reproductive phenology and pre-dispersal fruit predation in Atriplex halimus L. ( Chenopodiaceae )

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ABSTRACT

Background: The flowering phenology pattern of Atriplex halimus was studied in a Mediterranean habitat in order to analyze protandry effectiveness. Fruit set evolution was recorded over two years and the impact of pre-dispersal predation by insects was also evaluated.

Results: The flowering phenology coincided in 2006 and 2007, starting in mid-July and reaching full flowering at the end of August in both years. Inflorescences are composed of glomerules with 8.78 ± 2.79 male flowers and 4.57 ± 2.58 female flowers, with no significant differences in position on the inflorescence. The peaks of male and female flower anthesis were reached in mid-August, but the male maximum occurred one week before the female. Plants at the start of flowering only bear male flowers, but female flowers soon appear. Fruit set starts at the end of August; all the flowers were transformed into fruit by mid-September and their development continued to the beginning of October, when fruit structures had matured and began to drop. Fruit predation started at the end of September and reached maximum intensity in mid-October.

Conclusions: At population level, male and female flowers seemed to open in the same weeks, but at plant and glomerule level male flowers opened one week before the females. Fruit predation levels were 62.42 and 43.14% in 2006 and 2007 respectively, with no significant differences between different parts of the inflorescence. And larvae of Coleophoridae were the most abundant predators.

Electronic supplementary material: The online version of this article (doi:10.1186/1999-3110-54-4) contains supplementary material, which is available to authorized users.

No MeSH data available.


Weekly mean values of flowers at anthesis per glomerule for three parts of the inflorescence observed in 2007: upper, middle and lower.
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Fig4: Weekly mean values of flowers at anthesis per glomerule for three parts of the inflorescence observed in 2007: upper, middle and lower.

Mentions: The male and female anthesis period of the flowers (stage A) separated by position on the inflorescence was also studied (FigureĀ 4). Male flowers started opening in the same week (7 August) in the three positions, and reached peak values in the same week (14 August). Most female flowers exposed their stigmas between 7 and 21 August in the three positions, but those of the upper and lower parts of the inflorescence reached the maximum on 21 August.Figure 4


Reproductive phenology and pre-dispersal fruit predation in Atriplex halimus L. ( Chenopodiaceae )
Weekly mean values of flowers at anthesis per glomerule for three parts of the inflorescence observed in 2007: upper, middle and lower.
© Copyright Policy - open-access
Related In: Results  -  Collection

License
Show All Figures
getmorefigures.php?uid=PMC5383916&req=5

Fig4: Weekly mean values of flowers at anthesis per glomerule for three parts of the inflorescence observed in 2007: upper, middle and lower.
Mentions: The male and female anthesis period of the flowers (stage A) separated by position on the inflorescence was also studied (FigureĀ 4). Male flowers started opening in the same week (7 August) in the three positions, and reached peak values in the same week (14 August). Most female flowers exposed their stigmas between 7 and 21 August in the three positions, but those of the upper and lower parts of the inflorescence reached the maximum on 21 August.Figure 4

View Article: PubMed Central

ABSTRACT

Background: The flowering phenology pattern of Atriplex halimus was studied in a Mediterranean habitat in order to analyze protandry effectiveness. Fruit set evolution was recorded over two years and the impact of pre-dispersal predation by insects was also evaluated.

Results: The flowering phenology coincided in 2006 and 2007, starting in mid-July and reaching full flowering at the end of August in both years. Inflorescences are composed of glomerules with 8.78 ± 2.79 male flowers and 4.57 ± 2.58 female flowers, with no significant differences in position on the inflorescence. The peaks of male and female flower anthesis were reached in mid-August, but the male maximum occurred one week before the female. Plants at the start of flowering only bear male flowers, but female flowers soon appear. Fruit set starts at the end of August; all the flowers were transformed into fruit by mid-September and their development continued to the beginning of October, when fruit structures had matured and began to drop. Fruit predation started at the end of September and reached maximum intensity in mid-October.

Conclusions: At population level, male and female flowers seemed to open in the same weeks, but at plant and glomerule level male flowers opened one week before the females. Fruit predation levels were 62.42 and 43.14% in 2006 and 2007 respectively, with no significant differences between different parts of the inflorescence. And larvae of Coleophoridae were the most abundant predators.

Electronic supplementary material: The online version of this article (doi:10.1186/1999-3110-54-4) contains supplementary material, which is available to authorized users.

No MeSH data available.