Floral abortion and pollination in four species of tropical mangroves from northern Australia
Coupland, G.T., Paling, E.I. and McGuinness, K.A. (2006) Floral abortion and pollination in four species of tropical mangroves from northern Australia. Aquatic Botany, 84 (2). pp. 151-157.
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We assessed natural rates of floral abortion in four common mangrove species from northern Australia and subsequently manipulated pollination experimentally. Sonneratia alba J. Smith exhibited the highest rate of fruit set of the four species (23%), indicating this mangrove was best able to utilise the natural pollination opportunities provided. Fruit set in S. alba appeared, however, to be pollinator limited, as large increases in fruit set occurred after manual cross-pollination of flowers. Avicennia marina (Forsk.) Vierh. had the highest rate of natural pollination, but fruit set was lower (15%) and appeared to be impeded by resource limitations. Although a range of insects visited Ceriops australis (C.T. White) Ballment, T.J. Sm & Stoddart, the rate of fruit set was low (3%) and the capacity for flower fertilisation limited, despite evidence of autogamy in this species. There was an indication of both resource and pollinator limitation in C. australis. Rhizophora stylosa Griff. exhibited limited fruit set (0.5%), possibly due to limiting maternal resources and the lack of adaptation of flowers to either animal or wind pollination. Large increases in fruit set were recorded after manual cross-pollination of R. stylosa flowers. R. stylosa and C. australis, characterised by resource rich propagules with long periods of development, both aborted a large proportion of propagules during the fruit maturation process.
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