J Syst Evol ›› 2008, Vol. 46 ›› Issue (6): 861-873.doi: 10.3724/SP.J.1002.2008.08002

• Research Articles • Previous Articles     Next Articles

Adaptive significances of sexual system in andromonoecious Capparis spinosa (Capparaceae)

Tao ZHANG; Dun-Yan TAN *   

  1. (Xinjiang Key Laboratory of Grassland Resources and Ecology, College of Grassland and Environment Sciences, Xinjiang Agricultural University, Ürümqi 830052, China)tandunyan@163.com
  • Received:2008-01-10 Online:2008-09-24 Published:2008-11-18

Abstract: The sexual system of the perennial shrub Capparis spinosa L. (Capparaceae), which is distributed in arid deserts of northern Xinjiang, was investigated. The main results can be summarized as follows. (1) The species is andromonoecious, i.e. individuals possess both male and perfect flowers. Stamens of two floral morphs are normal and can be divided into long and short ones in each flower. The perfect flowers have well developed pistils, but male flowers have aborted pistils and only function as males. (2) There were very significant differ-ences among the populations in daily ratio of the two floral morphs, number of long and short stamens of perfect flowers and length of filaments and anthers of short stamens in male flowers (P<0.01), but no significant differ-ences occurred in biomass of floral organ (P>0.05). (3) Anthesis was nocturnal and lasted 15–16 h. Both male and perfect flowers opened about 18:00 at dusk. The number of two floral morphs produced on each individual was indeterminate every day during flowering, which would make the individual temporally androdioecious. However, the total number of male flowers was more than that of perfect flowers within the population every day. (4) The P/O ratios of perfect flowers in three populations were 1.57×104, 1.65×104 and 1.71×104. There was no significant difference in pollen numbers (P>0.05) within population between male and perfect flowers or between long and short stamens, and also no significant difference among the populations in pollen numbers of male and perfect flowers, and in ovule numbers and P/O ratios of perfect flowers (P>0.05). (5) Dynamic curves of pollen viability of long and short stamens in the two floral morphs were similar in three populations. Pollen longevity of both long and short stamens was about 18–20 h, and duration of stigmatic receptivity was about 16–18 h. (6) Floral visitors were hymenopterous and lepidopterous insects. There was a total of seven species of floral visitors in the three populations. The activities of them were greatly affected by the climate of the desert environment. (7) Perfect flowers were not apomictic and could produce fruits after self-pollination (autogamy and geitonogamy) and cross-pollination; thus they had a mixed mating system. These results suggest that the sexual system of andro-monoecy may reflect an environment-heredity interaction in C. spinosa. The male flowers increase the number of pollen grains, the P/O ratio and enhance male fitness of individuals. They also increase the floral display and consequently effect cross pollination by attracting more pollinators that bring cross-pollen to the stigmas of per-fect flowers, thus increase outcrossing rate and female fitness of individuals, which insure reproductive success of C. spinosa in the extreme desert environment.

Key words: adaptation, andromonoecy, Capparis spinosa L., desert environment, mixed mating system, reproductive success

[1] Shira Penner, Barak Dror, Iris Aviezer, Yamit Bar-Lev, Ayelet Salman-Minkov, Terezie Mandakova, Petr Šmarda, Itay Mayrose, and Yuval Sapir. Phenology and polyploidy in annual Brachypodium species (Poaceae) along the aridity gradient in Israel . J Syst Evol, 2020, 58(2): 189-199.
[2] Chang-Qiu Liu, Hang Sun. Pollination in Lilium sargentiae (Liliaceae) and the first confirmation of long-tongued hawkmoths as a pollinator niche in Asia . J Syst Evol, 2019, 57(1): 81-88.
[3] Zhi-Huan Huang, Wen-Hua Luo, Shi-Xun Huang, Shuang-Quan Huang. Sunbirds serve as major pollinators for various populations of Firmiana kwangsiensis, a tree endemic to South China . J Syst Evol, 2018, 56(3): 243-249.
[4] Wen-Kui Dai, Edwin Luguba Kadiori, Qing-Feng Wang, Chun-Feng Yang. Pollen limitation, plasticity in floral traits, and mixed mating system in an alpine plant Pedicularis siphonantha (Orobanchaceae) from different altitudes . J Syst Evol, 2017, 55(3): 192-199.
[5] Michael Kessler, Dirk Nikolaus Karger, Jürgen Kluge. Elevational diversity patterns as an example for evolutionary and ecological dynamics in ferns and lycophytes . J Syst Evol, 2016, 54(6): 617-625.
[6] Xiao-Ming Zheng, Fu-Qing Wu, Xin Zhang, Qi-Bing Lin, Jie Wang, Xiu-Ping Guo, Cai-Lin Lei, Zhi-Jun Cheng, Cheng Zou, Jian-Min Wan. Evolution of the PEBP gene family and selective signature on FT-like clade . J Syst Evol, 2016, 54(5): 502-510.
[7] Weronika B. Żukowska, Witold Wachowiak. Utility of closely related taxa for genetic studies of adaptive variation and speciation: Current state and perspectives in plants with focus on forest tree species . J Syst Evol, 2016, 54(1): 17-28.
[8] Jutta C. BURGER, Norman C. ELLSTRAND. Rapid evolutionary divergence of an invasive weed from its crop ancestor and evidence for local diversification . J Syst Evol, 2014, 52(6): 750-764.
[9] Yong-Peng MA, Xiao-Ling TIAN, Jing-Li ZHANG, Zhi-Kun WU, Wei-Bang SUN. Evidence for natural hybridization between Primula beesiana and P. bulleyana, two heterostylous primroses in NW Yunnan, China . J Syst Evol, 2014, 52(4): 500-507.
[10] Hang SUN, Yang NIU, Yong-Sheng CHEN, Bo SONG, Chang-Qiu LIU, De-Li PENG, Jian-Guo CHEN, Yang YANG. Survival and reproduction of plant species in the Qinghai–Tibet Plateau . J Syst Evol, 2014, 52(3): 378-396.
[11] Aysajan ABDUSALAM, Dun-Yan TAN. Contribution of temporal floral closure to reproductive success of the spring-flowering Tulipa iliensis . J Syst Evol, 2014, 52(2): 186-194.
[12] Shi-Guo SUN, Chi-Yuan YAO. Increased seed set in down slope-facing flowers of Lilium duchartrei . J Syst Evol, 2013, 51(4): 405-412.
[13] Claire M. LORTS, Trevor BRIGGEMAN, Tao SANG. Evolution of fruit types and seed dispersal:A phylogenetic and ecological snapshot . J Syst Evol, 2008, 46(3): 396-404.
[14] Zhang Ming-li. The Geographic Distribution of the Genus Caragana in Qinghai-Xizang Plateau and Himalayas . J Syst Evol, 1997, 35(2): 136-147.
Full text



[1] Lu Zhong-shu. Plant Growth Regutators in Relation to Plant Water Status[J]. Chin Bull Bot, 1985, 3(04): 1 -6 .
[2] Yan Chang-rong Qin Zhang-liang Shen Zuo-kui. The Ecological and Economic Analysis of Farmer Househeld System in Mountain Area of Hubei[J]. Chin Bull Bot, 1995, 12(专辑2): 163 -167 .
[3] Zehai Zhao;Jianguo Cao;Yujie Fu;Zhonghua Tang;Yuangang Zu. Distribution Characteristics of Glycyrrhizic Acid in Wild and Cultivated Liquorices and Their Applications[J]. Chin Bull Bot, 2006, 23(2): 164 -168 .
[4] Li Da Jue;Han Yun-zhou and Wan Li-ping. Studies on Germplasm Collections of Carthamus tinctorius IV Screening of the characterization of Seed Domancy[J]. Chin Bull Bot, 1990, 7(02): 50 -52 .
[5] . [J]. Chin Bull Bot, 1999, 16(增刊): 45 -46 .
[6] Yang Hong-yuan. Basic Principle and Method of Fluorescence Microscopy[J]. Chin Bull Bot, 1984, 2(06): 45 -48 .
[7] LU Jin-Yao;LUO Ai-Ling and LIANG Zheng. Some Improvement of TD-PAGE Technology[J]. Chin Bull Bot, 1998, 15(03): 69 -72 .
[8] LI Ling-Hao and CHEN Zuo-Zhong. The Global Carbon Cycle in Grassland Ecosystems and Its Responses to Global Change I . Carbon Flow Compartment Model, Inputs and Storage[J]. Chin Bull Bot, 1998, 15(02): 14 -22 .
[9] Huanhuan Xu, Jian Kang, Mingxiang Liang. Research Advances in the Metabolism of Fructan in Plant Stress Resistance[J]. Chin Bull Bot, 2014, 49(2): 209 -220 .
[10] Xianzhao Liu, Chaokui Li, Shujian Xu, Wenwen Wang, Guoan Wang, Lili Zhao. Carbon Isotope Composition of C3 Herbaceous Plants and Its Relation to Humidity Index in Arid and Humid Climate Zones in Northern China[J]. Chin Bull Bot, 2011, 46(6): 675 -687 .