J Syst Evol ›› 2008, Vol. 46 ›› Issue (4): 545-553.DOI: 10.3724/SP.J.1002.2008.08009

• Research Articles • Previous Articles     Next Articles

The pollination biology of Phrynium oliganthum (Marantaceae)

1 2 You‐Ai DUAN; 1Qing‐Jun LI*   

  1. 1(Xishuangbanna Tropical Botanical Garden, Chinese Academy of Sciences, Mengla, Yunnan 666303, China)

    2(Graduate University of Chinese Academy of Sciences, Beijing 100049, China)(Xishuangbanna Tropical Botanical Garden, Chinese Academy of Sciences, Mengla, Yunnan 666303, China)qjli@xtbg.ac.cn
  • Received:2008-01-24 Published:2008-07-18

Abstract: Phrynium oliganthum (Marantaceae) is an understory perennial herb with strong clonal habit; it repre-sents an example of the sophisticated floral morphology and the unique pollination mechanism of Marantaceae. These traits involve protandry, secondary pollen presentation and explosive style movement. In the bud stage, the pollen grains have already deposited into the dorsal part of the stigma. The style is stretched under tension by the hooded staminode which has a trigger-like appendage. When the pollinator touches the trigger, the style springs forward, scrapes off the pollen from the pollinator’s body and deposits its own pollen into the same site. This explosive movement of style is suggested as a precise pollination mechanism. Meanwhile, the style movement is irreversible, so each flower has only a single chance to be pollinated. In this study, the pollination biology of P. oliganthum was investigated encompassing floral biology, pollination manipulation and flower visitor observa-tions in a tropical seasonal rain forest in Xishuangbanna, SW China. The sugar concentration in the pairwise flowers is significantly different, but which flower has higher sugar concentration is unpredictable. Pollination manipulation indicates that this species is self-compatible (SC) and pollinator dependent. Fruit sets of both hand pollination and natural pollination are low (<10%), this may be due to the resources limitation, and the serious damage of floral tissue rotting and florivorous insects parasiting. Phrynium oliganthum blooms about 11 flowers daily but opens one by one, lasting 4 h in the morning. This flowering pattern may fit for the traplining of solitary pollinators (Amegilla spp.), and promote crossing at a certain extent.

Key words: floral biology, Marantaceae, protandry, secondary pollen presentation, style movement, traplining