Chin J Plan Ecolo ›› 2003, Vol. 27 ›› Issue (1): 111-117.doi: 10.17521/cjpe.2003.0017
• Research Articles •
PENG Yan-Qiong, YANG Da-Rong, ZHOU Fang, ZHANG Guang-Ming, SONG Qi-Shi
Ficus auriculata Lour. is a widely distributed and common species in the tropical rainforests in Xishuangbanna, China. The pollination of Ficus auriculata is done by Ceratosolen emarginatus Mayr, their unique symbiotic associates. The fig-pollination wasps cannot develop anywhere except in the host syconia, and so both are highly co-evolved mutualists that depended completely on each other for propagation. The present paper reported on the growing character of syconia and flowering phenology of Ficus auriculata, as well as the pollination behavior, regularity of fig visitation and pollination efficiency of Ceratosolen emarginatus based on our observations in the rainforests of Xishuangbanna, southern Yunnan, China. Ficus auriculata is a dioecious plant that bore fruit all year round in the population, with two fruit-bearing peaks on the female trees and one fruit-bearing peak on the male trees. The male trees produced pollen and provided fig wasps with havens, while the female trees produced fig seeds after pollination by fig wasps. The reproduction of Ceratosolen emarginatus varied with foundress number of females entering into a syconium in different seasons. The fruit-bearing peaks of female trees appeared from April to June and from September to November each year, and foundress number per syconium also peaked during these periods. Male trees bore the most fruits in January, however, due to the number restriction of fig wasps, the foundress number entering into a male syconium was low; its peak was postponed between 25th of March and 10th of April, when some syconia had matured. In order to ensure reproductive success, Ficus auriculata has evolved three out-breeding mechanisms: dichogamy, gynodioecy and incompatibility of short-style female flower. Ceratosolen emarginatus visited syconia when female flowers were blossoming, and entered into the fig cavity to lay eggs or pollinate pollen. The fig wasps’ behavior of visiting syconia was controlled by temperature and humidity: the fig wasps actively visited receptive syconia when temperature and humidity varied mitigatively in the morning and afternoon; few fig wasps flew at noon. The optimum temperature was 20-24 ℃ and optimum humidity was 85%-93%. The fig wasps stopped hovering if the temperature was over 29 ℃, humidity was less than 58% or the weather was windy and rainy. The visiting peak of fig wasps appeared at different times in four seasons, it appeared at 10∶00 in spring, 7∶40 in summer, 11∶00 in autumn and 13∶00 in winter. The pollination efficiency of Ceratosolen emarginatus was examined by introducing eight, ten and fifteen fig wasps to a female syconium. The pollination ratio was the highest when mean eight fig wasps enter into a syconium. The mean percentage of seed was 50.8%. Mean seed ratio reached 37.2% if only four foundresses pollinate a syconium and 44.4% with ten foundresses. The result showed no difference with natural syconium of the same foundress number.
PENG Yan-Qiong, YANG Da-Rong, ZHOU Fang, ZHANG Guang-Ming, SONG Qi-Shi. Pollination Biology of Ficus Auriculata Lour.in Tropical Rainforest of Xishuangbanna[J].Chin J Plan Ecolo, 2003, 27(1): 111-117.
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