Chin J Plan Ecolo ›› 2007, Vol. 31 ›› Issue (1): 110-117.DOI: 10.17521/cjpe.2007.0014

• Research Articles • Previous Articles     Next Articles

DELAYED SELFING IN AN ALPINE SPECIES GENTIANOPSIS BARBATA

DUAN Yuan_Wen1,3; HE Ya_Ping1; ZHANG Ting_Feng1,3; LIU Jian_Quan2,1*   

  1. 1 Laboratory of the Qinghai-Tibetan Plateau Biological Evolution and Adaptation, Northwest Institute of Plateau Biology, Chinese Academy of Sciences, Xining 810001, China; 2 Key Laboratory of Arid and Grassland Ecology, Lanzhou University, Lanzhou 730000, China; 3 Graduate University of Chinese Academy of Sciences, Beijing 100049, China
  • Online:2007-01-30 Published:2007-01-30
  • Contact: LIU Jian_Quan

Abstract:

Aims Gentianopsis barbatadisplays showy flowers and conspicuous nectaries and has stigma and anthers at different positions (herkogamy) until the fifth day after flower opening. All of these floral syndromes were assumed to favor outcrossing. 
Methods We studied pollination biology of this species at Haibei Station on the Qinghai-Tibetan Plateau for three years to test this assumption. 
Important findings Contrary to expectation, reproduction in the studied population was mainly through self-pollination. Pollinator visitation was rare, and bagged flowers with anthers set abundant seeds. Both stigma receptivity and pollen viability extended beyond five days. Although stigma receptivity based on seed number decreased after the fourth flowering day, contact of anthers and stigma during floral development resulted in delayed selfing in this species. This delayed selfing retained the floral syndromes and mechanisms for outcrossing, avoided competition between selfing and outcrossing and insured reproduction of G. barbatadespite lack of pollinators in arid habitats of the Qinghai-Tibetan Plateau.