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Pollination biology of Luisia curtisii (Orchidaceae) indications of a deceptive system operated by beetles

  • A population of Luisia curtisii (Orchidaceae: Aeridinae) in northern Thailand was studied with regard to pollination biology. Although a high level of self-compatibility was demonstrated experimentally, the very low natural fruit set (1.4-1.9 %) clearly indicated that the species depends on external agents for pollination. Our observations suggest that L. curtisii is pollinated by beetles, as Lema unicolor (Chrysomelidae) and Clinteria ducalis (Scarabaeidae) were the only flower visitors observed to carry pollinaria of this species. The hypothesis of specialised cantharophily is further supported by 2-methylbutyric acid and caproic acid being striking components of the floral scent. Judging from the lack of nectar and the behaviour of visiting beetles, the pollination system seems to rely on food or brood site deception. Retention of the anther on the pollinarium for some time after pollinarium removal probably reduces the frequency of insect-mediated autogamy and geitonogamy in Luisia curtisii-a possibility that was supported byA population of Luisia curtisii (Orchidaceae: Aeridinae) in northern Thailand was studied with regard to pollination biology. Although a high level of self-compatibility was demonstrated experimentally, the very low natural fruit set (1.4-1.9 %) clearly indicated that the species depends on external agents for pollination. Our observations suggest that L. curtisii is pollinated by beetles, as Lema unicolor (Chrysomelidae) and Clinteria ducalis (Scarabaeidae) were the only flower visitors observed to carry pollinaria of this species. The hypothesis of specialised cantharophily is further supported by 2-methylbutyric acid and caproic acid being striking components of the floral scent. Judging from the lack of nectar and the behaviour of visiting beetles, the pollination system seems to rely on food or brood site deception. Retention of the anther on the pollinarium for some time after pollinarium removal probably reduces the frequency of insect-mediated autogamy and geitonogamy in Luisia curtisii-a possibility that was supported by comparative data on (1) the anther retention time and inflorescence visitation time of Lema unicolor and (2) stigma and anther length in the orchid. Existing reports of specialised beetle pollination in orchids are reviewed, and we conclude that there is accumulating evidence that specialised cantharophily is more common in the Orchidaceae than previously assumed.show moreshow less

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Metadaten
Author:Henrik AE. Pedersen, Santi Watthana, Alexander Kocyan, Kanok-orn Srimuang
DOI:https://doi.org/10.1007/s00606-012-0713-6
ISSN:0378-2697 (print)
Parent Title (English):Plant systematics and evolution
Publisher:Springer
Place of publication:Wien
Document Type:Article
Language:English
Year of first Publication:2013
Year of Completion:2013
Release Date:2017/03/26
Tag:Allogamy; Anther retention; Cantharophily; Floral scent; Fruit set; Outcrossing
Volume:299
Issue:1
Pagenumber:9
First Page:177
Last Page:185
Funder:Carlsberg Foundation; Queen Sirikit Botanic Garden; Augustinus Foundation
Organizational units:Mathematisch-Naturwissenschaftliche Fakultät / Institut für Biochemie und Biologie
Peer Review:Referiert