J Integr Plant Biol. ›› 2006, Vol. 48 ›› Issue (11): 1294-1299.DOI: 10.1111/j.1744-7909.2006.00359.x

• Research Articles •     Next Articles

Reproductive Ecology of Rhynchanthus beesianus W. W. Smith (Zingiberaceae) in South Yunnan, China: A Ginger with Bird Pollination Syndrome

Jiang-Yun Gao, Zi-Hui Yang, Pan-Yu Ren and Qing-Jun Li   

Abstract: Rhynchanthus beesianus W. W. Smith (Zingiberaceae) is an epiphytic tropical ginger with a very conspicuous floral display, but almost no fruit set under field conditions. The reproductive ecology encompassing phenology, floral biology, and pollination and breeding systems was investigated in an evergreen broad-leaved forest in Yunnan Province, Southwest China. The flowers possess a typical bird pollination syndrome, but no effective pollinators were observed during 138 h of observation. Female Black-breasted Sunbird (Aethopyga saturata) and bumblebees visited R. beesianus regularly, but they all played roles as nectar robbers. No fruit was found in the bagging treatment, and fruit set following manual self-pollination ((57.55 ± 4.08)%) was comparable with cross-pollination ((64.32 ± 4.42)%), suggesting that R. beesianus is self-compatible but spontaneous self-pollination in this species does not occur. Seed set of open-pollination ((26.42 ± 3.11)%) was significantly lower than manual self-pollination ((73.41 ± 4.16)%) and cross-pollination ((75.56 ± 4.52)%), confirming that R. beesianus was dependent on animals for fertilization and suffered a serious pollinator-limitation. (Author for correspondence. Tel: +86 (0)691 871 5471; Fax: +86 (0)691 871 5070 ; E-mail: qjli@xtbg.ac.cn)

Key words: breeding system, floral biology, pollinator-limitation, Rhynchanthus beesianus, Zingiberaceae.

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