J Integr Plant Biol. ›› 1996, Vol. 38 ›› Issue (7): -.

• Research Articles •    

Comparative Studies on Pollination Biology of Mosla hangchouensis and M.chinensis (Labiatae)

Zhou Shi-liang, Pan Kai-yu and Hong De-yuan   

Abstract: Mosla hangchouensis Matsuda and M. chinensis Maxim. are sibling species. The former is endemic to the coastal areas of Zhejiang Province, and the latter occupies southern China. Their morphological differences were associated with their different breeding systems indicated by pollen-ovule ratio (P/O). M. hangchouensis was predominantly outcrossing with P/O ranging from 756 to 6163 due to the variation among populations. Floral characters also showed that M. hangchouensis is an outcrosser: corolla tube 5~10 mm long, 3~5 mm wide, bright red: style 6~15 mm long; stigma 1.5~2.0 mm horizontally away from anthers. On the contrary, M. chinensis was predominantly a selfer with a low P/O ratio (P/O= 110). Its floral parameters contrasted sharply with M. hangchouensis: corolla tube 3.0 mm long, 1.0 ~ 1.5 mm wide, pale colored; style 2.5 mm long. stigma close to or touching anthers. The pollinators of M. hangchouensis most frequently seen are: Bombus trifascitus Smith., Scolia spp., Apis cerana Fabricius, Hylaeus sp. and Lasioglossum spp. These pollinators began to visit flowers at about 8:00 am, when flower buds were ready to open. When insects entered corolla tube for honey and (or) pollen, the stigmata touched the insects body hairs to which pollen grains adhered, and pollen grains were transferred to the stigmata. Meanwhile the hairs collected pollen from anthers under the upper lips of corolla as the insects thrusted their bodies forward. Bumble bees and honey bees were considered more efficient pollinators because they were hair-rich and their body size fitted corolla tube fairly well. Due to the'short flight distance of pollinators between two visits (average flight distances of honey bees and solitary bees were 0.52 m and 0.32 m respectively), pollen dispersal was probably restricted. Pollen vectors were important for the reproductive success of M. hangchouensis because 84.3 % of its seed-set depended on the pollinators' visitation. Although insects did pay visits to M. chinensis occasionally, such visitation was insignificant in seed-set due to cleistogamy. Discussions are made on the evolutionary significance of breeding system divergence between M. hangchouensis and M. chinensis, and the contribution of studies on pollination biology to conservation biology. Further studies are suggested for more thorough understanding of pollination biology of M. hangchouensis.

Key words: Mosla hangchouensis, Mosla chinensis, Pollination biology, Breeding system, Evolution, Conservation biology

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