J Integr Plant Biol. ›› 1998, Vol. 40 ›› Issue (8): -.

• Research Articles •    

Pollination Biology in Cimicifuga nanchuanensis, an Endangered Species (Ranunculaceae)

QI Wen-Qing,YOU Rui-Lin and CHEN Xiao-Lin   

Abstract: The pollination biology of Cimicifuga nanchuanensis Hsiso, an endangered species and C. siraplex Wormsk, a widespread species as a control, has been studied. Protandry occurs in both species, the former goes further than the latter. The breeding system of C. nanchuanensis is dominantly xenogamous. The average visitation rate of flies as the main pollinators is 1.1 and 0.6 per flower per day at anthesis and after stamen shedding respectively. C. simplex is mainly an entomophilous plant. However, wind pollination could occur within a short distance. Moreover, a certain ratio of self pollination exists also in this species. The mean visitation rates of flies and bees, the main pollinators of C. simplex, are 1.4 and 1.2 respectively at anthesis. The pollinating insects of both plant species are attracted by their big inflorescences and the fragrant odor. Nectar, the reward for pollinators, produces in the secretory cells at the base of the spoonform staminode. In natural conditions, an average of 17 pollen grains are found on the surface of a stigma resulting in a mean seed set rate of 45.9 %. Pollination limitation (very few pollinators and their low efficiency of pollination) in C. nanchuanensis is one of the weak links in its life cycle and one of the reasons for the endangerment of this species.

Key words: Cimicifuga nanchuanensis, Pollination biology, Endangered plant

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