J Integr Plant Biol. ›› 1997, Vol. 39 ›› Issue (2): -.

• Research Articles •    

Pollination Biology of Cycas panzhihuaensis L. Zhou et S.Y.Yang

Wang Qian, Li Chao-luan, Yang Si-yuan, Huang Rong and Chen Fa-lin   

Abstract: The population of cone-bearing cycad, Cycas panzhihuaensis L. Zhou et S. Y. Yang, was male-biased. Although the number of male individuals was almost equal to that of female individuals, the clonal and cone production of male individuals was 1.31 and 2.21 times as much as that of female individuals respectively. The sequence of pollen shedding was from the base to the top of the cone and microsporophyll. The peak of daily pollen shedding occurred at noon and in the afternoon. The airborne pollen concentration decreased quickly within 2.55 m and finally maintained at a low level along with the distance from emitting male cone. The megastrobilus was transformed into a receptive state at the beginning of pollination due to the regular morphological changes of megasporophylls. Two kinds of ants and one kind of cockroaches were found to be active within the megas- trobili during pollination, albeit causing no tissue damage. The microstrobili gave off a strong odor of fennel that could dispel all the insects nearby. The sterile foliar structure of the megasporophyll was able to secret aqueous droplets at dawn which might function as transporting adhered pollen grains by dislodging and accumulating them on or near micropyles during the process of droplets falling. Resuits from field observation showed that pollination of C. panzhihuaensis might be accomplished by different pollinators. Pollen grains were firstly wind-transported from microstrobili to megastrobili and then insects and secreted droplets on the megasporophyll either directly or indirectly carried the pollen grains to ovules within a megastrobilus. However, insects might play as a subsidiary pollinator due to the preferential concentration of airborne pollen grains transported to the megasporophylls.

Key words: Cycas panzhihuaensis, Pollination, Insect

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