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|Type:||Artigo de periódico|
|Title:||Pollination and breeding system of Melochia tomentosa L. (Malvaceae), a keystone floral resource in the Brazilian Caatinga|
|Abstract:||The main goals of the present paper were to investigate the floral biology and the breeding system of Melochia tomentosa in a semi-arid region in Brazil., comparing the role of Apis mellifera with other native pollinators, and to discuss the importance of this plant species as a floral resource for the local fauna in maintaining different guilds of specialized pollinators in the Caatinga. M. tomentosa is very common in Caatinga areas and blooms year-round with two flowering peaks, one in the wet and another in the dry period. The pink, bright-colored flowers are distylous and both morphs are homogamous. The trichomatic nectary is located on the inner surface of the connate sepals, and the nectar (ca. 7 mu l) is accumulated in the space between the corolla and the calyx. Nectar sugar concentration reaches all average of 28%. The results of controlled pollination experiments show that M. tomentosa is self-incompatible. Pollen viability varies from 94% to 98%. spite of being visited by several pollen vectors, flower attributes of M. tomentosa point to melittophily, and A. mellifera was the most frequent visitor and the principal pollinator. Although honeybees are exotic, severely competing with native pollinators, they are important together with other native bees, like Centris and Xylocopa species, for the fruit set of M. tomentosa. This species represents a keystone floral resource favoring the maintenance of many species of bees, butterflies and hummingbirds through the year in this deciduous tropical dry forest. (c) 2008 Elsevier GmbH. All rights reserved.|
|Editor:||Elsevier Gmbh, Urban & Fischer Verlag|
|Appears in Collections:||Artigos e Materiais de Revistas Científicas - Unicamp|
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