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Reproductive biology of woody plants in a cerrado community of Central Brazil

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Author(s)

P E Oliveira, P E Gibbs

School/Research organisations

Abstract

The flowering phenology, pollination biology and breeding systems of tree and shrub species were studied in a 40 h area of cerrado vegetation in Central Brazil. The cerrados are Neotropical savanna plant formations in Central Brazil. They represent the second most important vegetation province in Brazil and are nowadays the main agricultural frontier which has resulted in deforestation rates much higher than those occurring in lowland tropical forests. Despite the marked winter/dry - summer/wet seasonality, different species were encountered in flower throughout the year, although with a peak at the end of the dry season. Seven pollination guilds were identified, ranging from very small insects (body size less than 5 mm) to bats, but bee pollination was predominant, and overall pollination biology of the cerrado community was similar to that reported for evergreen neotropical forests. Most species were outbreeding in that self-pollinations yielded very few fruits, but heteromorphic and homomorphic self-incompatibility were rare and control of selfing was commonly exercised by ill-defined post-zygotic mechanisms. The results indicated that the reproductive biology of woody cerrado species is not markedly different from other tropical forest communities and suggested the adaptation to seasonal habitats did not always lead to simplification or changes in breeding features of the cerrado species.

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Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)311-329
Number of pages19
JournalFlora
Volume195
Publication statusPublished - Dec 2000

    Research areas

  • Savanna, cerrado, pollination, breeding system, guilds, community ecology, ACTING SELF-INCOMPATIBILITY, RAIN-FOREST TREES, BREEDING SYSTEMS, POLLINATOR INTERACTIONS, VEGETATION, PATTERNS, BOMBACACEAE, EVOLUTION, ECOLOGY, WIND

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