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[aroid-l] aroid pollination experiments

  • Subject: [aroid-l] aroid pollination experiments
  • From: Marc Gibernau gibernau@aurore.cict.fr
  • Date: Fri, 23 Aug 2002 14:42:02 +0200

Dear all,

During ourt discussion with Jorge, I have proposed different pollination
experiments. It's not an exhaustive list but a good "beginners guide".
And it appears to me that many people in the list may be interested, 
so if it's the case, have a look...

You can do three levels of experiments about pollination more or less time

1. Opportunist collections

- Just bag some young (non open) inflorescences and see later if
inflorescences abort or mature (count seed production if possible).
- In complement, you look all open inflorescences and collect the insects
that are inside them for identification (Best collection time for 24h
flowering species such as Philodendron is the 2day, before pollen release).
- Collect inflorescences in order to mesure the size and the zone lenghts
and count the number of flowers to look at resource allocation according to
the vigour of the plant.

2. Your stay for a longer time in the field (Natural History).

- You can mark inflorescences and follow their flowering phenology each day
(or two days) in order to establish how long anthesis, male and female
phases last, when pollinator are present (you can estimate or observe
arrival and departure time), stigma receptivity (stigma drop, stigma colour
change), pollen release with or without resin production. In this case you
can distinguish between simple visitors (as trigone bees in Philodendron)
and real pollinators (Cyclocephala beetles). Because you'll know which
insects just come to inflorescence at one stage (pollen collectors) and
which one go from male to female phase inflorescences and achieve pollination.
- collect (for identification) and/or count the pollinators, relationship
between size/number of the inflorescence and number of captured pollinators
or number of visits.
- Count pollen loads on the different visiting/pollinating insects

3. Floral biology and pollination experiments (You need to mark and follow
the phenology of the inflorescences in order to konw their exact stage -
You also need "correct" sample sizes).

- Bag inflorescences to manipulate pollination: emasculate and bag again
the inflorescence to assess if apomixis is possible.
- Hand pollinate bag inflorescences with the pollen of another
inflorescence of the same individual to test for geitonogamous pollination.
- Hand pollinate bag inflorescences with the pollen of another
inflorescence of another individual (manual cross pollination) to test for
pollination limitation in comparison with open pollinated inflorescences
(natural pollination).
- You can introduce one (two, three,...) emerging pollinator(s) (from
male-phase inflorescence) into a bagged female-phase inflorescence to test
if one (two, three,...) pollinator(s) is(are) able (necessary) to pollinate
all the flowers.
- You can mark pollinator to look for the pollinator movements and thus the
pollen dispersion by recapturing the insects in inflorescences and
measuring the distances between "emitting" inflorescence and the
"receiving" inflorescences.

Sincerely yours,

Marc Gibernau

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