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The phenology and potential for self-pollination of two Australian monoecious fig species

Jia, X. C., Yao, J. Y., Chen, Y. Z., Cook, J. M. and Crozier, R. H. (2008) The phenology and potential for self-pollination of two Australian monoecious fig species. Symbiosis, 45 (1-3). pp. 91-96. ISSN 0334-5114

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Abstract/Summary

In this preliminary study, the reproductive phenology of two monoecious fig species, Ficus racemosa and F. rubiginosa, was examined in tropical Australia. Syconia (inflorescences) occurred on both species all year round, but pre-floral and interfloral syconia were much commoner than the wasp-receptive and wasp-emitting phases in both species. The temporal overlap of the wasp-receptive and wasp-emitting phases on a single tree indicated that self-pollination was possible in both species and that pollinators may sometimes persist through multiple generations on one tree. This sexual phase overlap was commoner in F. rubiginosa than in F racemosa. The two species also differed in their general within-tree asynchrony, with a higher diversity of phases on F. rubiginosa than on F. racemosa. The time from syconium initiation to ripening was very similar in F. rubiginosa (mean = 48.51 days) and F. racemosa (mean = 43.53 days). However, there was much more variation within and between trees for F. rubiginosa. In addition, the wasp-receptive phase was found to last up to 5 days (rnean = 4.38) in F. rubiginosa. Such longevity should contribute substantially to local pollinator population persistence. Future work should use genetic studies to determine whether self-pollination is common in these fig species.

Item Type:Article
Refereed:Yes
Divisions:Faculty of Life Sciences > School of Biological Sciences
ID Code:9817
Uncontrolled Keywords:Ficus, Moraceae, fig wasp, phenology, pollination, mutualism, FICUS-AUREA, MUTUALISM, MORACEAE

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