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Abstract Detail


Valdes, Imena [1], Nusrat, Maha [2], Villavicencio, Wendy [2], KOPTUR, SUZANNE [3].

The Effects of Pollen Source on Pollination Success in Devil's Potato, Echites umbellatus (Apocynaceae): Measuring Fruit Set, Seed Number, and Seed Quality.

Echites umbellatus is a tropical member of the Apocynaceae family. It is an evergreen vine found in the pine rocklands, hammock edges, and coastal thickets of South Florida, the West Indies, Southern Mexico, and Northern Central America. Echites flowering peak is in summer where the flowers open from mid-morning to late afternoon. Pollinators (hawkmoths) are needed for reproduction as their proboscis is long enough to reach the nectar in the long floral tube. Once pollinated, boomerang shaped fruits mature around 100 to 150 days later. When the fruits brown and dry, follicles split to release wind dispersed seeds. Study plants were grown from seeds collected at two Florida pine rockland sites and one site from the Bahamas. All plants were grown in the greenhouse at Florida International University, and took almost two years to grow to flowering size. We asked the following questions: 1) Are plants self-compatible, or do they need pollen from another individual to set fruit and seed? 2) Are cross-pollinations between unrelated individuals better than crosses with relatives? 3) How does pollination type affect fruit set, seed number, and seed quality? To pollinate the flowers, fishing line was used to simulate the proboscis. Self, sibling, and cross pollinations were conducted on the greenhouse grown plants. After a pollination treatment, flowers were marked with a hanging tag and then followed until fruit formation. If a fruit did indeed form, then it was followed until maturity. Once mature it was collected and measured, then opened it to count its seeds; noting how many were healthy and which were “duds” – which we presume to be inviable, but this has yet to be verified. We found that Echites umbellatus is somewhat self-compatible. Cross-pollinations between unrelated individuals set the most fruit with a 59% success rate, while those that were self-pollinated set the least at 9%. Cross-pollinations between related individuals was intermediate with success measuring at 32%. Self fruits have substantially more dud seeds than outcrossed fruits, with sibling crossed fruits intermediate.

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1 - Florida International University , Biological Sciences, 11200 SW 8th Street, Miami, FL, 33199, USA
2 - Florida International University , Biological Sciences, 11200 SW 8th Street, Miami, FL, 33199, United States
3 - Florida International University, Department Of Biological Sciences, 11200 SW 8th St, Miami, FL, 33199, USA

Pine Rocklands
Pollen Source.

Presentation Type: Oral Paper
Session: 15, Ecology Section - Functional Traits and Responses
Location: Sundance 5/Omni Hotel
Date: Monday, June 26th, 2017
Time: 4:00 PM
Number: 15002
Abstract ID:468
Candidate for Awards:Ecological Section Best Undergraduate Presentation Award

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