Devall, Margaret S. , Garcia-Franco, José G. .
The reproductive biology of Piper auritum ( Piperaceae) in a Mexican cloud forest.
PIPER spp. (Piperaceae) are abundant shrubs or small trees that occur in tropical forests. The best known member of the genus is Piper nigrum (black pepper), one of the world’s oldest cultivated plants. The purpose of this study was to investigate the reproductive biology of a Piper auritum population growing near Xalapa, Veracruz, Mexico. Although P. auritumis a common gap species, very little is known about its reproduction. The plant is a clonal, neotropical shrub with inflorescences of small hermaphroditic flowers. The immature inflorescences are pendulous, but they rise above the leaves during anthesis. Most of the flowers open simultaneously, but they function first as pollen donors, then as pollen receptors. Bees, wasps, flies and mirids visit the flowers. The mirids remain on the flowers for long periods, but only bees have large quantities of pollen on their bodies after the visits. The inflorescences remain alive for the days, and the fruits mature approximately a month later. The infructescences hang below the leaves. When an infructescence is nearly mature, the leaf opposite it dies and falls off, and the mature fruit can be easily reached by the dispersers.
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1 - U.S. Forest Service, Center for Bottomland Hardwoods Research, P.O. Box 227, Stoneville, Mississippi, 38776, US
2 - Instituto de Ecología, A.C., Apdo. Post. 63, Xalapa, Veracruz, 91000, México
Presentation Type: Oral Paper:Papers for Sections
Date: Wednesday, August 2nd, 2006
Time: 9:00 AM