Floral rewards and pollination in Cytiseae (Fabaceae)

  • Galloni M
  • Cristofolini G
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Cytiseae have been reported to be mostly nectar-lacking, yet some
taxa secrete nectar from extrastaminal nectaries. We studied the
pollination biology of four shrubby species of Cytiseae (Cytisophyllum
sessilifolium (L.) Lang, Spartium junceum L., Genista radiata (L.)
Scop., Genista cilentina Valsecchi) which differ for ecology, distribution
and population size. All species resulted obliged xenogamous, insect
visits being necessary for successful pollination. Bumblebees and
solitary bees are the principal pollinators, but also many beetles,
some hover-flies, and few bugs visit flowers. Pollinator specificity
is low, and this may be the reason of the scarce seed set compared
to the number of ovules. Pollen is the main reward, but traces of
glucose were detected in all species, at the base of vexillum or
on the reproductive column. Nectar production is irregular in time,
and apparently unpredictable. We suppose that nectar may play a role
in attracting pollinators determining their right position for a
successful pollination.

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  • M. Galloni

  • G. Cristofolini

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