The mating system of Acrotriche serrulata (Ericaceae)

  • Schneemilch M
  • Steggles E
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Abstract

Controlled pollination experiments were conducted on Acrotriche serrulata R.Br. (Ericaceae) to determine the mating system for this species. Pollen viability and stigma receptivity were investigated to ensure effective timing and sourcing of material for maximum fertilisation. Stigmas were found to be receptive in mature buds, with receptivity maintained while nectar remained within the corolla tube. Germination testing showed that pollen from within mature buds was viable. The mating system of A. serrulata was found to be predominantly outcrossing, with 49.8% of cross-pollinated flowers developing to fruit, compared with 8.7% of self-pollinated flowers. Seed viability did not differ significantly between fruits produced by cross-pollination and those produced by self-pollination, although this may be attributable to low sample sizes available for self-pollinated fruits. These results in combination with morphological features of the flower suggest that a pollinator is required for this species.

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Authors

  • Melanie Schneemilch

  • Emma Steggles

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