Sazima, M. and Vogel, S. and do Prado, A. Lemes and de Oliveira, D. M. and Franz, Gerhard and Sazima, I. (2001) The sweet jelly of Combretum lanceolatum flowers (Combretaceae): a cornucopia resource for bird pollinators in the Pantanal, western Brazil. Plant Systematics and Evolution 227, pp. 195-208.
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The pollination biology of the neotropical scandent shrub Combretum lanceolatum was studied in the seasonally-flooded Pantanal region in western Brazil. This plant bears horizontally oriented inflorescences, whose yellowish green flowers begin to expand at dusk and are fully open at dawn. Instead of fluid nectar the flowers produce sweet gelatinous secretion in form of pellets. The glandular complex of the flower is composed of the inner wall of the receptacle and its tubular extension, being equivalent to the nectariferous disk of the nectar-producing species within the genus. The jelly is produced at night, contains mannan and is imbibed by free hexoses. It originates by swelling and disintegration of the inner wall, after contact with the nectar generated concomitantly in the mesophyll. Combretum lanceolatum is unique within the genus in its production of jelly pellets instead of liquid nectar. A new term, the jelly-flower, is proposed for flowers with this kind of reward. The pellet is not replaced once removed by a bird, and thus resembles a fruit in its availability to consumers, another unique feature that distinguishes this species within the genus. The jelly pellets offered by the many flowered branches attract a great diversity of bird visitors (28 species from eight families), which feed on this copious food resource and pollinate the flowers. The most effective pollinators probably are thrushes, tanagers, and orioles. Flocking parakeets and macaws sometimes feed on the petals, thus acting as flower plunderers. Combretum lanceolatum presents a high fruit set under natural conditions, which likely favours its spreading and becoming a weed species.
|Institutions:||Chemistry and Pharmacy > Institute of Pharmacy > Retired Professors > Prof. Franz|
|Keywords:||bird pollination; Combretum lanceolatum; floral biology; floral reward; gelatinous nectar; jelly-flower; neotropical flora; pollination ecology|
|Subjects:||500 Science > 540 Chemistry & allied sciences|
|Created at the University of Regensburg:||Unknown|
|Deposited On:||01 Dec 2011 11:41|
|Last Modified:||01 Dec 2011 11:41|