Sawyer, Neil W. , Mertins, Daniel S. , Schuster, Lela A. .
Pollination Biology of Eriocaulon parkeri in Connecticut.
Eriocaulon parieri B. L. Robinson, a monoecious, pioneer species of tidal mudflats, is listed as threatened by the Connecticut Department of Environmental Protection. Vital to its preservation is an understanding of its breeding system and the limitations placed on this system by its estuarine habitat. Although apparently adapted for outcrossing, indications that this annual produces seeds asexually led to field and greenhouse studies to determine the reproductive strategy of the species. Analyses of breeding system dynamics, fruit set, and pollen and seed viabilities were undertaken in Connecticut and Wisconsin. Potential pollinators included syrphid and long-legged flies, but visistation rates were low. Seed viability was estimated at 94%; pollen viability at 88%. Pollen prodcution averaged about 500 grains per flower. Pollen:ovule ratios within inflorescences avereages 196:1, suggesting facultative autogamy. Fruit set averaged 72%, not significantly different between early and late season plants or between greenhouse controls and hand pollinations. Emasculated plants produced small amounts of seed under controlled conditions. Pollen tube growth in E. aquaticum, a related species, was much more prevalent when compared to that in E. parkeri. Results suggest, that, although adapted for outcrossing, E. parkeri relies heavily on autogamy for seed production. Some seed may be produced by agamospermy. Lack of outcrossing in E. parkeri may serverly impact its ability to establish outside its limited range in Connecticut, thus contributing to the species decline.
1 - University of Connecticut, Ecology and Evolutoinary Biology, 75 North Eagleville Road, Storrs, Connecticut, 06269-3042, USA
2 - University of WisconsinWhitewater, Biological Sciences, 800 West Main Street, Whitewater, Wisconsin, 53190-1790, USA
Presentation Type: Paper
Location: Wasatch (Cliff Lodge)
Date: Monday, August 2nd, 2004
Time: 2:00 PM