Pollination and seedling ecology of Decalepis hamiltonii Wight & Arn. (Periplocaceae), a commercially important, endemic and endangered species

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A.J.S. Raju
K.V. Ramana


Decalepis hamiltonii is a woody climber and annual bloomer. The flowers are characterized by nectariferous coralline corona, gynostegium and pollinia containing tetrads. The floral features such as greenish white corolla, mild fragrance, flat-shape for easy access to floral rewards, and ovary protection from the biting mouthparts of the pollinator make up cantharophilous pollination syndrome. Brachinus beetle is the principal pollinator. Thrips use floral buds to raise their offspring; they also effect pollination while collecting nectar; but they are important largely for self-pollination due to their short distance flying ability. The plant is a self-incompatible, obligate outcrosser and is substantiated by 2% natural fruit set, but each fruit produces numerous seeds. Fruits dehisce during the dry season and seed dispersal is by wind. Seeds germinate as soon as they fall in a favourable place, but only a small percentage establish seedlings. Over-exploitation, bottlenecks in sexual reproduction and seedling establishment may contribute to the endangered status of D. hamiltonii.

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A.J.S. Raju

A.J. Solomon Raju & K. Venkata Ramana 2009. Creative Commons Attribution 3.0 Unported License. JoTT allows unrestricted use of this article in any medium for non-profit purposes, reproduction and distribution by providing adequate credit to the authors and the source of publication.

K.V. Ramana

K. Venkata Ramana is working as Junior Research Fellow from 2007 in a DST Research Project on endemic and endangered plant species. He has registered for PhD under Dr. Raju. He has published two research papers.

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