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Ecological Section

Bolin, Jay F. [1], Maass, Erika [2], Musselman, Lytton John [1], Tennakoon, Kushan U. [3].

Floral biology of three Namibian Hydnora (Hydnoraceae).

Hydnora is an understudied genus of root holoparasites with a primarily African distribution. The center of diversity is the Karoo-Namib region of Namibia and South Africa (H. abyssinica, H. africana, and H. triceps). Hydnora triceps is the only eudicot with hypogeous flowers and fruit, other Hydnora spp. flower at the soil surface. The protogynous chamber flowers bear osmophores and an actively closing antheral ring that can trap insects in the gynoecial chamber. Antheral ring imprisonment of insects varies from complete to partial among Hydnora spp. The active trapping mechanism may be functionally redundant to protogyny. Brood site mimicry with imprisonment and thermogeny is suspected. Up to 13 insects of several orders have been observed within a single H. africana flower. Proposed field experiments on the comparative floral biology of the group, thermogeny, and insect imprisonment are discussed.

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1 - Old Dominion University, Department of Biological Sciences, Mills Godwin Building, 45th Street, Norfolk, Virginia, 23529-0266, USA
2 - University of Namibia, Department of Biology, Private Bag 13301, Windhoek, , Namibia
3 - University of Peradeniya, Department of Botany, Peradeniya, 20400, Sri Lanka

Chamber Flower
Brood Site Mimicry.

Presentation Type: Poster
Session: 33-24
Location: Salon C, D & E - Gov Ballroom/Hilton
Date: Tuesday, August 16th, 2005
Time: 12:30 PM
Abstract ID:266

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