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Title: Distribution, reproductive ecology and conservation of Rafflesia in Sabah
Author: Nais, Jamili
Awarding Body: University of Aberdeen
Current Institution: University of Aberdeen
Date of Award: 1997
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Three species of the parasitic genus Rafflesia (rafflesiaceae) occur in Sabah (R. pricei Meijer, R. keithii Meijer, and R. tengku-adlini Mat-Salleh & Latiff) and were studied for their distribution, reproductive ecology and conservation. 61 new sites have been reported since 1988, 34 being discovered during the period of this study R. tengku-adlini is the rarest species with three known sites of which only one is presently active. R. pricei occurs between 800-1,300 m, R. keithii between 260-940 m, and R. tengku-adlini between 700-800 m. There is an acute gender imbalance in flowers of all three species of Rafflesia with male flower predominating (R. keithii 73% male, R. pricei 98% male, and R. tengku-adlini 64% male. There appears to be no seasonality in bud recruitment, bud death or time of anthesis. Blooms of all three species could be found throughout the year. Bud growth is exponential and the average lengths of time from emergence to bloom are: R. keithii 13.5 months (average=12-16 months); R. pricei 11.9 months (10-15 months); R. tengku-adlinii 10.7 months (9-13 months). Rate of bud loss was very high in all species: R. pricei (93%) , R. keithii (61%) and R. tengku-adlini (65%). There are now three known causes of abortion: predation by rodents (Nivventer rapit), damaged by wasp larvae, and shrivelling and drying without apparent cause. Pollen in R. pricei remains germinable for up to 120 hours in the flower after detachment from the host plant, up to 84 hours if left to air dry but only up to 12 hours if soaked in water. Floral odour resembling decaying matter, was detected in all 3 species but varied in strength and period of intensity. In all species, the odour resembled decaying matter. It was most intense in R. keithii, faint in R. pricei and barely detectable in R. tengku-adlini, and disappear completely 7 days after anthesis.
Supervisor: Not available Sponsor: Not available
Qualification Name: Thesis (Ph.D.) Qualification Level: Doctoral
EThOS ID:  DOI: Not available