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Title: Reproductive biology of shrubs of the Mediterranean region
Author: Aronne, G.
Awarding Body: University of Aberdeen
Current Institution: University of Aberdeen
Date of Award: 1994
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Reproductive biology of Mediterranean shrubs was studied in the macchia vegetation on the costal region north of the bay of Naples, Southern Italy. An overall view of the reproductive characteristics of 27 shrub species present in the area showed the presence of two main groups of species, anemophilous and entomophilous. Amongst the entomophilous species are two diverging trends, towards either a group of dioecious, small-flowered, fleshy-fruited, few-to-one seeded species or to an hermaphrodite, large-flowered, dry-fruited, many seeded group. Each group of species exhibits a combination of characteristics which taken together may be viewed as adaptation to the water and nutrient limited Mediterranean shrubland ecosystem. Subsequently, a more detailed study of the reproductive cycles of a number of species of each trend has been carried out during the period 1990-1993, with both field and laboratory observations and experiments. Rhamnus alaternus L. is a dioecious species with both wind and insect pollination, and female plants showing a clear alternate-bearing phenology and summer fruiting period. The drupe has three stones and the endocarps, when air-dried, split open explosively to reveal the seed which bears an elaiosome. Ans have been shown to collect the diaspore, eat the elaiosome and discard the undamaged seed. Osyris alba L. is a dioecious, hemiparasitic shrub pollinated by small flies which are attracted to the male flowers because they provide nectar and pollen as reward and to the female flowers by mimicry of the attractive features of the males but without any reward. Field observations on Phillyrea latifolia L. showed that this species exhibit androdioecy. Male plants allocate all their reproductive resources to the male function while hermaphrodite plants share resources to both male and female functions.
Supervisor: Not available Sponsor: Not available
Qualification Name: Thesis (Ph.D.) Qualification Level: Doctoral
EThOS ID:  DOI: Not available