Anais da Academia Brasileira de Ciências
Print version ISSN 0001-3765
MACHADO, Isabel C.; LOPES, Ariadna V. and SAZIMA, Marlies. Contrasting bee pollination in two co-occurring distylic species of Cordia (Cordiaceae, Boraginales) in the Brazilian semi-arid Caatinga: generalist in C. globosa vs. specialist in C. leucocephala. An. Acad. Bras. Ciênc. [online]. 2010, vol.82, n.4, pp. 881-891. ISSN 0001-3765. http://dx.doi.org/10.1590/S0001-37652010000400010.
In this study we compare the reproductive biology of Cordia globosa and C. leucocephala (Cordiaceae, Boraginales; formerly referred to Boraginaceae) to understand the functioning of the floral morphs and the relations with their effective pollinators. The species are synchronopatric, distylic, and self-incompatible. Though they share melittophilous traits, the main visitor and pollinator of C. globosa was the generalist and exotic bee Apis mellifera, while the only one of C. leucocephala was the oligoletic bee Ceblurgus longipalpis. These two latter species are restricted to the Caatinga of NE Brazil, contrasting with the wide distribution of Cordia globosa. While the fruit-set for C. globosa was high, independently if the pollen donor/stigma receptor was a pin (long-styled) or thrum (short-styled) individual, in C. leucocephala the fruit-set was low and occurred only when a thrum individual was the pollen donor. This raises the possibility of this species moving towards dioecy. The high natural fruit-set of C. globosa confirms the generalist bee as its effective pollinator. The low fruit-set after manual crosses in C. leucocephala may be due to low pollen viability. Additionally, the low natural fruit-set (two times lower than after crosses) may be related with the foraging behavior of the specialist pollinator.
Keywords : Apis mellifera; Caatinga; Ceblurgus longipalpis; Cordia globosa; Cordia leucocephala; dry forest; heterostyly; oligolecty.