Revista Brasileira de Fruticultura
Print version ISSN 0100-2945
GUEDES, Rozileudo da Silva; ZANELLA, Fernando César Vieira; MARTINS, Celso Feitosa and SCHLINDWEIN, Clemens. Pollination deficit of acerola orchards during the dry season in the semiarid region of northeastern Brazil. Rev. Bras. Frutic. [online]. 2011, vol.33, n.2, pp. 465-471. Epub June 03, 2011. ISSN 0100-2945. http://dx.doi.org/10.1590/S0100-29452011005000060.
Acerola or Caribbean cherry is an important tropical fructiferous tree, which produces all over the year in the semiarid region of Northeastern Brazil if orchards are irrigated. As this culture depends on the pollination by oil-collecting bees to get a good production, the availability of pollinators, the reproductive success and the possibility of pollination deficit of Malpighia emarginata were studied during the dry season in a site of Paraiba State. Four species of native Centridini bees were observed and considered efficient pollinators due to their frequency and behavior on flowers: Centris aenea Lepeletier, C. tarsata Smith, C. fuscata Lepeletier e C. trigonoides Lepeletier (Apidae, Centridini). The frequency of visits on flowers within the dry period was lower than in the wet one. Additional experimental hand cross-pollination incremented fruit production by 61 to 74% during dry season. This shows a strong pollination deficit due to the low abundance of Centris bees in this period. This result implies on the necessity to manage the availability and abundance of pollinators to get a higher production, especially in irrigated orchards of acerola during the dry season.
Keywords : Malpighia emarginata; Brazilian semiarid region; Centridini; reproductive success; complementar hand cross-pollination.