Plastic potential of Cabralea canjerana subsp. polytricha (Adr. Juss.) Penn. (Meliaceae) and its role on the ecotype formation in savanna and palm swamp areas, Uberlândia, MG

The ecotype formation of Cabralea canjerana subsp. polytricha in areas of savanna and palm swamp in an ecological reserve in Uberlândia, MG, was studied, using a quantitative genetic model to measure phenotypic plasticity. Ecotypes were characterised by the height of the individuals, weight of fruits and seeds, number of viable seeds per fruit and synchronization of the flowering period. There is great genetic variability in important fitness characters of the subspecies. The genotypes respond phenotypically to the environmental heterogeneity produced by the savanna/palm swamp gradient in two of the three measured characters. The plastic responses were distinct among genotypes in both direction and intensity. Asynchrony of the flowering period and the action of seed dispersers may contribute to increase the divergences of the ecotypes in the study area.

Cabralea canjerana; ecotypes; phenotypic plasticity; quantitative genetics

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