Flowering phenology of Catopsis compacta (Bromeliaceae), a dioecious epiphyte in an oak forest
Background: Knowledge of the flowering phenology of species with an epiphytic habit and a dioecious sexual system is scarce.
Questions: We studied the flowering phenology of a population of the dioecious epiphytic bromeliad, Catopsis compacta, in an oak forest in Oaxaca, Mexico, to answer the following questions: 1) what type of flowering period is exhibited by this population of C. compacta? 2) what is the degree of synchrony between the male and female flowering periods? and 3) what is the flowering synchrony index of the population?
Methods: In February 2006, in a 20 m × 20 m plot, we marked and measured 151 individuals of C. compacta ? 10 cm in height (minimum reproductive size). We recorded the number of flowers and fruits present in each individual every month for one year.
Results: Our results showed that the flowering period in both sexes lasted for three months (May–July). Only 23 marked individuals flowered (15.23 %): of these 12 (52.17 %) were female and 11 (47.83 %) were male. The index of synchrony between females and males was 0.958 ± 0.013 and the flowering synchrony index of the population was 0.833 ± 0.189.
Conclusions: The high flowering synchrony between the sexes, together with a flowering season that coincided with the period of highest rainfall when the number of arthropods (potential pollinators) is the highest, could favor breeding and, therefore, reproductive success.
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