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Title: Reproductive biology and pollinators of a steno-endemic and critically endangered tree, Monoon tirunelveliense (Annonaceae), from Kalakkad-Mundanthurai Tiger Reserve (KMTR), India
Authors: Viswanathan, MB
Rajasekar, C
Kumar, P Sathish
Keywords: Aphids;Beetles;Black ants;Conservation;Mealy bugs;Humus-free soil;Weevils
Issue Date: Jul-2019
Publisher: NISCAIR-CSIR, India
Abstract: Reproductive biological studies on the endemic and threatened plants are vital to understand pollinators and their role in seed setting and their dispersal, and thereby identify appropriate initiatives for conservation. In this study, we investigated Monoon tirunelveliense (M.B. Viswan. & Manik.) B. Xue & R.M.K. Saunders (Annonaceae), a steno-endemic and critically endangered tree species from the Kalakkad-Mundanthurai Tiger Reserve of India for its phenology, pollen morphology and viability, pollinators and conditions required to increase individuals and populations. We used Global Positioning System mapping to collect required data. Recording of mere 171 individuals in 7 populations justify its inclusion in IUCN Red List Category of critically endangered. Though flowering occurs throughout the year, it is at peak in July. Flowers are protogynous and cantharophilous and bear 215+10 anthers/flower, 750+60 pollen grains/anther, 1,65,000+100 pollen grains/flower, 25+12 ovules/flower and 6,600:1 pollen/ovule. Predominant pollinators are beetles belonging to Carpophilus plagiatipennis and Cerambycid species. Other pollinators include species of Aphis, Azteca, Endaeus, Pseudococcus and Psylla. Species of Halyzia and Scolopendra have also been noticed. Pollinators left behind black markings after feeding. Pollen germination was high (73.44% to MTT assay; 73.10% at 20% sucrose concentration). While humus-free soil significantly promotes seed germination, it requires human intervention for successful conservation.
Page(s): 516-525
ISSN: 0975-1009 (Online); 0019-5189 (Print)
Appears in Collections:IJEB Vol.57(07) [July 2019]

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