García Morales, Erick , Carrillo-Angeles, Israel , Palleiro, Nicolas , Mandujano, M. C. .
Dispersion and establishment of aborted fruits from Opuntia microdasys in three habitats of the Chihuahuan Desert.
In plants, the establishment of new individuals depends on the final destination that reaches the dispersed propagule and of the existing microenvironmental conditions. Propagule dispersion generally follows a leptokurtic distribution, where most of them fall down near the mother plant and his frequency diminishes as the distances from the mother plant increases. In Opuntia microdasys, vegetative propagation occurs frequently from aborted fruits formed by self-pollination (plantlets), that act like large and heavy seeds. This type of propagule is found under the mother plant suggesting a limited capacity of mobility. In the present work we evaluated the dispersion and establishment of aborted fruits of these clonal cactus in three different habitats (upper slope, lower slope and dune) in the Chihuahuan Desert. In every habitat three experiments were made using ten mother plants. Firstly we assessed the distance and frequency of dispersion by gravity from the mother plant into different directions. Secondly, we painted all reproductive structures in the plant and then followed their distance after dispersion. Thirdly, we determined the plantlets frequency of establishment into different directions around the mother plant. The results suggested that the major average distance reached for dispersion occurred in the dune (62 cm) where few fruits were dispersed at a distance >2 m. At the upper slope we found an influence on dispersion due to the slope orientation.
The plantlets stayed more frequently oriented where they fall and some fruits which are removed by Neotoma albigula, and stores them inside their burrows, do not establish. The best plantlets establishment was found under the east-orientated mother plants. The fruits limited dispersion ability possibly generates clonal gaps, which in short term could be an advantage to the genotype maintenance, but in a long term this could reduce sexual reproduction causing the feedback of plantlets production.
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1 - Instittuto de Ecología, UNAM, Ecología de la Biodiversidad, Circuito Exterior sin número, Ciudad Universitaria,, México, Distrito Federal, 04510, México
2 - Instittuto de Ecología, UNAM, Ecología de la Biodiversidad, Circuito Exterior sin número, Ciudad Universitaria,, México
3 - Instittuto de Ecología, UNAM, Ecología de la Biodiversidad, Circuito Exterior sin número, Ciudad Universitaria, México, Distrito Federal, 04510, México
Presentation Type: Poster:Posters for Sections
Location: Ball Room & Party Room/SUB
Date: Monday, July 28th, 2008
Time: 12:30 PM