Flowering, nectar secretion, pollen shed and insect foraging on Aquilegia vulgaris L. (Ranunculaceae)

Bożena Denisow, Sebastian Antoń

Abstract


This study on blooming biology, nectar secretion, pollen production and insect visitation of Aquilegia vulgaris L. was carried out in 2009 and 2011 in Lublin. The peak of flower opening during the day was between 5.00 and 7.00 (GMT +2). The flowers are protandrous with the female phase beginning approx. on the 3rd day of anthesis. The dynamics of nectar secretion and pollen shed from anthers (progressing from the central part of the androecium outwards) support the reproductive system. The amount of nectar accumulated in the spurs increased from the bud stage and was the highest in the phase with approx. ¾ of dehisced anthers, usually on the 3rd day of flower life. Then, towards the end of anthesis, the amount of secreted and accumulated nectar decreased. The number of anthers developed per flower varied from 41 to 61 (mean = 49.1). The mass of pollen per 100 anthers averaged 6.7 mg. Pollen production per flower (mean = 3.28 mg) slightly varied between years and was mainly correlated with the number of developed anthers. Estimated pollen yield was 1.69 g per m2 and sugar yield 1.22 g per m2. Species from the genus Bombus were the main flower visitors, with B. terrestris being the most frequent forager.

Keywords


dynamics of blooming; nectar secretion; pollen production; Aquilegia vulgaris L.

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