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Rev. Brasil. Biol.





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Flowering phenology, pollination and reproductive strategies were studied in seven species of Byrsonima (B. coccolobifolia, B. crassa, B. guilleminiana, B. laxiflora, B. subterranea, B. wnbellata and B. verbascifolia) which occur sympatrically in cerrado (savanna-like) vegetation of the Fazenda Agua Limpa/FAL, of the University of Brasilia. Six species flowered sequentially during the dry season (May-October) with overlapping, and one species (B. laxiflora) flowered during the wet season (November-January). All species showed the "Cornucopia" type flowering pattern, with a great number of displayed flowers during several weeks. Byrsonima guilleminiana and B. subterranea are shrubby species while the other are treelets or trees. The flowers are in terminal racemes, with oil glands at the base of the calyx, the corolla is yellow, except for B. coccolobifolia and B. umbellata (pinkish-white). Anthesis is diurnal, pollen is shed before anthesis and the stigmas are contaminated during anthesis. The main vectors of pollination were bees of medium, and large size, of the genera: Centris, Epicharis and Bombus, being also frequent small bees (Trigona, Apis, Tetragona, Augchloropsis, Paratetrapedia and others). Byrsonima laxiflora was the most visited species, including wasps. All species demonstrated some level of self-compatibility. Fruit production (from selfing) was higher in the shrubs than in the trees. However, because the strategies and rewards (pollen and oils) encountered in flowers of Byrsonima and because of the large spectrum of hymnoptera which visited the flowers, it is suggested that these species are adapted to outcrossing.

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