Advertisement

Biodiversity & Conservation

, Volume 15, Issue 10, pp 3207–3234 | Cite as

Reproductive Traits and Phenology of Plants in Tropical Dry Evergreen Forest on the Coromandel Coast of India

  • M. Arthur Selwyn
  • N. Parthasarathy
Article

Abstract

Qualitative reproductive traits of 84 plant species belonging to 41 families were studied in tropical dry evergreen forest on the Coromandel coast of India. Majority of species had rotate type, white-coloured, scented flowers, rewarding nectar and pollen and pollinated chiefly by bees. An association between floral traits and pollination spectrum is evident. Bee pollination was prevalent in pollination systems. Among the fruit types, drupe and berry were common in black and red colour respectively, and dispersed by zoochorous mode. Seeds of brown- and green-coloured dry fruits, without any reward were disseminated by wind and explosion. The reproductive phenophase of trees and lianas occurred mostly during the dry period from January to June, which receives rainfall of less than 50 mm a month. However, shrubs showed a peak in flowering and fruiting in wet period. Detailed phenological observations of 22 woody species revealed a seasonal and unimodal pattern in flowering. Although some species were in flower round the year, flowering activity was skewed towards the dry season. The fruiting activity showed a bimodal pattern, one peak in dry season and another in wet season. Many species displayed a temporal aggregation in flowering and fruiting. The significant relation was obtained between reproductive traits and phenology of plants in the tropical dry evergreen forest.

Keywords

Flower traits Fruit traits Life-forms Phenology Pollination systems Seed dispersal modes Tropical dry evergreen forest 

Preview

Unable to display preview. Download preview PDF.

Unable to display preview. Download preview PDF.

References

  1. Appanah S. (1985). General flowering in the climax rain forest of South-east Asia. J. Trop. Ecol. 1: 225–240Google Scholar
  2. Ashton P.S., Givnish T.J. and Appanah S. (1988). Staggered flowering in the Dipterocarpaceae: new insights into floral induction and the evolution of mast fruiting in the aseasonal tropics. Am. Nat. 132: 44–66CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  3. Augspurger C.K. (1986). Morphology and dispersal potential of wind dispersal diasporas of Neotropical trees. Am. J. Bot. 73: 38–42CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  4. Bawa K.S., Bullock S.H., Perry D.R., Coville R.E. and Crayum M.H. (1985). Reproductive biology of tropical lowland rain forest trees. II. Pollination systems. Am. J. Bot. 72: 346–356CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  5. Bhat D.M. (1992). Phenology of tree species of tropical moist forest of Uttara Kanada districtKarnatakaIndia. J. Biosci. 17: 325–352Google Scholar
  6. Boaler S.B. (1966). Ecology of Miombo site, Lupa North Forest Reserve, Tanzania. II. Plant communities and seasonal variation in the vegetation. J. Ecol. 545: 465–479Google Scholar
  7. Borchert R. (1994a). Water storage in soil or tree stems determines phenology and distribution of tropical dry forest trees. Ecology 75: 1437–1449CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  8. Borchert R. (1994b). Water status and development of tropical trees during seasonal drought. Trees 8: 115–125CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  9. Bullock S.H. (1995). Breeding systems in the flora of a tropical deciduous forest in Mexico. Biotropica 17: 287–301CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  10. Bullock S.H. and Solis-Magallanes J.A. (1990). Phenology of canopy trees of a tropical deciduous forest in Mexico. Biotropica 22: 22–35CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  11. Burger W.C. (1974). Flowering periodicity at four altitudinal levels in eastern Ethiopia. Biotropica 6: 38–42CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  12. Carpenter R.J., Read J. and Jaffré T. (2003). Reproductive traits of tropical rain-forest trees in New Caledonia. J. Trop. Ecol. 19: 351–365CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  13. Champion H.G. and Seth S.K. (1968). A Revised Survey of the Forest Types of India. Manager publications, DelhiGoogle Scholar
  14. Chazdon R.L., Careaga S., Webb C. and Vargas O. (2003). Community and phylogenetic structure of reproductive traits of woody species in wet tropical forests. Ecol. Monogr. 73: 331–348Google Scholar
  15. Chittka L. (1998). Sensiometer learning in bumble bees: long-term retention and reversal training. J. Exp. Biol. 201: 515–524Google Scholar
  16. Cohen D. and Shmida A. (1993). The evolution of flower display and reward. Evol. Biol. 27: 197–243Google Scholar
  17. Croat T.B. (1975). Phenological behaviour of habit and habitat classes on Barro Colorado Island (Panama Canal Zone). Biotropica 7: 270–277CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  18. Dafni A., Lehrer M. and Kevan P.G. (1997). Spatial flower parameters and insect spatial vision. Biol. Rev. 72: 239–282CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  19. Devy M.S. and Davidar P. (2003). Pollination systems of trees in kakachia mid- elevation wet evergreen forest in Western Ghats, India. Am. J. Bot. 90: 650–657Google Scholar
  20. Dobson A.P., Rodriguez J.P., Roberts W.M. and Wilcox D.S. (1997). Geographic distribution of endangered species in the United States. Science 275: 550–553PubMedCrossRefGoogle Scholar
  21. Endress P.K. (1994). Diversity and Evolutionary Biology of Tropical Flowers. Cambridge University Press, New York, NYGoogle Scholar
  22. Faegri K. (1979). The Principles of Pollination Ecology. Pergamon Press, OxfordGoogle Scholar
  23. Funch L.S., Funch R. and Barrosa G.M. (2002). Phenology of gallery and montane forest in the Chapada Diamantina, Bahia, Brazil. Biotopica 34: 40–50Google Scholar
  24. Frankie G.W., Baker H.G. and Opler P.A. (1974). Comparative phonological studies of trees in tropical lowland wet and dry forest sites of Costa Rica. J. Ecol. 62: 881–913CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  25. Frankie G.W., Haber W.A., Opler P.A. and Bawa K.S. (1983). Characteristics and organization of the large bee pollination system in the Costa Rican dry forest. In: Jones, C.E. and Little, R.J. (eds) Handbook of Experimental Pollination Biology, pp 441–447. Van Nostrand Reinhold, New York, New YorkGoogle Scholar
  26. Gamble J.S. and Fischer C.E.C. (1915–1935). Flora of the Presidency of Madras. Parts I to XI. Secretary of state for India, LondonGoogle Scholar
  27. Garwood N.C. (1982). Seasonal rhythm of seed germination in a semideciduous tropical forest. In: Rand, A.S. and Windsor, D.M. (eds) The Ecology of a Tropical Forest, pp 173–185. Smithsonian Institution Press, Washington, D.C.Google Scholar
  28. Gentry A.H. (1983). Dispersal ecology and diversity in Neotropical forest communities. Sonderb. Naturwiss. Ver, Hamb. 7: 303–314Google Scholar
  29. Goulsen D. and Cory J.S. (1993). Ecol. Entomol. 18: 315–320Google Scholar
  30. Griz L.M.S. and Machado I.C.S. (2001). Fruiting phenology and seed dispersal syndrome in caatingaa tropical dry forest in the north east of Brazil. J. Trop. Ecol. 17: 303–321CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  31. Gross C.L. (1992). Floral traits and pollinator constancy: foraging by native bees among three sympatric legumes. Aust. J. Ecol. 17: 67–74CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  32. Herrera J. (1986). Flower and fruiting phenology in the coastal shrublands of DonanaSouth Spain. Vegetatio 68: 91–98Google Scholar
  33. Ibarra-Manríquez G. and Oyama K. (1992). Ecological correlates of reproductive traits of Mexican rainforest trees. Am. J. Bot. 79: 383–394CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  34. Inoue T., Kato M., Kakutani T., Suka T. and Itino T. (1990). Insect-flower relationship in the temperate deciduous forest of KibuneKyoto: an overview of the flowering phenology and the seasonal pattern of insect visits. Cont. Biol. Lab. Kyoto University 20: 377–463Google Scholar
  35. Janzen D.H. (1967). Synchronization of sexual reproduction of trees within the dry season in Central America. Evolution 21: 620–637CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  36. Johnson S.D. and Steiner K.E. (2000). Generalization versus specialization in plant pollination systems. Trend. Ecol. Evol. 15: 140–143CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  37. Kato M. (1996). Plant-pollinator interactions in the understory of a lowland mixed dipterocarp forest in Sarawak. Am. J. Bot. 86: 732–743CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  38. Keaser T., Motro V., Shur Y. and Shmida A. (1996). Overnight memory retention of foraging skills by bumble bees is imperfect. Anim. Behav. 52: 95–104CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  39. Kevan P.G. and Baker H.G. (1985). Insects as flower visitors and pollinators. Ann. Rev. Entomol. 28: 407–453CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  40. Koptur S., Haber W.A., Frankie G.W. and Baker H.G. (1988). Phenological studies on shrub and treelet species in tropical cloud forests of Costa Rica. J. Trop. Ecol. 4: 323–346CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  41. Kress W.J. and Beach J.H. (1994). Flowering plant reproductive systems. In: McDade, L.A., Bawa, K.S., Hespenheide, H.A. and Hartshorn, G.S. (eds) La SelvaEcology and Natural History of a Neotropical Rain Forest, pp 161–182. University of Chicago Press, Chicago, ILGoogle Scholar
  42. Levey D.L., Moermond T.C. and Denslow J.S. (1994). Frugivory: an overview. In: McDade, L.A., Bawa, K.S., Hespenheide, H.A., and Hartshorn, G.S. (eds) La Selva, Ecology and Natural History of a Neotropical Rain Forest, pp 161–176. University of Chicago Press, Chicago, ILGoogle Scholar
  43. Lewis A.C. (1993). Learning and the evolution of resources: pollinators and flower morphology. In: Papai, D.R. and Lewis, A.C. (eds) Insect Learning: Ecology and Evolutionary Perspectives, pp 219–242. Chapman and Hall, LondonGoogle Scholar
  44. Lieberman D. (1982). Seasonality and phenology in a dry tropical forest in Ghana. J. Ecol. 70: 791–806CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  45. Machado I.C. and Lopes A.V. (2004). Floral traits and pollination systems in the Caatingaa Brazilian tropical dry forest. Ann. Bot. 94: 365–376PubMedCrossRefGoogle Scholar
  46. Marco D.E. and Páez S.A. (2002). Phenology and phylogeny of animal-dispersed plants in a dry Chaco forest (Argentina). J. Arid Environ. 52: 1–16Google Scholar
  47. Marques M.C.M., Roper J.J. and Salvalaggio A.P.B. (2004). Phenological patterns among plant lifeforms in a subtropical forest in southern Brazil. Plant Ecol. 173: 203–213Google Scholar
  48. Matthew K.M. (1991). An excursion flora of central Tamil Nadu, India. Oxford & IBH, New DelhiGoogle Scholar
  49. Momose K., Yumoto T., Nagamitsu T., Kato M., Nagamasu H., Sakai S., Harrison R.D., Itioka T., Hamid A.A. and Inoue T. (1998). Pollination biology in a lowland dipterocarp forest in Sarawak, Malaysia. I. Characteristics of the plant-pollinator community in a lowland dipterocarp forest. Am. J. Bot. 85: 1477–1501CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  50. Morellato P.C. and Leitão-Filho H.F. (1996). Reproductive phenology of climbers in a southeastern Brazilian forest. Biotropica 28: 180–191CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  51. Murali K.S. and Sukumar R. (1994). Reproductive phenology of a tropical dry forest in Mudumalaisouthern India. J. Ecol. 82: 759–767CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  52. Oliveira P.E. and Gibbs P.E. (2000). Reproductive biology of woody plants in a cerrado community of Central Brazil. Flora 195: 311–329Google Scholar
  53. Oliveira P.E. and Moreira A.G. (1992). Anemocoria em espécies de Cerrado e mata de Galeria de Brasília, DF. Revista Brasileira de Botânica 15: 163–174Google Scholar
  54. Opler P.A. (1981). Nectar production in a tropical ecosystem. In: Bentley, B.L. and Elias, T.S. (eds) Biology of Nectaries, pp 30–79. Columbia University Press, New YorkGoogle Scholar
  55. Opler P.A., Frankie G.W. and Baker H.G. (1980). Comparative phenological studies of treelet and shrub species in tropical wet and dry forest in the lowlands of Costa Rica. J. Ecol. 68: 189–209CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  56. Parthasarathy N. and Karthikeyan R. (1997). Plant biodiversity inventory and conservation of two tropical dry evergreen forests on the Coromandel coast, south India. Biodivers. Conserv. 6: 1063–1083CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  57. Parthasarathy N. and Sethi P. (1997). Trees and liana species diversity and population structure in a tropical dry evergreen forest in south India. Trop. Ecol. 38: 19–30Google Scholar
  58. Prasad S.N. and Hegde M. (1986). Phenology and seasonality in the tropical deciduous forest of Bandipur, south India. Proc. Indian Acad. Sci. (Plant Science) 96: 121–123CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  59. Putz F.E. and Windsor D.M. (1987). Liana phenology on Barro Colorado Island, Panama. Biotropica 19: 334–341CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  60. Ramírez N. (2004). Ecology of pollination in a tropical Venezuelan Savanna. Plant Ecol. 173: 171–189CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  61. Rao T.A. and Meher-Homji V.M. 1993. Dry coastal ecosystems of the Indian sub-continent and islands. In: Van der Maarel E. (ed.), Ecosystems of the World 2B. Dry Coastal Ecosystems Africa, America, Asia and Oceania. pp. 151–64Google Scholar
  62. Rathcke B. and Lacey E.P. (1985). Phenological patterns of terrestrial plants. Ann. Rev. Ecol. Syst. 16: 179–214CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  63. Reddy M.S. and Parthasarathy N. (2003). Liana diversity and distribution in four dry evergreen forests on the Coromandel coast of south India. Biodivers. Conserv. 12: 1609–1627CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  64. Sarmiento G. and Monasterio M. (1983). Life-forms and phenology. In: Bourlière, F. (eds) Ecosystems of the World. Tropical Savannas, pp 79–108. Elsevier, AmsterdamGoogle Scholar
  65. Schaik van C.P. (1986). Phenological changes in a Sumatran rain forest. J. Trop. Ecol. 2: 327–347Google Scholar
  66. Sharpe D.M. and Fields D.E. (1982). Integrating the effects of climate and seed fall velocities on seed dispersal by wind: a model and application. Ecol. Modell. 17: 297–310CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  67. Shukla R.P. and Ramakrishnan P.S. (1982). Phenology of trees in a sub tropical humid forest in north Eastern India. Vegetatio 49: 103–109CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  68. Singh J.S. and Singh V.K. (1992). Phenology of seasonally dry tropical forest. Curr. Sci. 63: 684–688Google Scholar
  69. Sivaraj N. and Krishnamurthy K.V. (1989). Flowering phenology in the vegetation of Shervaroy, south India. Vegetatio 79: 85–88CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  70. Smythe N. (1970). Relationships between fruiting seasons and seed dispersal methods in a Neotropical forest. Am. Nat. 104: 25–35CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  71. Stevenson P.R. (2004). Phenological patterns of woody vegetation at Tinigua park, Colombia: Methodological comparisons with emphasis on fruit production. Caldasia 26: 125–150Google Scholar
  72. Tollston L., Knudsen J.T. and Bergstrom L.G. (1994). Floral scent in generalistic Angelica (Apiaceae) – an adaptive character?. Biochem. Syst. Ecol. 22: 161–169CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  73. van Dulmen A. (2001). Pollination and phenology of flowers in the canopy of two contrasting rain forest types in Amazonia, Colombia. Plant Ecol. 153: 73–85CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  74. Terborgh J.W. and Wright S.J. (1993). The phenology of tropical forest: adaptive significance and consequences for primary consumers. Ann. Rev. Ecol. Syst. 24: 353–377CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  75. Venkateswaran R. and Parthasarathy N. (2003). Tropical dry evergreen forests on the Coromandel coast of India: structure, composition and human disturbance. Ecotropica 9: 45–58Google Scholar
  76. Visalakshi N. (1995). Vegetation analysis of two tropical dry evergreen forests in southern India. Trop. Ecol. 36: 117–127Google Scholar
  77. Waser N.M. (1986). Flower constancy: definition, cause and measurement. Am. Nat. 127: 593–603CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  78. Waser N.M., Chittka L., Price M.V., Williams N.M. and Ollerton J. (1996). Generalization in pollination systems, and why it matters. Ecology 77: 1043–1060CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  79. Wheelwright N.T. (1985). Competition for dispersers and the timing of flowering and fruiting in a guild of tropical trees. Oikos 44: 465–477Google Scholar
  80. Wilklander T. (1984). Mecanismos de dispersion de diasporas de una selva decidua en Venezuala. Biotropica 16: 276–283CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  81. Williams N.H. (1983). Floral fragrances as cues in animal behavior. In: Jones, C.E. and Little, R.J. (eds) Handbook of Experimental Pollination Biology, pp 50–72. Van Nostrand Reinhold, New YorkGoogle Scholar
  82. Williams-Linera G. (2003). Temporal and spatial phenological variation of understorey shrubs in a tropical montane cloud forest. Biotropica 35: 28–36Google Scholar

Copyright information

© Springer 2006

Authors and Affiliations

  1. 1.Department of Ecology and Environmental SciencesPondicherry UniversityPondicherryIndia

Personalised recommendations