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Forests 2017, 8(10), 404; doi:10.3390/f8100404

The Floral Biology, Breeding System and Pollination Efficiency of Schima superba Gardn. et Champ. (Theaceae)

1
Research Institute of Subtropical Forestry; Zhejiang Provincial Key Laboratory of Tree Breeding, Fuyang 311400, China
2
Sichuan Academy of Forestry, Chengdu 610081, China
*
Author to whom correspondence should be addressed.
Received: 21 July 2017 / Revised: 8 October 2017 / Accepted: 11 October 2017 / Published: 24 October 2017
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Abstract

Schima superba Gardn. et Champ. is a perennial, evergreen tree valued for its eco-protection and commercial values in China. In this study, we investigate the breeding system, reproductive ecology and pollination biology of S. superba in a seed orchard. The flowers are hermaphrodite and protogynous. The viability of the pollen is inactivated rapidly, and the stigma maintains a high receptivity within the flower lifespan. Flowers typically offer pollen and nectar to visitors. The flowers possess a typical insect pollination syndrome, and three visitors (Apis cerana cerana Fabricius, Protaetia brevitarsis Lewis, and Popillia mutans Newman) are observed on flowers during the study period. The visitation frequency per minute and capability of pollen removal and deposition of A. cerana are significantly higher than P. brevitarsis and P. mutans, although the pollinator efficiency is lower than those shown by the two beetles. Fruit set (28.27%) and seed set (6.57%) percentages resulting from open-pollination are significantly lower than those resulting from cross-pollination (fruit/seed set, 43.73%/11.66%), and the pollen limitation index (L) was 0.34, suggesting that seed production is pollen-limited in the seed orchard. The pollen/ovule ratio (P/O) and outcrossing index (OCI) values are 6686.67 and 4, respectively. The self-incompatibility index (ISI) was estimated to be 0.95. Results from hand-pollination, pollen tube growth experiments and the ISI value show that S. superba is late-acting self-incompatible. The synthetic results indicate that A. cerana is the most efficient pollinator of S. superba, and seed production is frequently limited by pollinators, fruit abortion, and pollen quality. View Full-Text
Keywords: breeding system; pollination; floral biology; Schima superba Gardn. et Champ. breeding system; pollination; floral biology; Schima superba Gardn. et Champ.
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This is an open access article distributed under the Creative Commons Attribution License which permits unrestricted use, distribution, and reproduction in any medium, provided the original work is properly cited. (CC BY 4.0).

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Yang, H.; Zhang, R.; Song, P.; Zhou, Z. The Floral Biology, Breeding System and Pollination Efficiency of Schima superba Gardn. et Champ. (Theaceae). Forests 2017, 8, 404.

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