Evol Ecol Res 7: 1051-1065 (2005)     Full PDF if your library subscribes.

Reproductive plasticity in an Amazonian palm

S. Barot,1* D. Mitja,2 I. Miranda,3 G.D. Meija4 and M. Grimaldi1

1LEST-UMR 137, IRD, 32 Avenue H. Varagnat, 93143 Bondy Cedex, France, 2EMBRAPA – CPAC, CP 08223, 73301-970 Planaltina-DF, Brazil, 3Departamento Ciências Florestais, UFRA, Terra Firma, CP 917, 66077-530 Belém, Brazil and 4Laboratorio de Parasitologia Medica e Biologia de Vetores, Faculdade de Medicina, Universidad de Brasilia, CP 70910-900 Brasilia-DF, Brazil

Author to whom all correspondence should be addressed.
e-mail: barot@bondy.ird.fr


Question: How plastic is the reproductive strategy of palm trees?

Hypothesis: The onset of reproduction and sex allocation depend on both the size and the type of environment that determines the availability of resources.

Organisms: The palm tree Attalea speciosa Mart. ex Spreng. It grows in both primary forests and disturbed sites, in a wide range of edaphic and climatic conditions.

Field site: The Brazilian state of Pará near the town of Marabá, on the commune of Benfica. The pioneer front, i.e. where primary or slightly degraded rain forest is turned into pastures by recently settled farmers.

Methods: Deforestation was used as a large-scale experiment. The effect of size (number of leaves or total height) on the onset of reproduction and sex allocation was compared in three environments: a forest, a partially invaded pasture and a pure stand of palm tree (babassual).

Conclusions: Reproduction starts at smaller sizes in the pasture and the babassual than in the forest, with height being a better predictor of reproduction than number of leaves in the forest. Male reproduction starts at smaller heights than female reproduction in the pasture and the babassual but not in the forest.

Keywords: Amazon, palm tree, phenotypic plasticity, rain forest, reproduction, sex allocation.

IF you are connected using the IP of a subscribing institution (library, laboratory, etc.)
or through its VPN.


        © 2005 S. Barot. All EER articles are copyrighted by their authors. All authors endorse, permit and license Evolutionary Ecology Ltd. to grant its subscribing institutions/libraries the copying privileges specified below without additional consideration or payment to them or to Evolutionary Ecology, Ltd. These endorsements, in writing, are on file in the office of Evolutionary Ecology, Ltd. Consult authors for permission to use any portion of their work in derivative works, compilations or to distribute their work in any commercial manner.

       Subscribing institutions/libraries may grant individuals the privilege of making a single copy of an EER article for non-commercial educational or non-commercial research purposes. Subscribing institutions/libraries may also use articles for non-commercial educational purposes by making any number of copies for course packs or course reserve collections. Subscribing institutions/libraries may also loan single copies of articles to non-commercial libraries for educational purposes.

       All copies of abstracts and articles must preserve their copyright notice without modification.