Pollination ecology and reproductive success in Jack-in-the-pulpit (Arisaema triphyllum) in Québec (Canada)

Publication Type:Journal Article
Year of Publication:2010
Authors:Barriault, I., Barabé, D., Cloutier, L., Gibernau M.
Journal:Plant Biology
Keywords:Araceae, bisexual inflorescence, deceptive pollination, Mycetophilidae, pollen load, Thysanoptera, visitation rates

Pollination ecology and reproductive success of Jack-in-the-pulpit (Arisaema triphyllum) were studied in two natural populations in Québec, Canada. Individual A. triphyllum plants can be of three types: male, female or bisexual. In both populations studied, the presence of bisexual inflorescences was not negligible (13%), where ‘female’ and ‘male’ bisexual plants were categorised according to the relative number of stamens and ovaries. ‘Male bisexual’ plants produce only pollen and ‘female bisexual’ plants produce only fruit. Hence, A. triphyllum is a true dioecious plant, as each plant only reproduces through either the male or the female function. ‘Female bisexual’ plants were equivalent to female plants in terms of visitation rate by insects, fructification rate and production of berries and seeds. Neither agamospermy in female plants nor self-pollination in ‘female bisexual’ plants was found, thus A. triphyllum relies on insects for cross-pollination. Despite the long flowering cycle, a low visitation rate was documented: only 20–40% of inflorescences were visited, according to gender, by a mean of 1.5 insects. In this study, Mycetophilidae represented the most generically diversified and abundant family, as well as the most efficient insect pollinator, especially the genera Docosia and Mycetophila.

Refereed Designation:Refereed
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