Studies on the breeding systems of understorey species of a Chaco woodland in NE Argentina

M B Bianchi, P E Gibbs, D E Prado, J L Vesprini

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23 Citations (Scopus)


The breeding systems of seven understorey species in a Chaco woodland in NE Argentina were studied by means of hand pollinations and fluorescence microscopy observations of post-pollination events. Six species showed self-incompatibility (SI), with heteromorphic SI in Erythroxylum microphyllum, and probable homomorphic gametophytic SI (stylar inhibition of self-pollen tubes) in Aechmea distichantha, Bromelia serra, Cleistocactus baumannii, Dyckia ferox and Grabowskia duplicata. Opuntia retrorsa was self-compatible. A notable feature of inter-morph cross-compatibility in E. microphyllum was differential fruiting success using pollen from different stamen whorls of the long-style morph. The high incidence of self-incompatibility in the understorey component of this Chaco woodland is similar to that found in some South American montane forests, and is in contrast to the widespread self-compatibility reported for this stratum in some neotropical forests. It is proposed that these breeding system differences are probably linked to the different taxonomic families represented in the understorey strata of these communities and are not a consequence of adaptations to pollination biology or other ecological factors.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)339-348
Number of pages10
Publication statusPublished - Dec 2000


  • Bromeliaceae
  • Cactaceae
  • Erythroxylaceae
  • Chaco
  • breeding systems
  • self-incompatibility


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