Phenology and Pollination Biology of Eight Peperomia Species (Piperaceae) in Semideciduous Forests in Southeastern Brazil


  • R. A. de Figueiredo,

    Corresponding author
    1. Centro Universitário Central Paulista and Departamento de Botânica, Universidade Federal de São Carlos, Via Washington Luis km 235, 13563-470 São Carlos, SP, Brasil
    • Centro Universitário Central Paulista and Departamento de Botânica Universidade Federal de São Carlos Via Washington Luis km 235 13563-470 São Carlos, SP Brasil

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  • M. Sazima

    1. Departamento de Botânica, Universidade Estadual de Campinas, Barão Geraldo, 13083-970 Campinas, SP, Brasil
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Abstract: Data on flowering phenology and pollination of Peperomia species are virtually non-existent. This study presents data on the pollination biology of eight Peperomia species from south-eastern Brazil, including the flowering phenology, pollination system, and reproductive success. Data on flowering phenology were recorded weekly and exclusion experiments on inflorescences provided data on autonomous self- and wind pollination. Direct visual observations were made and insect visits were recorded. Four Peperomia species showed continuous flowering, while the others were seasonal and flowered in the wet season. Pollination by wind and Syrphidae was confirmed for two self-incompatible Peperomia species. The remaining species are self-compatible and their high fruit set may be accounted for by autonomous self-pollination and perhaps agamospermy. Although the floral morphology of Peperomia species suggests wind- and/or insect pollination, most of the species studied exhibit autogamy and perhaps agamospermy as the main method of reproduction.