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Directional orientation of reproductive tissue of Eulychnia breviflora (Cactaceae) in the hyperarid Atacama Desert

Author(s):

Steven D. Warren
Lorgio E. Aguilera

Year:

2016

Publication type:

Scientific Journal (JRNL)

Primary Station(s):

Rocky Mountain Research Station

Source:

Revista Chilena de Historia Natural. 89: 10.

Description

Our explanation of the phenomenon differs from other researchers. Inasmuch as reproductive tissue contains little or no chlorophyll, we suggest that the flowers emerge from areas of the stems that receive abundant PAR, not because the reproductive tissue itself requires exposure to PAR. Because the translocation of photosynthates in cacti is difficult and energetically expensive, positioning of reproductive tissue in zones of the stems with high photosynthetic capacity is more energetically efficient. In addition, the Atacama Desert is not particularly warm. Exposure of flowers to solar radiation may produce a thermal reward for pollinators, in addition to any nectar rewards received.

Citation

Warren, Steven D.; Aguilera, Lorgio E.; Baggett, L. Scott. 2016. Directional orientation of reproductive tissue of Eulychnia breviflora (Cactaceae) in the hyperarid Atacama Desert. Revista Chilena de Historia Natural. 89: 10.

Cited

Publication Notes

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  • This article was written and prepared by U.S. Government employees on official time, and is therefore in the public domain.
https://www.fs.usda.gov/treesearch/pubs/52229