THE UNPREDICTABLE EXPLOSIVE DISPERSAL MECHANISM OF A PRICKLY NEOTROPICAL SOLANUM (SOLANACEAE)

Thamyris Bragioni, João Renato Stehmann

Abstract


The mechanism of explosive dehiscence is rare in fruits in Solanum (Solanaceae), being reported for Solanum sect. Gonatotricum, a small non-aculeate group belonging to the Brevantherum clade. We tested empirically the presence of this strategy in populations of the closely related S. mellobarretoi and S. leptostachys, species belonging to the Leptostemonum clade, a group that comprises most aculeate species of the genus. Our results showed the occurrence of the explosive dehiscence in berries of S. mellobarretoi, but not in S. leptostachys, besides their phylogenetic and morphological similarities. We confirmed the homoplasic nature of the mechanism within the genus and highlight the importance of conducting empirical studies, contributing to reduce knowledge gaps on seed dispersal in the Neotropics.


Keywords


Autochory; berry; dispersal syndromes; explosive mechanism; seed dispersal.

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References


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DOI: https://doi.org/10.4257/oeco.2021.2503.13

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