Écio Souza Diniz, Rodolfo Oliveira Costa, Larissa Areal Carvalho Müller, Jan Thiele, Marconi Souza Silva


Chrestas capigera (Less.) Gardner is an important medicinal herb which, however, has been poorly studied for its biology and ecology. This study aimed to investigate its phenology, floral biology, reproductive biology (self-pollination tests), spatial distribution and correlations between phenophases and climatic data in two sites (Cerrado stricto sensu and Campo rupestre) in southern Minas Gerais, Brazil. From August of 2012 to August of 2013, we monitored phenophase occurrence for 70 individuals: emission of new leaves, flowering, production of immature fruits, and mature fruits. Floral anthesis occurred during daytime and remained all day until fruit formation. Peak leaf emergence was observed in April, correlating with minimum monthly temperature and mean monthly precipitation. Flowering and green fruit peaked in May and June, respectively, and correlated negatively with all climatic variables. Mature fruits peaked in June, but did not correlate significantly with any of the climatic variables. However, no difference was found between the two sites regarding the timing of phenophases. The spatial distribution pattern of individuals within sites was random. The self-pollination tests showed that the individuals pollinated and fertilized themselves. Our findings allow us to conclude that the phenology of C. scapigera has pronounced phenological seasonality with reproductive peak activities in the drier and colder season, which is congruent with the self-pollination and anemochoric dispersion strategy.


adaptation wideness; environmental harshness; phenological strategy; self-compatibility


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