Tropical Ecology and Conservation [Monteverde Institute]

Alternative Title

Frecuencia de producción de fruto como una indicación de la auto-polinización en Lepanthes eximia (Orchidaceae : Pleurothallidinae) en Monteverde, Costa Rica



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Publication Date

December 2006


Most orchids are capable of self-pollination, but outcrossing promotes the variation in flower structure and the specificity of pollination mechanisms prevalent in orchids. For this reason there are many elaborate pollination mechanisms involving specific pollinators. Highly specific mechanisms ensure efficient pollination, yet low fruit production is common in orchids and in the genus Lepanthes. An exception to this trend is Lepanthes eximia, which has a relatively high fruit set. This may indicate that L. eximia does not depend on rare pollination events, but self-pollinates, accepting low genetic variability in order to increase its number of offspring. Two groups of L. eximia, one exposed to potential pollinators and one covered with mesh bonnets, were observed for differences in fruit production in the orchid garden of Dr. Karen Masters in Monteverde, Costa Rica to determine if L.eximia self-pollinates. Comparisons in morphological variation of L. eximia and L. pygmaea, both exposed to potential pollinators, were made to examine the differences in variance between inbred and outbred species. Lepanthes eximia was found to be capable of self-pollination, but no significant difference in the variability of morphological traits of inbred and outbred species of Lepanthes exists. La mayoría de las orquídeas son capaces de auto-polinizarse, pero la estructura floral y los mecanismos específicos de la polinización tienden a la polinización cruzada. Por eso, hay muchos mecanismos complicados de polinización con polinizadores específicos. Los mecanismos muy específicos aseguran la polinización eficiente, sin embargo la baja producción de frutas es común en las orquídeas y en el genero Lepanthes. Una excepción a esta tendencia es Lepanthes eximia, que tiene un grupo alto de frutas. Esto indica que L. eximia no depende de los eventos raros de la polinización, pero se auto poliniza, aceptando la baja variabilidad genética para aumentar el número de descendencias. Se observaron a dos grupos de L. eximia, uno expuesto a los polinizadores potenciales y el otro cubierto con gorras de malla, para ver las diferencias en la producción de frutas en el jardín de orquídeas de la Dra. Karen Masters en Monteverde, Costa Rica para determinar si L. eximia se auto poliniza.


Self-pollination, Autopolinizacion, Orchids, Orquideas, Costa Rica--Puntarenas--Monteverde Zone--Cerro Plano, Costa Rica--Puntarenas--Zona de Monteverde--Cerro Plano, CIEE Fall 2006, CIEE Otoño 2006


Student affiliation : Department of Biochemistry, Arizona State University Born Digital

Subject: topical

Self-pollination; Autopolinizacion; Orchids; Orquideas; CIEE Fall 2006; CIEE Otoño 2006

Subject: geographic

Costa Rica--Puntarenas--Monteverde Zone--Cerro Plano; Costa Rica--Puntarenas--Zona de Monteverde--Cerro Plano



Holding Location

Monteverde Institute MVI



Fruit production frequency as an indication of self-pollination in Lepanthes eximia (Orchidaceae  :  Pleurothallidinae) in Monteverde, Costa Rica



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