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      Reproductive phenology of Mauritia flexuosa L. (Arecaceae) in a coastal restinga environment in northeastern Brazil Translated title: Fenologia reprodutiva de Mauritia flexuosa L. (Arecaceae) em ambiente de Restinga no Nordeste do Brasil

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          Abstract The buriti, Mauritia flexuosa, is the most common palm in Brazil, where it has considerable ecological and economic importance. However, few data are available on the phenology of the species, mainly in coastal restinga ecosystems. The present study monitored the reproductive phenology of M. flexuosa in the restinga of Barreirinhas, in the Brazilian Northeast, and investigated the relationship between phenophases and climatic variables. The presence/absence of flowers and fruits was recorded monthly in 25 individuals of each sex between August, 2009, and October, 2012. There was no difference in the phenology of male and female specimens, with flowering and fruiting occurring exclusively in the dry season. We believe that the specific abiotic characteristics of the study environment, such as the intense sunlight and availability of water in the soil, contribute to the reproductive success of M. flexuosa in the dry season, with consequent germination and establishment of seedlings occurring during the subsequent rainy season.

          Translated abstract

          Resumo Popularmente conhecido como buriti, Mauritia flexuosa é a palmeira mais abundante no Brasil, com grande importância ecológica e econômica, porém ainda são poucos os estudos sobre a sua fenologia, não existindo nenhum em ambiente de Restinga. O presente trabalho teve como objetivo estudar a fenologia reprodutiva de M. flexuosa na Restinga de Barreirinhas, no Nordeste do Brasil, verificando como as fenofases se correlacionam com os fatores climáticos. Foram acompanhados mensalmente 25 indivíduos de cada sexo, de agosto/2009 a outubro/2012, verificando a presença/ausência de floração e frutificação. Não houve diferença no padrão fenológico entre indivíduos femininos e masculinos de M. flexuosa, com floração e queda dos frutos exclusivamente na estação seca. Acreditamos que as características abióticas específicas do ambiente estudado, como a forte incidência solar e a disponibilidade de água no solo, contribuíram para o sucesso reprodutivo de M. flexuosa na estação seca, com consequente germinação e estabelecimento de plântulas no período chuvoso.

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          Most cited references 98

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          Phenological changes in a Sumatran rain forest

           C van Schaik (1986)
          Phenological observations were made in a Sumatran rain forest during three years (1980–1982). Phenological changes followed a consistent seasonal pattern. The abundance of young leaves and the fall of leaf litter peaked between December and February (first dry season); flowers were most abundant between January and April (first dry and first wet sea son), and ripe fruits in July-August (the second dry season). The fruit of strangling fig trees showed peaks in April and October, both wet season months. Within the study area there was variation in both the phase and the amplitude of the phenological cycles. One year, 1981, displayed mast flowering and fruiting. The observations indicate that the conditions for production were better during the mast year, a finding that facilitates our understanding of the evolution of mast fruiting.
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            Competition for Dispersers, and the Timing of Flowering and Fruiting in a Guild of Tropical Trees

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              Induction of flowering in tropical trees by a 30-min reduction in photoperiod: evidence from field observations and herbarium specimens.

              During the late rainy season in October 1997 we observed. over a range of >100 km, the highly synchronous emergence of flower buds in several deciduous tree species of the semi-deciduous tropical forest in Guanacaste, Costa Rica. Synchronous flowering soon after the rapid decline in day length around the September equinox and in the absence of any notable climatic cues suggested flower induction by declining photoperiod. By combining field observations and the analysis of flowering herbarium collections, we established highly synchronous flowering periods with low interannual and latitudinal variation predicted for photoperiodic flower induction for more than 25 tree species and a few herbs. We describe morphogenetic changes at the shoot apex of three species during flower induction and the suppression and induction of flowering in several herbaceous species by experimental daylight extension. The combined observations provide strong, mainly indirect evidence for photoperiodic induction of flowering in many tropical tree species. At low latitudes with annual variation in day length of 1 hour, flower induction must be caused by a decline in photoperiod of 30 min or less. This is the first report of photoperiodic control of flowering in trees.

                Author and article information

                Role: ND
                Role: ND
                Role: ND
                Role: ND
                Brazilian Journal of Biology
                Braz. J. Biol.
                Instituto Internacional de Ecologia (São Carlos, SP, Brazil )
                March 2017
                : 77
                : 1
                : 29-37
                São Luís orgnameUniversidade Federal do Maranhão orgdiv1Centro de Ciências Biológicas Brazil
                Belém Pará orgnameUniversidade Federal do Pará orgdiv1Instituto de Ciências Biológicas Brazil

                This work is licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution 4.0 International License.

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                palm tree, ecologia, Maranhão, palmeira, buriti, ecology


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