Title

The reproductive biology of ruellia succulenta (acanthaceae) and the effects of habitat fragmentation

Document Type

Thesis

Degree

Master of Science (MS)

Major/Program

Biology

First Advisor's Name

Suzanne Koptur

First Advisor's Committee Title

Committee Chair

Second Advisor's Name

Bradley Bennett

Third Advisor's Name

Jennifer Richards

Date of Defense

11-21-2001

Abstract

The purpose of this study was to determine the reproductive biology of Ruellia succulenta and to relate this to the effects of habitat fragmentation. Plants occurring in the intact habitat in Everglades National Park were compared to plants occurring in three different size classes of habitat fragments.

The results of the breeding system experiment show R. succulenta to be fully selfcompatible and capable of autofertility via corolla abscission. Results of the inbreeding depression study supported theoretical expectations for selfing species of reduced inbreeding depression and its expression late in the life cycle. The most significant effect of habitat fragmentation, in terms of pollination ecology, was a highly significant difference in the proportion of Hymenopteran and Lepidopteran floral visitors by the size class of habitat. Time since last fire was the most important factor positively affecting reproduction in the different size classes of fragments.

Identifier

FI15101548

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