Term of Award

Summer 1996

Degree Name

Master of Science in Biology

Document Type and Release Option

Thesis (restricted to Georgia Southern)

Department

Department of Biology

Committee Chair

John E. Averett

Committee Member 1

Donald J. Draplik

Committee Member 2

Lorne M. Wolfe

Committee Member 3

C. Ray Chandler

Abstract

Pinckneya bracteata is a small tree or large shrub that is indigenous to the coastal plain of extreme southern South Carolina, Georgia, and northern Florida. It in occurs in sunny, wet habitats and in small populations that are usually separated by distances of kilometers. This study examined the mating, dispersal, and germination systems of the species. Pinckneya bracteata was found to be protandrous and self incompatible. Ruby-throated Hummingbirds and bumblebees ( Bombus spp. appear to be the primary pollinators. Seed fall velocity is important to the wind dispersal of seeds and decreases as seed size increases. Fall velocity is also slower in seeds with more centrally located embryos. The seeds of this plant were found to be positively photoblastic, but this photoblastism can be overcome by temperature fluctuation. The mating system, dispersal system, and germination requirements of P. bracteata are compatible with and adapted for the habitats in which it is found.

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