Cone Sex Ratio and Pollen Traits in Pinus densiflora (Pinaceae)

  • Kang, Hyesoon (Department of Biology, College of Natural Sciences, Sungshin Women′s University) ;
  • Yoon, Jumsoon (Department of Biology, College of Natural Sciences, Sungshin Women′s University)
  • Published : 2000.06.01

Abstract

The pattern of variations in cone sex ratio and pollen traits such as pollen number and size was examined for two years in populations of red pines In Korea. We evaluated; (1) the relationship between tree size and cone sex ratio, (2) the relationship between year and cone sex ratio, and (3) the relationship between cone sex ratio and pollen traits. Larger trees in height and circumference at breast height produced more male as well as female cones. However, cone sex ratio was independent of these plant sizes. Across the two populations, both female cone numbers per tree and male cone numbers per new shoot increased 2.2 and 1.2 times, respectively, in 1999 compared to 1998, while the yearly pattern of male cone-bearing shoots per tree differed significantly between populations. Thus, cone sex ratio varied significantly between years in one of the two populations. Pollen traits such as the number of pollen grains and diameter did not vary significantly among populations. Pollen diameter and grain numbers per male cone were significantly negatively correlated with the cone sex ratio in two populations and one population, respectively. Trees which stopped female cone production in the first year and those which produced female cones in both years differed in the cone sex ratio and pollen size in the second year. The long duration of one reproductive episode and the potential of masting in red pines emphasize the need to conduct long-term studies on the dynamics of cone production, cone sex ratio, and simultaneous changes in pollen traits in red pines.

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