Breeding biologies, seed production and species-rich bee guilds of Cleome lutea and Cleome serrulata (Cleomaceae)

Publication Type:Journal Article
Year of Publication:2008
Authors:J. H. Cane
Journal:Plant Species Biology
Pagination:152 - 158
Date Published:2008/12//
ISBN Number:0913-557X

The summer-blooming annual forbs Cleome lutea and Cleome serrulata (Cleomaceae) are native across the US Intermountain West and Rocky Mountains, respectively. Their farmed seed is sought to help rehabilitate western rangelands in those regions. This study of the reproductive biologies and pollinator faunas of C. lutea and C. serrulata is the first for this cosmopolitan family, the sister family to the Brassicaceae. Unlike the S-allele self-incompatibility systems of some Brassicaceae, both species of Cleome were found to be self-fertile and capable of some autogamy. Compared with selfing, outcrossing did not enhance seed set, seed viability or seedling vigor for either species (in fact, selfed progeny were more robust). Large, openly visited plants yielded > 20 000 seeds each. Like several species of the sister family Capparaceae, flowers of both species first shed their pollen, secreted nectar and became receptive nocturnally. Although no nocturnal visitors were found, both Cleome species attracted a diverse array of diurnal native bees, wasps and butterflies. Among the many floral generalist bees that work Cleome flowers for pollen and nectar are two managed agricultural pollinators, Apis mellifera and Megachile rotundata. These observations bode well for pollinating C. lutea and C. serrulata in small commercial seed fields. It appears that diverse wild bees would benefit from the addition of native Cleome to restoration seed mixes, with the objective of sustaining native pollinator faunas during the first few years of postfire plant community rehabilitation

Scratchpads developed and conceived by (alphabetical): Ed Baker, Katherine Bouton Alice Heaton Dimitris Koureas, Laurence Livermore, Dave Roberts, Simon Rycroft, Ben Scott, Vince Smith