Pollination ecology of Brownlowia tersa (Malvaceae), a Near Threatened non-viviparous true mangrove shrub

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Aluri Jacob Solomon Raju


Brownlowia tersa is a low-ground semi-evergreen shrub species.  The phenological events occur sequentially—leaf fall, leaf flushing, flowering and fruiting from April to November.  It is hermaphroditic, protandrous, self-compatible, facultative xenogamous, and melittophilous involving worker honey bees, small male and female carpenter bees and male and female cuckoo bees.  Of these, worker honey bees and female carpenter bees forage for both pollen and nectar while male carpenter bees and both sexes of cuckoo bees forage exclusively for nectar.  Cuckoo bees are very important for cross-pollination because they are swift fliers and visit many flowers from different plants in the shortest time.  Carpenter bees and honey bees are largely important for self-pollination as they are not fast fliers and tend to spend more time at each flower for forage collection.  The flowers have a specialized pollination mechanism to resort to autonomous autogamy if not pollinated but this mode of pollination is subject to the availability of pollen in its own anthers.  Fruit is a 1-seeded follicle produced from a single carpel of the flower.  It is indehiscent and floats in tidal water when detached from the plant.  When settled in muddy substratum, it breaks open to expose the seed which germinates and produces a new plant in quick succession.  The study reports that the plant is highly threatened due to different human economic activities taking place in the area and hence immediate in situ conservation measures are required for its protection and propagation. 

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Author Biography

Aluri Jacob Solomon Raju, Department of Environmental Sciences, Andhra University, Visakhapatnam, Andhra Pradesh 530003, India.

Dr. Aluri Jacob Solomon Raju is a Professor of Environmental Sciences in Andhra University, Visakhapatnam, India. He was the Head of the Department during 2009-2012. He was the Visiting Professor of University of Colima, Mexico. He was a Post-Doctoral Research Fellow at the University of Akron, USA for a period of two years. He has conducted extensive field work in Olympic Mountains, Colorado Rocky Mountains, Siskiyu Mountains, Yosemite National Park, Yellostone National Park and Grand Teton Mountains in connection with reproductive biology of an arctic-alpine genus Pedicularis and its conservation and management aspects. Further, he has also conducted field research in Mexico. He has published more than 300 research papers, participated and presented scores of research papers at more than 50 national and more than 30 International conferences held in India and abroad. He visited USA, Canada, UK, Brazil, Paraguay, Italy, Mexico, France, Germany, China, Hong Kong, Thailand, Malaysia, Ethiopia and Tanzania. In recognition of his superior record of scholarship, he was awarded Distinguished Achievement Award by the University of Akron, USA. He is also the recipient of Best Research Award and Dr. Sarvepalli Radhakrishnan Best Academician Award of Andhra University, Loyola Environmental Award from Loyola College, Chennai and Andhra Pradesh Scientist Award from Andhra Pradesh Council of Science & Technology, Govt. of Andhra Pradesh. He successfully completed a number of major research projects on the Eastern Ghats Forests funded by ICAR, UGC, DST, CSIR, DBT and MoEF. He was the Expert member of the Ministry of Environment and Forests, Govt. of India in sanctioning the research projects. He has also worked on biodiesel plants such as Pongamia and Jatropha and work on these plants laid foundation for others to initiate work in commercial lines. He has also published ten books on various subjects published by national and international publishers. Twenty Ph.Ds and 10 M.Phils were awarded under his guidance. Further, he is currently serving as a resource person for All India Radio, TV Channels, Consultant for issues relating to conservation biology and environment. Further, he is currently operating All India Coordinated Research Project on the endangered species of Eastern Ghats funded by MoEF, on reproductive ecology of Coringa Mangrove Forest funded by MoEF and on reproductive ecology of rare plants of Eastern Ghats funded by CSIR, New Delhi. He is an expert-cum-reviewer for scores of scientific journals published by Elsevier, Springer publishers, Indian Publishers, US Publishers and African Publishers. He is the Chief Editor of Advances in Pollen-Spore Research and Guest Editor of Journal of Palynology.