Abstract

The reproductive biology of Coccoloba uvifera ( L.) Jacq. (Polygonaceae) was studied in the Venezuelan coastal zone. Morphological and experimental anal ysis of floral traits indicated that C. uvifera had two flower types, based on stamens and pistil size. C. uvifera is polygamous - dioecious (monoecious, female and male individuals) at population level. Experimentally monoecious individuals were self - compatible, and a low proportion of fruit and seeds were produced by self - pollination. The number of flowers per in florescence, fruits per in frutescence and fruit weight were higher in dioecious than in monoecious individuals. Pollination was done small insects, mainly hymenopterans. The pollination system is generalist according to insect visitation, frecuency, pollen load and site of pollen transportation. Fruit are dispersed by bats. Apparently, the polygamous - dioecious condition in C. uvifera originated in a hermaphrodite ancestor and monoecism is an a intennediate condition.
Keywords: reproductive biology, monoecious, dioecious, breeding systems polygamous - dioecious