Tropical trees



Our work focuses on the impact of synchronization of flowering phenology on pollination, fruit set and gene movement among closely related tropical dry forest trees.  It is our interest to study the variation in floral display at three levels. First, we make comparisons between species that differ in the duration and synchronization of their flowering season. Second, we examine the variation within species during the reproductive season, as the density of flowering individuals change. Third, we study the consequences of flowering out of synchrony. Pollination, fruit set and gene movement, depend on the responses of pollinators to the differences in floral display. Therefore, we are studying a complex interaction among these tree species and the community of pollinators responsible for pollen transfer. Progeny analysis, using microsatellite markers, was conducted to determine paternity and gene movement. In addition, the number of pollen donors that sire the seed crop of each tree was estimated. We have examined reproductive, genetic and pollinator data sets to determine the impact of the different degrees of synchronization on gene flow.  We wish to conduct similar analyses on other species of tropical dry forest trees.