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Microspores of the 24 species of Isoetes that grow in southern South America were analyzed under a light microscope and scanning electron microscope. The microspores are monolete, elliptic in polar view, 30–40 µm long, and 20–25 µm wide. A background with various characteristics is seen on each surface. A supra-laesural expansion is present. The perispore is ornamented and has a perforated background. In section, it has a lacunose structure. The exospore is smooth, and it has a compact structure in section. The studied species could be divided into three groups by their perispore ornamentation: equinate, rugulate, and tuberculate. Microspore size was positively correlated with increasing ploidy level, and larger microspores were associated with terrestrial habitats. A convergence in ornamentation was found between spores produced by the studied species and those that grow in regions outside of the area under study.
The microspores of Isoetes escondidensis, I. gardneriana, I. herzogii, I. pedersenii, and I. savatieri were analyzed with transmission and scanning electron microscopy. The selected species were found to be representative of the diversity found in 24 taxa previously studied that grow in southern South America. The sporoderm is similar in the five types and is composed, from the outside to the inside, of perispore, para-exospore, exospore, and endospore. In I. escondidensis, I. gardneriana, I. herzogii, and I. savatieri, the perispore is lacunose, whereas in I. pedersenii, it is camerate. The para-exospore is formed of large superimposed and fused bars, which are more numerous and thicker in immature spores. The exospore shows uniform characteristics and a strongly contrasted cover. It has pluristratified zones on both sides of the aperture. The presence of radial rodlets between the para-exospore and exospore and in the supra-apertural chamber is described here for the first time. The endospore has a fibrillate or reticulate structure, or both structures may be present. A boundary within the fibrillate endospore is evident, which might be related to stages of deposition. The surface characteristics are formed by either the middle and outer strata of the perispore or elements on the outer surface, as in I. escondidensis. The characteristics of the microspore surface and of the perispore structure provide characteristics useful for systematic purposes at the infrageneric level.
The significance of marine algal invasion is undisputed in the global context; however, this topic has not received as much attention as it deserves. Although substantial evidence supports the fact of marine algal introduction and invasion, the underlying ecological principles need more attention to better explain such invasions. Marine algal invasions transcend national boundaries, so the problem must be considered an international problem. Commercial exploitation of invasive marine algae (and under this category we include deliberate introductions) should be undertaken, if at all, with great care and with a full understanding of all aspects of the biology and ecological consequences of the new exotic species. The aim of this article is to define algal invaders from a marine ecosystem standpoint and to discuss the different vectors, their dispersal patterns, and mechanisms of their dominance in their naturalized or introduced range.
The evolution of secondary sexual floral traits may be driven by selection through male or female reproductive success. Even so, the gender-biased function of a floral trait is often unapparent because secondary sexual traits and primary sexual organs of both genders co-occur within most bisexual flowers. Within dichogamous plants, however, secondary sexual traits may be unambiguously expressed in association with the primary sexual organs of one gender, making these species uniquely suited to studies of natural and sexual selection on floral traits. The objectives of this article are to summarize patterns of gender-biased nectar production and to critically explore theories relevant to its evolution. We list 41 species with gender-biased nectar production and provide two sets of adaptive hypotheses for the trait: sexual selection hypotheses and inbreeding avoidance hypotheses. We formulate these hypotheses using sexual selection theory in plants and the literature that relates pollinator foraging to plant inbreeding. We also consider explanations based on resource trade-offs, enemies, and genetic correlations. Support for the sexual selection and inbreeding avoidance hypotheses is provided by only a few well-studied species. We outline a series of experiments that should facilitate sorting among hypotheses. Plants with gender-biased nectar production are likely to provide unique insights into the roles of natural and sexual selection in the evolution of floral traits.
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