Spectrophotometric analysis of nectar production in Silene vulgaris (Caryophyllaceae)

TitleSpectrophotometric analysis of nectar production in Silene vulgaris (Caryophyllaceae)
Publication TypeJournal Article
Year of Publication1994
AuthorsJolls CL, Chenier TC, Hatley CL
JournalAmerican Journal of Botany
Volume81
Issue1
Pagination60-64
KeywordsVASCULAR PLANTS
Abstract

Significant differences in nectar content were observed between hermaphrodite and female plants of the gynomonoecious-gynodioecious taxon, Silene vulgaris, from populations in northern lower Michigan. These differences in nectar sugar content were observable with a carbohydrate digestion technique involving sulfuric acid, phenol, and measurement of the color change with a spectrophotometer. A hand-held refractometer did not provide sufficient resolution to discern differences between the genders. Both genders were similar in the pattern of sugar content of nectar during floral development. A split-plot factorial design revealed significant differences both among individual plants and stages of floral phenology within each gender. The spectrophotometric technique and statistical analysis provided the needed resolution to discern differences between the genders that we relate to pollinator activity, levels of inbreeding depression, and the maintenance of gynodioecy in this taxon.