Papers in the Biological Sciences


Date of this Version



Journal of the Arnold Arboretum (1984) 65.


Copyright 1984, Harvard University. Used by permission.


First paragraph:

Inflorescence architecture is receiving increasing attention with respect to its role in the life of plants, but much remains to be learned of its effects on pollination and dispersal biology (see Wyatt, 1982). Little is known of the biology of fagaceous inflorescences or of their relationships with the growth or the reproductive patterns of the trees. Most studies (Abbe, 1974; Macdonald, 1979; Fey & Endress, 1983) have concentrated on the nature of the flower clusters (often called dichasia or partial inflorescences) and cupules. Hjelmqvist (1948) and Soepadmo (1972) briefly reviewed the variety of inflorescences in the Fagaceae. Čelakovský (1889) compared fagaceous inflorescences with betulaceous and juglandaceous ones and enumerated the criteria by which he judged levels of specialization. Jäger (1980) analyzed inflorescences of the Betulaceae, the family perhaps closest to the Fagaceae. For this study, we have analyzed a sample of Fagaceae much larger than those of previous workers, and we here assess their inflorescences in terms of structural as well as functional criteria. Although our emphasis is on Paleotropical species, some species of the northern Temperate Zone are also included. The appendix lists the species studied, as well as the provenance of the specimens.