Journal of the International Aroid Society, Inc.
Volume 31, Number 1 (2008); Pages 134-143
Observations on the liberation
By T. V. Price, Kila Poka and Gamoga Bogarei     (Buy)


Mature fruit heads of Wild Type (WT) and cultivar 'Bangkok' taro (Colocasia esculenta) plants growing in East New Britain were observed with seeds liberated onto the surfaces of the fruits through holes in the berries. Drosophilid flies were often associated with these holes and were attracted to both attached and detached fruit heads, pierced the berries but did not oviposit. This is the first record of flies associated with liberation of taro seed under natural conditions. Following liberation, some seeds were deposited onto leaves of adjacent plants. Detached fruit heads of 'Bangkok' exposed at ground level, shrivelled without further seed liberation. Entire fruit heads of WT were deposited onto the soiVleaf litter surface following collapse of the peduncle. Masses of seeds were also liberated onto the leaf litter/soil surface following breakdown of the berries. Seeds of WT liberated naturally were highly viable (80% germination) and colonies of germinated seedlings were observed arising from the naturally deposited WT seed masses on the soil surface. The role of flies, other animal vectors and environment in liberation, dissemination and germination of taro seeds under natural conditions is discussed.


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