Bernardello, Gabriel; Aguilar, Ramiro; Anderson, Gregory J
Sophora fernandeziana is the only legume endemic to Isla Robinson Crusoe (Archipelago Juan Fernández, Chile); it is uncommon and becoming rare. Although its preservation status is listed as "vulnerable," as with many species, little is known of its reproductive biology. Flowering phenology, floral morphology, nectar features, breeding system, and visitors were analyzed in two populations. Flowering is from late winter to early spring. Flowers last 6 d and have a number of ornithophilous features. A floral nectary begins to secrete highly concentrated nectar 48 h after flowers open. Nectar secretion increases as the flower ages but culminates in active nectar reabsorption as the flower senesces. Nectar production is negatively affected by nectar removal. Self-pollen germinates and tubes grow down the style. However, pollen tubes were only observed to enter the ovaries in open pollinated styles, suggesting the possibility of an ovarian self-incompatibility mechanism. Both sexes of the two hummingbird species that inhabit the island are regular visitors. Low fruit and seed set, low genetic diversity, and a shrinking number of populations all contribute to increased concern about the future of this species-and perhaps the hummingbirds that depend on it.