Invasive Species Compendium

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Abstract

Comparative studies on structure of the floral nectaries and the abundance of nectar production of Prunus laurocerasus L.

Abstract

There is very scanty information concerning the floral nectary structure and nectar secretion in Prunus laurocerasus L. Therefore, the aim of the study was to determine the micromorphology, anatomy and ultrastructure of nectaries; the abundance of nectar production; and the quantitative and qualitative composition of sugars contained in the nectar of two P. laurocerasus cultivars: 'Schipkaensis' and 'Zabeliana'. The nectary structure was studied using light, fluorescence, scanning and transmission electron microscopy techniques. The nectar sugars were analysed with HPLC. The 'Schipkaensis' had longer inflorescences with a larger number of flowers and a longer perianth than 'Zabeliana'. The micromorphological structure of the nectaries in 'Schipkaensis' exhibited denser (approx. 39%) and larger (approx. 50%) stomata and thicker (approx. 13%) cuticular striae forming wider bands (approx. 26%) than in 'Zabeliana'. The results provide new data on the micromorphology, anatomy and ultrastructure of these floral nectaries. Nectary cuticle ornamentation as well as the size, type and density of stomata and stomatal complex topography can have a diagnostic value in Prunus. The nectar sugar weight indicates a significant apicultural value of the cherry laurel, especially in the case of 'Schipkaensis'. Cherry laurel is an entomophilous species recommended for cultivation in nectariferous zones and insect pollinator refuges; however, climatic conditions eliminating the invasiveness of these plants should be considered.