On Wednesday, Carlos Martel from Museo de Historia Natural Javier Prado Universidad Nacional Mayor de San Marcos, Perú will be giving a lecture on his preliminary analysis of scent-producing organs in the palm family (Arecaceae).

When: March 14, 2012 at 2pm

Where: Montgomery Botanical Center at The Nixon Smiley Building

What: Floral adaptations to attract and reward pollinators play a key role with respect to reproductive success in animal-pollinated plants. Floral scents act as secondary floral attractants to pollinators, announcing the presence and location of primary rewards (nectar, pollen etc.). The flower organs engaged in scent production may be represented either by an undifferentiated epidermis or more specialized arrangements such as osmophores or scent glands. Scent glands possess the ability to emit volatiles and are usually parts of floral organs. They can be found in the inflorescence or flowers, such as in parts of petals or anthers. A fairly large number of palm species have been analyzed for floral scents. They display a wide diversity in form and anatomy of their inflorescences, bracts and floral organs. However, no study has focused to date on the location and identification of scent-producing structures in inflorescences or flowers. I will present preliminary results of a survey on this subject and what their relationship is with the palm pollination mechanism.

Carlos’ research visit to MBC is generously sponsored by the Kelly Botanical Research Fellows Program, through a grant from the Kelly Foundation.