The Star Mangrove Sonneratia alba has a wide distribution through south-east Asia, New Guinea and tropical Australia (Tomlinson 1986). It occurs only on the seaward edge of mangals and along tidaJ creeks where it is inundated by most tides. This species has large, white, ephemeral flowers that open at dusk, presenting copious pollen and producing abundant nectar: features consistent with nocturnal pollinators. Both Fruit-bats and hawk-moths have been recorded as visitors to the flowers (van der Pijl 1969, Primack eta/. 1981 ), but flowers are also exploited by a variety of diurnal, nectarivorous birds in both Malaysia and Australia (Noske 1995, unpubl. data), so that bird pollination is also possible. This study suggests that large honeyeaters exploit the flowers only in the early morning, when nectar levels are still high. This study concludes that S. alba is a protogynous outbreeder, pollinated in this site mainly by bats.
|Date of Award||1996|
|Supervisor||Richard Noske (Supervisor)|