Biodiversity Science ›› 2013, Vol. 21 ›› Issue (5): 590-600.doi: 10.3724/SP.J.1003.2013.11044

• Orginal Article • Previous Article     Next Article

Reproductive characteristics of the invasive species Solanum rostratum in different habitats of Xinjiang, China

Juan Qiu1, Dilinuer Shalimu1, 2, Dunyan Tan1, *   

  1. 1 Xinjiang Key Laboratory of Grassland Resources and Ecology & Ministry of Education Key Laboratory for Western Arid Region Grassland Resource and Ecology, College of Grassland and Environment Sciences, Xinjiang Agricultural University, Urumqi 830052
    2 College of Biological Sciences and Biotechnology, Beijing Forestry University, Beijing 100083
  • Received:2013-02-20 Accepted:2013-07-01 Online:2013-10-08
  • Tan Dunyan

The invasiveness of alien plants is closely related to their reproductive characteristics. A comparison of reproductive characteristics of an alien species in different habitats will help to reveal its optimum habitat for invasion and the mechanism of invasion. Furthermore, it will provide a theoretical foundation for planning a reasonable management strategy. Solanum rostratum is a summer annual weed native to the neotropics and the southwestern USA that produces offspring only by sexual reproduction. This species has become established in seven provinces/cities of China, including Xinjiang. We compared reproductive characteristics of S. rostratum in oasis, desert grassland and gravel desert habitats in Xinjiang and determined the optimum habitat for its invasion. The results were as follows. (1) Single-flower duration of S. rostratum was between 27 and 47 hours. Daily flowering time and single-flower duration were similar among the three habitats. However, number of flowers per individual differed among habitats (P<0.01=: oasis > desert grassland > gravel desert. (2) Halictus quadricinctus, Halictus sp. and Xylocopa latipes were the pollinators of S. rostratum, and all of them buzz-pollinated flowers. However, X. latipes visited flowers only occasionally. (3) Total visiting frequency of pollinators differed among habitats (P<0.05): oasis > desert grassland > gravel desert. Halictus quadricinctus preferred habitats with relatively low temperatures and high humidity, while another species of Halictus preferred relatively high temperatures and low humidity. Thus, the daily time of the peak of visiting frequency of H. quadricinctus was earlier than that of Halictus sp. (4) Order of number of fruits per individual, seed number per fruit and per individual and mass of 1,000 seeds was oasis > desert grassland > gravel desert. Fruit number per individual was highly significantly positively correlated with both number of flowers per individual and total visiting frequency of pollinators. Seed numbers per individual and per fruit were significantly positively correlated with total visiting frequency of pollinators. Our study indicates that S. rostratum can obtain more resources, produce more flowers that attract pollinators and produce more seeds with larger mass in oases than in desert grassland or gravel desert. Therefore, the oasis is the optimum habitat of S. rostratum in the arid region of Xinjiang, China.

Key words: flowering, fruit and seed set characteristics, invasive species, pollinator, Solanum rostratum, Xinjiang

Table 1

Location and habitat characteristics of observation sites"

Observation sites
area (m2)
Population density
Soil type
Main vegetation
Desert grassland
Vicinity of Baituyao colliery, Saerdaban countryside of Urumqi County, Xinjiang
43°43′ N, 87°17′ E 1,140 210 2.8 棕钙土
Brown calcic soil
木地肤(Kochia prostrate)灰藜(Chenopodium glaucum)椭圆叶天芥菜(Heliotropium ellipticum)、白茎绢蒿(Seriphidium terrae-albae)等
Gravel desert
Vicinity of the platelayer station, Liuhuanggou Town of Changji City, Xinjiang
43°45′ N, 87°13′ E 1,010 300 0.9 灰棕荒漠土
Grey brown desert soil
萹蓄(Polygonum aviculare)香藜(Chenopodium botrys)叉毛蓬(Petrosimonia sibirica)地肤(Kochia scoparia)、腋花苋(Amaranthus roxburghianus)中亚天仙子(Hyoscyamus pusillus)、狗尾草(Setaria viridis)
Chunguang village, Sangong town of Changji City, Xinjiang
43°88′ N,
87°24′ E
770 300 3.6 灰漠土
Gray desert soil
大翅蓟(Onopordon acanthium)、萹蓄(Polygonum aviculare)香藜(Chenopodium botrys)骆驼蓬(Peganum harmala)凹头苋(Amaranthus lividus)中亚天仙子(Hyoscyamus pusillus)

Fig. 1

Pollinators of Solanum rostratum. (A) Halictus quadricinctus; (B) Halictus sp.; (C) Xylocopa latipes."

Fig. 2

Total visiting frequency of pollinators of Solanum rostratum in three habitats during 2009-2010. Different uppercase letters indicate significant differences (P = 0.05) between years within a habitat and lowercase letters significant differences between habitats in the same year."

Fig. 3

Daily visiting frequency of pollinators of Solanum rostratum and diurnal variation curves of temperature and relative humidity from 8:00 to 20:00 in three habitats during observation periods (mean ± SE)"

Table 2

Characteristics of fruit set and seed set (mean ± SD) in three habitats of Solanum rostratum in 2009 and 2010"

No. of fruits per individual
(n =20)
No. of seeds per fruit
(n =50)
No. of seeds per individual (n =20)
Mass (g) of 1,000 seeds (n =10)
2009 绿洲 Oasis 96 ± 38.62 60 ± 8 4,354 ± 1750 3.29 ± 0.05
荒漠草原 Desert grassland 62 ± 5.91 56 ± 10 3,911 ± 250 3.22 ± 0.06
砾石荒漠 Gravel desert 44 ± 5.31 55 ± 11 1,837 ± 218 3.10 ± 0.07
2010 绿洲 Oasis 97 ± 13.02 63 ± 11 4,694 ± 62 3.34 ± 0.02
荒漠草原 Desert grassland 63 ± 8.55 62 ± 9 2,927 ± 393 3.26 ± 0.47
砾石荒漠 Gravel desert 25 ± 5.74 55 ± 8 1,053 ± 235 3.01 ± 0.28
F1 16.586** 2.595 13.352** 14.340**
F2 23.987** 0.489 88.596** 29.992**
F3 116.283** 0.081 118.989** 83.398**
F4 3.970* 3.970* 34.136** 3.970**
F5 7.729* 9.439** 330.969** 454.534**

Table 3

Pearson correlation coefficients between fruit set/seed set and total visiting frequency of pollinators in the three habitats of Solanum rostratum in 2009 and 2010"

No. of fruits per individual
No. of seeds per fruit
No. of seeds per individual
2009 绿洲 Oasis 0.460** 0.368* 0.374*
荒漠草原 Desert grassland 0.527** 0.354* 0.382*
砾石荒漠 Gravel desert 0.488** 0.380* 0.362*
2010 绿洲 Oasis 0.497** 0.339* 0.334*
荒漠草原 Desert grassland 0.486** 0.328* 0.365*
砾石荒漠 Gravel desert 0.462** 0.332* 0.357*
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