Browse Subject Areas

Click through the PLOS taxonomy to find articles in your field.

For more information about PLOS Subject Areas, click here.

< Back to Article

Evolution of Fruit Traits in Ficus Subgenus Sycomorus (Moraceae): To What Extent Do Frugivores Determine Seed Dispersal Mode?

Figure 1

Diversity of functional traits in Ficus subgenus Sycomorus.

a) F. variegata reaches up to 40 m high and is often one of the largest trees in secondary forests (man in photograph ∼ 1.5 m tall (face covered to protect identity)). The cauliflorous figs, borne from small nodes, can just be made out on the trunk. b) F. squamosa, rheophytic (river side) shrub up to 1.5 m high with axial figs (inset). c) F. pseudopalma (inset to scale, the man, who is ∼2 m tall, is holding up a dead leaf) has the second largest leaves in the subgenus and is one of only two monopodial (unbranched) species [15]. d) F. hispida has cauliflorous figs borne on woody branchlets (cauliflorus type (i)). e) F. cereicarpa is a cauliflorous species with very large figs (∼10 cm diameter). This is a male tree, which bears figs around the base of the tree, as is typical of several other species. Older figs, whose wasps have already emerged, can be seen rotting behind and under bunches of newer figs. f) F. ribes has small cauliflorous figs borne on rope-like stolons (cauliflorus type (ii)). F. semicordata: g) a female tree bearing figs at the base of the trunk and h) male figs buried in the soil. For the latter, the leaf litter and soil were scrapped away to reveal the figs. i) Male fig of F. variegata with non-pollinating wasps (Sycophaga sp.) ovipositing through the wall. The brown dots on other figs in the background are bruises resulting from earlier ovipositor insertions. Cauliflorous figs, like this, are often heavily attacked by non-pollinating wasps, which can significantly reduce pollinator production and thus pollen dispersal.

Figure 1