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Revista chilena de historia natural

Print version ISSN 0716-078X


VERDU, MIGUEL  and  GARCIA-FAYOS, PATRICIO. Reproductive ecology of Pistacia lentiscus L. (Anacardiaceae): an evolutionary anachronism in the mediterranean shrubland. Rev. chil. hist. nat. [online]. 2002, vol.75, n.1, pp.57-65. ISSN 0716-078X.

Pistacia lentiscus L. (Anacardiaceae) is a sclerophyllous shrub that is very common in the Mediterranean Basin. This species originated in the Oligocene under mild tropical conditions that were very different to the current mediterranean climate. For this reason, many of the plant characteristics should respond to the tropical -and not mediterranean-environmental pressures under it evolved. This is the fact why this species is considered to be an evolutionary anachronism. To answer the question if being anachronistic means to have a wrong strategy in the current Mediterranean conditions, a review of the reproductive biology of P. lentiscus has been carried out. The main conclusion is that the reproductive cycle of P. lentiscus is formed by a mixture of tropical characters that are useful not only to survive successfully in the Mediterranean shrublands but also to colonize new, disturbed, habitats

Keywords : life history; mediterranean; Pistacia lentiscus; tropical.

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