Most species in the scrublands of Andalucía (southern Spain) either secrete no nectar or are insignificant nectar producers. Although the 122 species studied belong to 23 families, the nectar secretion pattern is largely determined by three families: Cistaceae, Labiatae and Leguminosae. The amount of sugar secreted by nectariferous species is positively related to flower dry weight. The amount of sugar produced, for a given floral dry weight, is significantly higher for species with tubular corollas than for species with non-tubular ones.
Aspects of the reproductive biology of 22 annual taxa inhabiting stabilized sand dunes at the Doñana National Park (southern Spain) were studied. In most instances, growth and reproduction of the plants took place during winter, with seedlings appearing mostly in January. The highest number of species in bloom was detected in March, while flowering and fruiting had ceased by June. Dependence on pollination vectors (insects or wind) for reproduction was ascertained by caging plants of the studied species with either mesh or acetate exclosures and comparing fruit set with that of uncaged individuals. Caging had little or no effect on the reproduction of most species. Facultative autogamy was widespread, and cleistogamy was detected in one species (Tuberaria inconspicua). Only two taxa (Andryala arenaria and Ononis broterana) showed zero fruit set when pollination vectors were excluded. Pollen-to-ovule (P:O) ratios were usually low (the median for the whole sample was 238), which is consistent with a high occurrence of self-pollination. A positive correlation was found between the P:O ratio and the date of flowering onset, indicating that the earlier the start of the blooming season, the more likely it is that the breeding system be dominated by autogamy. The reproductive characteristics of annuals contrast with those of co-occurring woody species previously studied at the same site.
In the first decade of the twenty-first century, Latin America experienced strong growth that was primarily attributable to high export prices and growing demand from China. Moreover, democratic transitions in the region brought to power governments with highly contrasting economic policies and different visions of the sectors that were driving growth. These governments also differed in terms of the social policies they implemented to combat poverty and inequality. Countries with ‘heterodox’ policies (Brazil, Ecuador, Bolivia, Argentina and Venezuela) that promoted efforts to better distribute the fruits of growth increased social expenditure and encouraged, to a greater or a lesser degree, productive diversification, particularly in the internal market. Countries with ‘orthodox’ policies (Chile, Colombia and Peru) promoted foreign investment in the primary export sector (mining, oil, fishing, soybean cultivation, etc.), which was considered the main driver of growth, and implemented conservative fiscal and monetary policies that created a climate of confidence for investors and led to stable exchange rates and prices.
This chapter attempts to assess the events of the last decade in terms of distributive aspects by comparing the cases of countries that applied heterodox policies with those that implemented orthodox policies. The study focuses primarily on Peru, where governments combined a ‘leftist’ ideology—which brought them to power—with economic policies that were close to the ‘Washington Consensus’. The author examines the results of this phase of rapid growth in terms of poverty reduction and assesses to what extent these results have been accompanied by (and possibly have been achieved thanks to) a drop in inequality and the growth of the middle class. This phenomenon is seen by some as a guarantor of political stability and by others, as a cauldron of conflict. Finally, the degree to which social expenditure and taxation can play distributive roles in this new phase of slower growth is explored.