Phenology of tree seedlings in relation to seed size

K. Seiwa, K. Kikuzawa

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73 Citations (Scopus)


Vertical growth patterns and leaf dynamics of seedlings of 31 deciduous broad-leaved tree species with different seed sizes were examined. Seed size positively affected initial seedling height and leaf longevity, and negatively affected duration of leaf emergence and leaf-turnover rate. Large-seeded species completed shoot elongation and almost all of their annual leaf production in a short period, irrespective of shading. Small-seeded species attained maximum heights similar to those of large-seeded species under open conditions by having a longer duration of leaf emergence, higher resource allocation to leaf production and rapid leaf turnover, but leaf-production and leaf-turnover rates were reduced by shading for small-seeded species, a trait that resulted in lower final seedling heights for small-versus large-seeded species. In small-seeded species, maximum seedling growth was attained only under open conditions through changes in the phenology of leaf dynamics. Growth of large-seeded species was independent of the effect of light limitation. -from Authors

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)532-538
Number of pages7
JournalCanadian Journal of Botany
Issue number3
Publication statusPublished - 1991 Jan 1
Externally publishedYes

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Plant Science


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