Why is there variation in mean seed size among plants within single populations? Test of the fertilization efficiency hypothesis

Satoki Sakai, Akiko Sakai

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

12 Citations (Scopus)

Abstract

We tested the fertilization efficiency hypothesis, which attempts to explain mean seed size variation among plants within single populations, by comparing the patterns of seed size variation between chasmogamous (CH) flowers and cleistogamous (CL) flowers in Impatiens noli-tangere and Viola grypoceras, respectively. The fertilization efficiency hypothesis predicts that larger plants produce larger seeds if the number of pollen grains captured by a plant increases with increased allocation of resources to its attractive structures (e.g., corolla and nectar), but with diminishing gains. Thus, seed size should depend on plant size in seeds from CH flowers because of the diminishing gains of capturing pollen in these flowers, whereas seed size should not depend on plant size in seeds from CL flowers because CL flowers need not capture outcross pollen. We found significant positive correlations between mean seed size per plant and plant size for seeds from CH flowers in both species. However, there was no significant positive correlation between two factors for seeds from CL flowers of both species. The results of the present investigations were thus consistent with the fertilization efficiency hypothesis.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)1454-1457
Number of pages4
JournalAmerican Journal of Botany
Volume83
Issue number11
DOIs
Publication statusPublished - 1996 Nov

Keywords

  • attractive structures
  • cleistogamous flowers
  • fertilization efficiency hypothesis
  • inbreeding depression
  • pollination
  • seed size variation

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Ecology, Evolution, Behavior and Systematics
  • Genetics
  • Plant Science

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