We examined the patterns of variation in wing-loading and its related characteristics in Cardiocrinum cordatum to clarify the factors that determine the variation in seed dispersal ability in this species. The square root of wing-loading of a seed of a plant was not significantly correlated with basal stem diameter of a plant, indicating that large plants did not necessarily produce seeds with high dispersal ability. This result was inconsistent with the hypothesis that large plants produce seeds with high dispersal ability to avoid high mortality of seeds and seedlings in the vicinity of the parents. On the other hand, the square root of wing-loading of a seed of a fruit was negatively dependent on seed number of a fruit. Thus, many-seeded fruits produced seeds with high dispersal ability. This was because the projected surface area per seed was large in large fruits and large fruits contained large numbers of seeds. The cost per seed of producing fruit structures was small for many seeded fruits. Thus, high dispersal ability of seeds in many-seeded fruits may be a result of an effective resource allocation pattern in which a high proportion of resources are allocated to those many-seeded fruits, enabling seeds to develop large wings and thus reducing the structural cost of fruits per seed.
ASJC Scopus subject areas