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Propagule size and seed development duration: high photosynthate allocation and growth allometry
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Yu SL*, Li DF, Liu CR, Katz O
PubYear : 2022
Volume : 255  Issue : 4
Publication Name : Planta
Page number : 79
Abstract : 

Allometry and Corner’s rule became an important theme in evolutionary biology of plant trait structure and function. Being one of the most widely noticed plant traits, propagule (seed and fruit) mass variation mechanism across species is still controversial. Here we examined correlations between propagule mass and seed development duration as well as other traits, such as cross-sectional area of fruit pedicel, life form, fruit type and leaf area over four census years, to test an important life history strategy for propagule biomass allocation. We investigated 491 species, belonging to 91 families and 320 genera, representing 95% of native wild species in Beijing Botanical Garden. The scaling correlations between propagule mass and seed development duration and the other traits were determined using phylogenetic generalized linear models. Results show a significant positive relationship among propagule mass and seed development duration, leaf area and pedicel cross-sectional area for all species and for each life form (except vines) regardless of phylogeny. The variation in seed mass has been more consistently associated with variation in seed development duration than with divergences in any other variable, such as growth form, fruit type, pedicel cross-sectional area and leaf area, whereas variation in fruit weight was found to be more associated with variation in pedicel cross-sectional area than the other. Biotic factors, such as seed development duration, pedicel cross-sectional area, growth form and leaf area, mediate propagule size variation, of which seed development duration or pedicel cross-sectional area is the most important. The results further supported a hypothesis that large-seeded species evolved owing to high photosynthate availability and growth allometry in plant body. A mechanistic mathematical model involving seed development duration was provided to expound propagule mass variations across species.

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