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Seed size as an indicator of seed quality: a case study of Primula veris
Södertörn University, School of Life Sciences.ORCID iD: 0000-0002-0260-3978
2005 (English)In: Acta Oecologica, ISSN 1146-609X, Vol. 28, no 3, 207-212 p.Article in journal (Refereed) Published
Abstract [en]

Seed size is a widely accepted measure of seed quality, because many earlier studies have shown that large seeds have high seedling survival, growth and establishment. We tested whether ovule loss increases size of the remaining seeds and whether such size increase affects seedling establishment. We removed all except one flower from inflorescences of Primula veris L. (Primulaceae), a perennial hemicryptophyte herb, at a late stage of flowering. Flower removal (FR) increased seed size by 33% compared to the control plants. We then divided the seeds within each treatment to small, middle-sized and large seeds and carried out a sowing experiment in the field, Within each experimental group, seedling establishment was positively associated with seed size. However, despite size differences, seeds from the FIR and control groups had the same seedling establishment probability. Seeds from FR plants had a higher seedling emergence in May than those from control plants, but the number of seedlings alive per sowing plot in the late summer was the same in both experimental groups. Increase in seed mass after partial FR thus did not enhance seedling performance, although seed size variation due to other causes was positively correlated with seedling establishment. Further studies are needed to show whether plastic changes of seed size are usually adaptive or not.

Place, publisher, year, edition, pages
2005. Vol. 28, no 3, 207-212 p.
National Category
Biological Sciences
URN: urn:nbn:se:sh:diva-6045DOI: 10.1016/j.actao.2005.04.004ISI: 000234427400003ScopusID: 2-s2.0-29144433501OAI: diva2:395484
Available from: 2011-02-07 Created: 2011-02-07 Last updated: 2016-09-29Bibliographically approved

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Lehtilä, Kari
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