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Fruit-set and seed weight variation in Anthyllis vulneraria subsp. vulgaris (Fabaceae)

Luis Navarro
Plant Systematics and Evolution
Vol. 201, No. 1/4 (March 1996), pp. 139-148
Published by: Springer
Stable URL: http://www.jstor.org/stable/23642960
Page Count: 10
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Fruit-set and seed weight variation in Anthyllis vulneraria subsp. vulgaris (Fabaceae)
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Abstract

Fruit-set and seed weight variation was studied in a population of Anthyllis vulneraria subsp. vulgaris (Fabaceae) in northwestern Spain. The plants produce several shoots, each bearing two to four inflorescences that open one at a time from bottom to top. Fruit-set, seed-pod weight and seed weight were found to be significantly higher in proximal inflorescences than in distal inflorescences of the same shoot; mean seed weight was up to three times higher in proximal than in distal inflorescences. By contrast, none of the three variables varied significantly among plants or among shoots of the same plant. Similarly, none of the three variables differed significantly between early- and late-flowering plants, or between plants monitored in 1993 and in 1994. These results are compatible with the view that shoots function as semiautonomous units as regards resource allocation, and that within the shoot resources are preferentially allocated to proximal (= early-opening) inflorescences. In the plants studied, the ratio of seed-pod weight to seed weight was fairly constant, suggesting that the pod is important for seed success.

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