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Lotus corniculatus Regulates Offspring Quality Through Selective Fruit Abortion

Andrew G. Stephenson and James A. Winsor
Evolution
Vol. 40, No. 3 (May, 1986), pp. 453-458
DOI: 10.2307/2408568
Stable URL: http://www.jstor.org/stable/2408568
Page Count: 6
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Lotus corniculatus Regulates Offspring Quality Through Selective Fruit Abortion
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Abstract

Each inflorescence on Lotus corniculatus commonly aborts about half of its immature fruits. Compared to random patterns of fruit abortion, natural patterns of fruit abortion produce mature fruits that contain significantly more seeds. Moreover, these progeny are more likely to germinate, are more vigorous as seedlings, and have greater reproductive output as adults. These results indicate that L. corniculatus selectively aborts those fruits with the fewest seeds and, by doing so, increases the average quality of its offspring.

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