Advertisement

Oecologia

, Volume 150, Issue 2, pp 310–317 | Cite as

Accessory costs of seed production

  • Janice M. Lord
  • Mark Westoby
Community Ecology

Abstract

Accessory costs of reproduction are those that are necessary to mature a seed, but that do not involve the direct cost of provisioning the seed itself. This study aims to quantify accessory costs in a range of species, and test whether they decrease as a proportion of total reproductive expenditure with increasing seed mass, as might be expected if economies of scale came into play at larger seed sizes. We also test whether accessory costs varied with growth form, pollination mode, and dispersal mode, with the expectation that biotic pollination and dispersal modes should incur greater costs. Reproductive allocation (dry biomass) over one season, was calculated for 14 diclinous angiosperm species. Accessory costs averaged 73% of total reproductive allocation, with the majority spent on packaging and dispersal. Total accessory costs, packaging and dispersal costs, and costs incurred prior to pollination were proportional to direct costs of reproduction in major axis regressions. However, larger seeded species incurred significantly greater costs associated with aborted seeds and fruits, and matured a smaller proportion of ovules. This is consistent with larger seeded species being more selective of the ovules/embryos matured than small-seeded species. Total accessory costs, and proportion of ovules aborted, were also significantly greater for biotically dispersed species, but only due to an association with larger seed masses. Costs associated with abortions were lower for biotically pollinated species, due to a general trend of more ovules per ovary, resulting in greater cost sharing. This study demonstrates that expenditure on items other than seeds accounts for the majority of reproductive allocation in flowering plants. Yet, far more literature exists on seed mass variation than on investment in accessory structures. We found a proportional relationship between accessory costs and seed mass that warrants further investigation within the context of selection on margin returns on investment.

Keywords

Seed mass Accessory structures Cost of reproduction Seed abortion 

Notes

Acknowledgments

We acknowledge the support of the Australian Research Council, the New Zealand Foundation for Research Science and Technology, and the Australian National Parks and Wildlife Service, as well as valuable comments from two anonymous referees.

References

  1. Analytical Software (1998) Statistix for Windows, version 1.2. Analytical Software, Tallahassee, FLGoogle Scholar
  2. Antos JA, Allen GA (1994) Biomass allocation among reproductive structures in the dioecious shrub Oemleria cerasiformis—a functional interpretation. J Ecol 82:21–29CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  3. Ashman T-L (1992) Indirect costs of seed production within and between seasons in a gynodioecious species. Oecologia 92:266–272CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  4. Ashman T-L (1994) Reproductive allocation in hermaphrodite and female plants of Sidalcea oregana ssp. spicata (Malvaceae) using four currencies. Am J Bot 81:433–438CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  5. Baker HG (1972) Seed weight in relation to environmental conditions in California. Ecology 53:997–1010CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  6. Bawa KS, Webb CJ (1984) Flower, fruit and seed abortion in tropical forest trees: implications for the evolution of paternal and maternal reproductive patterns. Am J Bot 71:736–751CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  7. Bookman SS (1983) Costs and benefits of flower abscission and fruit abortion in Asclepias speciosa. Ecology 64:264–273CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  8. Charnov EL, Downhower JF (1995) A trade-off-invariant life-history rule for optimal offspring size. Nature 376:418–419PubMedCrossRefGoogle Scholar
  9. Cipollini ML, Stiles EW (1991) Costs of reproduction in Nyssa sylvatica: sexual dimorphism in reproductive frequency amnd nutrient flux. Oecologia 86:585–593CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  10. Gill AM, Brooker MIH, Moore PHR (1992) Seed weights and numbers as a function of fruit size and subgenus in some Eucalyptus species from south-western Australia. Aust J Bot 40:103–111CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  11. Greene DF, Johnson EA (1994) Estimating the mean annual seed production of trees. Ecology 75:642–647CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  12. Grime JP, Hodgson JG, Hunt R (1988) Comparative plant ecology. A functional approach to common British species. Unwin-Hyman, LondonGoogle Scholar
  13. Haig D, Westoby M (1991) Seed size, pollination costs and angiosperm success. Evol Ecol 5:231–247CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  14. Hemborg ÅM, Karlsson PS (1999) Sexual differences in biomass and nutrient allocation of first-year Silene dioica plants. Oecologia 118:453–460CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  15. Herrera CM (1987) Vertebrate-dispersed plants of the Iberian Peninsula: a study of fruit characteristics. Ecol Mon 57:305–331CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  16. Howe HF, Smallwood J (1982) Ecology of seed dispersal. Annu Rev Ecol Syst 13:201–228CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  17. Hughes L, Dunlop M, French K, Leishman MR, Rice B, Rodgerson L, Westoby M (1994) Predicting dispersal spectra: a minimal set of hypotheses based on plant attributes. J Ecol 82:933–950Google Scholar
  18. Janzen DH (1971) Seed predation by animals. Annu Rev Ecol Syst 2:465–492CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  19. Jurado E, Westoby M, Nelson D (1991) Diaspore weight, dispersal, growth form and perenniality of Central Australian plants. J Ecol 79:811–830CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  20. Lee WG, Grubb PJ, Wilson JB (1991) Patterns of resource allocation in fleshy fruits of nine European tall-shrub species. Oikos 61:307–315Google Scholar
  21. Legendre P (2001) Model II regression—user’s guide. Département de sciences biologiques, Université de Montréal, MontréalGoogle Scholar
  22. Leishman MR, Wright IJ, Moles AT, Westoby M (2000) The evolutionary ecology of seed size. In: Fenner M (ed) Seeds, 2nd edn. CABI Publishing, Wallingford, UK, pp 31–57Google Scholar
  23. Lloyd DG (1980) Sexual strategies in plants. I. An hypothesis of serial adjustment of maternal investment during one reproductive session. New Phytol 86:69–79CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  24. Lloyd DG (1984) Gender allocations in outcrossing cosexual plants. In: Dirzo R, Sarukhán J (eds) Perspectives in plant population ecology. Sinauer Associates Inc., Sunderland, MA, Ch 15Google Scholar
  25. Lord J, Egan J, Clifford T, Jurado E, Leishman M, Williams D, Westoby M (1997) Larger seeds in tropical floras: consistent patterns independent of growth form and dispersal mode. J Biogeogr 24:205–211CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  26. Mazer SJ (1989) Ecological, taxonomic, and life history correlates of seed mass among Indiana Dune angiosperms. Ecol Mon 59:153–175CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  27. Mehlman DW (1993) Seed size and seed packaging in Baptista lanceolata (Fabaceae). Am J Bot 80:735–742CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  28. Obeso JR (2002) The costs of reproduction in plants. New Phytol 155:321–348CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  29. Pate JS, True KC, Kuo J (1991) Partitioning dry matter and mineral nutrients during a reproductive cycle of the mistletoe Amyema linophyllum (Fenzl) Tieghem parasitizing Casuarina obesa Miq. J Exp Bot 42:427–439Google Scholar
  30. Reekie EG, Bazzaz FA (1992) Cost of reproduction as reduced growth in genotypes of two congeneric species with contrasting life histories. Oecologia 90:21–26CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  31. Sans FX, Masalles RM (1993) Life-history variation in the annual arable weed Diplotaxis erucoides (Cruciferae). Can J Bot 72:10–19Google Scholar
  32. Shipley B, Dion J (1992) The allometry of seed production in herbaceous angiosperms. Am Nat 139:467–483CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  33. Smith CC, Fretwell SD (1974) The optimal balance between size and number of offspring. Am Nat 108:499–506CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  34. Stephenson AG (1981) Flower and fruit abortion: proximate causes and ultimate functions. Annu Rev Ecol Syst 12:253–279CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  35. Sutherland S (1986) Patterns of fruit-set: what controls fruit–flower ratios in plants? Evolution 40:117–128CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  36. Telenius A, Torstensson P (1991) Seed wings in relation to seed size in the genus Spergularia. Oikos 61:216–222Google Scholar
  37. Thompson K, Stewart AJA (1981) The measurement and meaning of reproductive effort in plants. Am Nat 117:205–211CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  38. Venables DL (1996) Packaging and provisioning in plant reproduction. Philos Trans R Soc Lond (B) 351:1319–1329Google Scholar
  39. Westoby M, Leishman MR, Lord JM (1996) Comparative ecology of seed size and dispersal. Philos Trans R Soc Lond (B) 351:1309–1318Google Scholar
  40. Westoby M, Falster DS, Moles AT, Vesk PA, Wright IJ (2002) Plant ecological strategies: some leading dimensions of variation between species. Annu Rev Ecol Syst 33:125–59CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  41. Wiens D (1984) Ovule survivorship, brood size, life history, breeding systems, and reproductive success in plants. Oecologia 64:47–53CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  42. Willson MF (1993) Dispersal modes, seed shadows, and colonization patterns. Vegetatio 108:261–280Google Scholar
  43. Willson MF, Michaels HJ, Bertin RI, Benner B, Rice S, Lee TD, Hartgerink AP (1990) Intraspecific variation in seed packaging. Am Midl Nat 123:179–185CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  44. Witkowski ETF, Lamont BB (1996) Disproportionate allocation of mineral nutrients and carbon between vegetative and reproductive structures in Banksia hookeriana. Oecologia 105:38–42Google Scholar

Copyright information

© Springer-Verlag 2006

Authors and Affiliations

  1. 1.Department of BotanyUniversity of OtagoDunedinNew Zealand
  2. 2.Department of Biological SciencesMacquarie UniversityMacquarieAustralia

Personalised recommendations