Plant Ecology

, Volume 194, Issue 2, pp 149–156 | Cite as

Long-term variability in seed size and seedling establishment of Maianthemum bifolium

  • Igor KosińskiEmail author
Original Paper


Relatively few studies conducted in natural plants populations focus on the relationship between seed size and their germination ability and seedling establishment. Maianthemum bifolium is a perennial herb that spreads vegetatively through rhizomatous growth and reproduces through seeds. However, this species is characterized as seed and microsite limited, and under undisturbed conditions seedlings are not noted. The studies were conducted in two populations of M. bifolium in six subsequent seasons. The mean seed mass was negatively correlated both per ramet as well as in the fruit with the number of seeds, and positively with its height and the number of flowers. The long-term mean annual production of seeds in the populations was 37 and 56 seeds per m2. The seeds from both populations had similarly high germination abilities that were approximately 90% under laboratory conditions, 60% in garden, and 55% in the natural habitat. Seeds from four size classes were sown and a positive correlation was noted between seedling establishment and the mass of the seeds from which they grew (rS = 0.64). Seedling survival was also significantly correlated with seed mass.


Fruit set Seed production Seed mass Seed-sowing experiment 



I am grateful to the anonymous reviewers for valuable comments on the manuscript. I also like to express my deep appreciation to Nina Kosińska for her help with the field work. This research has been supported by the Medical University of Gdańsk.


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Copyright information

© Springer Science+Business Media, Inc. 2007

Authors and Affiliations

  1. 1.Department of Biology and Pharmaceutical BotanyMedical University of GdańskGdanskPoland

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