Advertisement

Plant Ecology

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

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

  • Igor Kosiński
Original Paper

Abstract

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.

Keywords

Fruit set Seed production Seed mass Seed-sowing experiment 

Notes

Acknowledgements

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.

References

  1. Arens P, Grashof-Bokdam CJ, van der Sluis T, Smulders MJM (2005) Clonal diversity and genetic differentiation of Maianthemum bifolium among forest fragments of different age. Plant Ecol 179:169–180CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  2. Dahlgren RMT, Clifford HT, Yeo PF (1985) The families of the monocotyledons: structure, evolution and taxonomy. Springer, BerlinGoogle Scholar
  3. Dzwonko Z, Gawroński S (2002) Effect of litter removal on species richness and acidification of a mixed oak-pine woodland. Biol Conserv 106:389–398CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  4. Ellenberg H, Weber HE, Düll R, Wirth V, Werner W, Paulißen D (1992) Indicator values of plants in Central Europe. Scripta Geobot 18Google Scholar
  5. Eriksson O (1989) Seedling dynamics and life histories in clonal plants. Oikos 55:231–238CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  6. Eriksson O (1995) Seedling recruitment in deciduous forest herbs: the effect of litter, soil chemistry and seed bank. Flora 190:65–70Google Scholar
  7. Eriksson O (1997) Clonal life histories and the evolution of seed recruitment. In: de Kroon H, Van Groenendael J (eds) The ecology and evolution of clonal plants. Backhuys Publishers, Leiden, pp. 211–226Google Scholar
  8. Eriksson O (1999) Seed size variation and its effect on germination and seedling performance in the clonal herb Convallaria majalis. Acta Oecol 20(1):61–66CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  9. Eriksson O, Ehrlen J (1991) Phenological variation in fruit characteristics in vertebrate-dispersed plants. Oecologia 86:463–470CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  10. Eriksson O, Ehrlen J (1992) Seed and microsite limitation of recruitment in plant populations. Oecologia 91:360–364CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  11. Fröborg H (2001) Seed size and seedling emergence in 16 temperate forest herbs and one dwarf-shrub. Nord J Bot 21:373–384Google Scholar
  12. Fröborg H, Eriksson O (1997) Local colonization and extinction of field layer plants in a deciduous forest and their dependence upon life history features. J Veg Sci 8:395–400CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  13. Ganger MT (1997) The influence of pollen addition and ramet isolation on current sexual reproduction in a clonal herb. Oecologia 110:231–236CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  14. Geritz SAH (1995) Evolutionary stable seed polymorphism and small-scale spatial variation in seedling density. Am Nat 146(5):685–707CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  15. Harper JL (1977) Population biology of plants. Academic Press, LondonGoogle Scholar
  16. Hegi G (1909) Illustrierte Flora von Mitteleuropa, vol. 2/1. J. F. Lehman Verl., MünchenGoogle Scholar
  17. Honnay O, Jacquemyn H, Roldán-Ruiz I, Hermy M (2006) Consequences of prolonged clonal growth on local and regional genetic structure and fruiting success of forest perennial Maianthemum bifolium. Oikos 112:21–30CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  18. Hultén E (1962) The Circumpolar plants. Almqvist and Wiksell, StockholmGoogle Scholar
  19. Jacquemyn H, Brys R, Hermy M (2001) Within and between plant variation in seed number, seed mass and germinability of Primula elatior: effect of population size. Plant Biol 3:561–568CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  20. Jacquemyn H, Brys R, Hermy M (2002) Patch occupancy, population size and reproductive success of a forest herb (Primula elatior) in a fragmented landscape. Oecologia, 130:617–625CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  21. Jofuku KD, Omidyar PK, Gee Z, Okamuro JK (2005) Control of seed mass and seed yield by the floral homeotic gene APETALA2. P Natl Acad Sci USA 102(8):3117–3122CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  22. Kawano S, Ihara M, Suzuki M (1968) Biosystematic studies on Maianthemum (Liliaceae-Polygonatae) II. Geography and ecological life history. Jpn J Bot 20:35–65Google Scholar
  23. Krotoska T (1961) Obserwacje fenologiczne w Querceto-Carpinetum medioeuropaeum Tx. 1936 i w Querceto-Potentilletum albae Libbert 1933 w Wielkopolskim Parku Narodowym. PWN, PoznańGoogle Scholar
  24. Lehtila K, Ehrlen J (2005) Seed size as an indicator of seed quality: a case study of Primula veris. Acta Oecol 28:207–212CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  25. Mendez M (1997) Sources of variation in seed mass in Arum italicum. Int J Plant Sci 158(3):298–305CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  26. Moles AT, Westoby M (2004) Seedling survival and seed size: a synthesis of the literature. J Ecol 92:372–383CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  27. Niesenbaum RA (1999) The effects of pollen load size and donor diversity on pollen performance, selective abortion, and progeny vigor in Mirabilis jalapa (Nyctaginaceae). Am J Bot 86:261–269CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  28. Panufnik-Mędrzycka D, Kwiatkowska-Falińska AJ (2001) The realised and potential soil seed bank in the Potentillo albae-Quercetum community in the Białowieża primeval forest. Acta Soc Bot Pol 70:133–143Google Scholar
  29. Reader RJ (1993) Control of seedling emergence by ground cover and seed predation in relation to seed size for some old-field species. J Ecol 81:169–175CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  30. Schmid B, Dolt C (1994) Effects of maternal and paternal environment and genotype on offspring genotype in Solidago altissima L. Evolution 48:1525–1549CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  31. Silvertown J (1989) The paradox of seed size and adaptation. Trends Ecol Evol 4:24–26CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  32. Silvertown JW, Charlesworth D (2001) Introduction to plant population biology. Blackwell, OxfordGoogle Scholar
  33. Sokal RR, Rohlf FJ (1995) Biometry. Freeman, New YorkGoogle Scholar
  34. Stearns SC (1992) The evolution of life histories. Oxford University Press, New YorkGoogle Scholar
  35. Thompson K, Bakker JP, Bekker RM (1997) The soil seed banks of North West Europe: methodology, density and longevity. Cambridge University Press, CambridgeGoogle Scholar
  36. Tumidajowicz D (1977) Effectiveness of generative reproduction of some forest plants from choosen communities of southern Poland. B Acad Pol Sci Biol 25(1):27–34Google Scholar
  37. Turnbull LA, Rees M, Crawley MJ (1999) Seed mass and the competition/colonization trade-off: a sowing experiment. J Ecol 87:899–912CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  38. Tutin TG, et al (1964–1980) Flora Europaea. Cambridge University Press, CambridgeGoogle Scholar
  39. Uma Shaanker R, Ganeshaiah KN, Kamaljit SB (1988) Parent-offspring conflict, sibling rivalry, and brood size patterns in plants. Annu Rev Ecol Evol S 19:177–205CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  40. Vaughton G, Ramsey M (1998) Sources and consequences of seed mass variation in Banksia marginata (Proteaceae). J Ecol 86:563–573CrossRefGoogle Scholar

Copyright information

© Springer Science+Business Media, Inc. 2007

Authors and Affiliations

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

Personalised recommendations