Does plant allometry predict biased sex allocation in Triadica sebifera (L.) small (Euphorbiaceae)?
- 15 Downloads
Early seed production by non-native plants may be important to their successful establishment and spread. Understanding the mechanisms underlying age- or size-biased seed production in introduced plants may also identify factors that contribute to propagule pressure and their success as invaders. Here, we asked whether differences in male and female reproductive allocation among individuals of the invasive woody plant species Triadica sebifera (L.) Small (Euphorbiaceae), a monoecious prolific seed producer, were consistent with a life-history trade-off involving sex allocation. We also asked if the quality of seeds produced by trees of different size differed in terms of seed size and germinability. We found no evidence that biomass allocation to either male or female function was related to plant size. Trees varied in ratio of female:male investment from 0.6 to 15.8, but investment ratio was also unrelated to plant size. We also found no relationship between plant size and seed size or mean germination time, and a weak negative relationship between percent seed germination and plant size. Overall, the results do not support the idea that patterns of reproductive sex allocation are the result of a life-history trade-off and are instead most consistent with local resource tracking by individual trees.
KeywordsChinese tallow Triadica sebifera Life-history theory Sex allocation Germination
We gratefully acknowledge Dawn Dawson and Jackie Bee Investments, LLC (Boutte), Katie Brasted at The Woodlands Conservancy (Belle Chasse), and Dominick Impastato (Kenner) for allowing land access to the field study sites used for this research. We also thank Brett Babin for his dedicated field assistance during the entire course of this study.
- Bell G, Koufopanou V (1986) The cost of reproduction. Oxf Surv Evol Biol 3:83–131Google Scholar
- Charnov EL (1982) The theory of sex allocation. Princeton University Press, PrincetonGoogle Scholar
- de Jong TJ, Klinkhamer PGL (2005) Evolutionary ecology of plant reproductive strategies. Cambridge University Press, CambridgeGoogle Scholar
- Godfrey RK, Wooten JW (1981) Aquatic and wetland plants of the southeastern United States. University of Georgia Press, Athens, p 933Google Scholar
- Meyer R (2011) Triadica sebifera. In: Fire Effects Information System. US Department of Agriculture, Forest Service, Rocky Mountain Research Station, Fire Sciences Laboratory, https://www.fs.fed.us/database/feis/. Accessed 25 January 2017
- R Core Team (2017) R: A language and environment for statistical computing. R Foundation for Statistical Computing, Vienna, Austria. https://www.R-project.org/.
- Radford AE, Ahles HE, Bell CR (1968) Manual of the vascular flora of the Carolinas. The University of North Carolina Press, Chapel Hill, p 1183Google Scholar
- Scheld HW, Cowles JR, Engler CR, Kleiman R, Shultz EB Jr (1984) Seeds of Chinese tallow tree as a source of chemicals and fuels. In: Shultz EB Jr, Morgan RP (eds) Fuels and chemicals from oil seeds: Technology and policy options: Symposium proceedings; 1982 January 3-8; Washington, DC. AAAS Selected Symposia Series 91. Westview Press. Boulder, Colorado, pp 97-111Google Scholar
- Solbrig OT (1981) Studies on the population biology of the genus Viola. II. The effect of plant size on fitness in Viola sororia. Evolution 35:1080–1093Google Scholar
- Stearns S (1992) The evolution of life histories. Oxford University Press, New YorkGoogle Scholar
- Tian N, Fan Z, Matney TG, Schultz EB (2017) Growth and stem profiles of invasive Triadica sebifera in the Mississippi Coast of the United States. For Sci 63(6):569–576Google Scholar
- Web Soil Survey (2016) Soil Survey Staff, Natural Resources Conservation Service, United States Department of Agriculture. https://websoilsurvey.sc.egov.usda.gov/. Accessed 18 Dec 2016