Competition and the compensatory regulation of fruit and seed set in the perennial herb Epilobium dodonaei (Onagraceae)

Stöcklin, Jürg. (1997) Competition and the compensatory regulation of fruit and seed set in the perennial herb Epilobium dodonaei (Onagraceae). American Journal of Botany, 84 (6). pp. 763-768.

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Official URL: http://edoc.unibas.ch/dok/A5251938

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I studied the effects of competition and soil fertilization on variation of seed yield components of the outcrossing perennial Epilobium dodonaei Vill. using a randomized complete block design. Fertilization as a main effect was not significant. Competition, however, reduced the number of flower buds per shoot (-29%), the number of ovules per fruit (-12%), and the number of ripe fruits per shoot (-51%). In addition, competition caused an increase in abortion of flower buds. Consequently the fruit/flower bud ratio decreased from 0.71 to 0.47. Average seed mass was not reduced significantly by competition. Some of the negative effects of competition on fruit production were mitigated by fertilization. However, competition considerably reduced the proportion of late-aborted seeds, which resulted in an increase of the seed/ovule ratio from 0.31 to 0.49 (+58%). As a consequence of this compensation, the reduction in the number of seeds per shoot due to competition was not significant. At the level of the genet, competition had a strong effect on seed yield due to decreases in the number of shoots produced. I discuss patterns of regulation at consecutive levels of reproduction. Shoots of plants suffering from competition initially invested less in reproductive structures than the control and showed a higher abortion rate of less costly structures early in reproductive development, but also had a lower abortion rate later in their development. The observed compensatory pattern in yield components illustrates the fine-tuning regulation capacity at different levels of reproductive development in plants.
Faculties and Departments:05 Faculty of Science > Departement Umweltwissenschaften > Ehemalige Einheiten Umweltwissenschaften > Pflanzenökologie (Körner)
UniBasel Contributors:Stöcklin, Jürg
Item Type:Article, refereed
Article Subtype:Research Article
Publisher:Botanical Society of America
Note:Publication type according to Uni Basel Research Database: Journal article
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Last Modified:14 Nov 2017 08:07
Deposited On:22 Mar 2012 13:43

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