Effects of fruit thinning on fruit and seed features of Cistus ladanifer

Delgado, J. A.; Obis, E.; Yuste, V.
December 2010
Plant Ecology;Dec2010, Vol. 211 Issue 2, p297
Academic Journal
Fruit and seed features are the result of reproductive allocation decisions which ultimately depend on both plant availability of resources and total number of developing fruits. In this study, we manipulated fruit load in Cistus ladanifer plants by removing 0, 25 or 75% of developing fruits. Fruit features (total fruit weight, fruit-wall weight, total seed weight per fruit and seed number per fruit) were unaffected by fruit thinning, nevertheless mean seed weight increased in treated plants independently of thinning intensity. This reduced compensation was unrelated to plant size and had no consequences on fruit predation by insects. From these results it could be suggested that not only availability of resources but also morphological constraints could affect seed size in Cistus ladanifer. On the other hand, this change in seed weight could have important consequences since in this species heavy seeds perform better after fire events but light ones are advantageous in between fire recruitments.


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